Reinforced concrete structures: surveyors cannot design them

The building permit granted on a project drawn up by a surveyor, which envisages reinforced concrete structures, is illegitimate.

This was clarified by the Tar of Campania, section of Salerno, in sentence 9772 of June 28, 2010 , canceling the building permit issued by a municipal administration for the construction of an elevation of a building designed by a surveyor. The project included reinforced concrete pillars, in disregard of the art. 16 et seq. of the Royal Decree n. 274 of 11 February 1929, which enables surveyors only to modest civil constructions.

Before issuing a building permit – the judges explain – the municipal authority must always ascertain whether the design has been entrusted to a competent professional in relation to the nature and importance of the construction, in compliance with the rules governing the operation and the limits of application of the professions of surveyor, architect and engineer, dictated to ensure that the compilation of the projects and the direction of the works are assigned to those who have the adequate preparation for the importance of the works, to safeguard both the public and private economy, and of the the safety of people.

It is therefore illegitimate – according to the Tar – the title to build assent on the project, drawn up by a surveyor, which foresees structures in reinforced concrete, unless the reasons for which the characteristics of the work and its construction methods are specified and justified they fall within the sphere of professional competence of the designer.

In this case, the administrative judge would have to assess the quantitative and qualitative nature of the construction, in order to establish whether it, even if provided with a reinforced concrete structure, falls within the concept of “modest civil construction”, to whose design expertise is limited.

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