In Spain, according to the Technical Building Code (CTE), residential buildings are designed to have a useful life of at least 50 years , although logically, depending on various factors, their real life can last for many more years. The quality of the materials used, the existence of a good architectural design in accordance with the terrain and climatic conditions of the area and the correct execution of the work, are a priori the main factors to be taken into account to determine the durability of the buildings. .
Our real estate park is getting olderTherefore, it is mandatory from time to time to carry out a Technical Inspection of the Building (ITE), now coexisting with the new Building Evaluation Report (IEE) for the oldest buildings. Another aspect to take into account is that many buildings have not complied with the schedule of maintenance actions included in the Building Book and other existing regulations on the use, maintenance and conservation of buildings intended for housing, which shows a important lack of awareness about the need to make a permanent investment in the proper maintenance of real estate.
Another important key to lengthening the average life of buildings, or at least their habitability, will depend on the use of their owners. Illegal works are much easier to detect in common areas, however, they are not so easy inside homes where sometimes severe damage is caused to structural elements during renovations that are imperceptible to the rest of the neighbors and even for the technicians who carry out the ITE, with its consequences appearing over the years. Some owners carry out reform works in their home trying to gain square meters of habitability.For this purpose, many times they do not have the slightest qualms about carrying out all kinds of aggressive actions such as removing partitions, changing the original distribution, reducing pillars, demolishing false ceilings, closing terraces, the height of happiness being the discovery of an air chamber. or false attic to incorporate it into the house.
The deterioration of the buildings is evidentin the state of conservation of the facades whose protective function goes far beyond the simple aesthetic aspect. No matter what we look at our urban environment, we will see that very few buildings keep their original facade intact, presenting very diverse alterations that have even been protected by the Courts on many occasions, for two reasons. The first is that our legislation requires the Communities of Owners the arduous task of being active and vigilant against any alteration of the common elements, which is not always easy in practice, and the second, as a consequence of the jurisprudential theory of “abuse of right”.
This theory, which in my opinion should be nuanced, currently allowsEvery time an alteration in the building made by an owner on his own and without the permission of the Community is consolidated, “the ban is opened” allowing other neighbors to be empowered to make the same modification in the original configuration without the need for authorization. some, causing an unstoppable spiral of transformations that silently diminish not only the aesthetics and original design of the building but also another series of elements that will affect its durability.

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