Hi, I'm new in the community and

moe.ske Image
10/29/2016 - 13:20

Hi, I'm new in the community and hope to find information about building regulations in Sicily/Noto. Anything in English language about regulations and laws around building would be very very helpful. My fiance and I just purchased a piece of land in the campagna and want to build a house within the next two years. Thanks a lot.



Hi moe.ske,Congratulations on your purchase.Not sure about where you would find an english version of building regs, as they are always being updated. Obviously best port of call would be a local 'geometra' or 'engineer'. As far as actual building standards it would depend on what type of construction you are thinking of. TRADITIONAL or PREFABRICATED.Basically its a process of stages:-Appoint a technical person(geometra, architect, engineer) to submit the drawings to the comune with all the associated paperwork: geologist report, sismic report, environmental impact report, engineers report and calculations etc, etc.-Approval of project with a time constraint to complete (3 years generally). May also have some other constraints or conditions that you may have to adhere to.-Pay the fees to comune and state-Invite contractors to tender on project based on a document that the technical person will prepare.-Select contractor: the contractor will have a lot of beurocratic guidelines to ahere to-The project will have an authorised person to oversee the works(direttore do lavoro) which can be geometra, engineer etc. I AM FAIRLY SURE YOU CAN NOT OVERSEE YOUR OWN PROJECT- ONE OF THE OTHER MEMBERS MAY BE ABLE TO CONFIRM !A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK THEY CAN DO A LOT OF THE BUILDING PROCESS THEMSELVES HOWEVER ITS NOT THAT EASY.-At the end of project you will get it signed off and receive a certificate for inhabitness from comune.CONSIDERATIONS AT INITIAL STAGE WITH GEOMTERA/ARCHITECT PRIOR TO SUBMISSION:-land to house ratio-location of house in relation to the boundaries-distance of property to the road-type of construction to be in kind with surroundings-height of builing-access to sewerage or location of septic tank and acces to it.-power supply for works then power supply for dwelling-telephone-gas supply(location of tank)-boundary fencing(consultation with neighbours just in case their is any old land dispute(quite common in Italy))Wishing you luck with your new venture and hope the above helps! 

In reply to by italyprogetti

Hello italiprogetti, many thanks for your advice. We've been already in touch with local architects and engineers and think we found the right people to work with.Also we are very aware of the fact that we need local engineers to oversee the project and communicate with the authorities. However i am architect myself and will do the design of the house.I already know that there a lot of very particular regulations when it comes to building in this area and i hoped to find a translation of the regulations. I am aware of the general rules regarding surface, height, distances etc. but it is very important for me to know the exact formulations in the regulations, because this is the only way to be in total control of the design and get the most out of it. I guess we'll have to pay a translator to get it professionally translated.Would you know of someone suitable for the job? Preferably to translate the whole of building regulations of Noto concerning private housing to german (as a second choice english will do as well). Many thanks in advance,moe.ske 

Hi moe.skeCan't help with translation but fairly confident someone on this forum will be able to point you in the right direction.The only thing with the translation is it will be a literal translation. The italian regulations are more like guidelines and can sometimes be up to interpretation. A good local geometra/engineer will have a good relationship with the councils geometra/engineer and will be up to speed with the latest.My experience has been to design and spec it up as if you were at home (EU REGS), then work through it with your team in sicily and change as necessary. I'm sure they will have AUTOCAD or similar. The obvious differences will be with SISMIC regs(genio civile handles this) for you region. Roofing will depend on wind and snow levels for your region.As far as finishes, internal works are I'll give you an example: I wanted to have all my PVC casement windows opening outwards like in almost all UK homes and have a PVC cill(davanzale) . I couldn't find anyone to do it as they do not have the same systems. I didn't have the time nor the money/warranty issues to try and import, so I settled for the systems they use in Italy- marble cill and window hinged and opening inwards.  I refused to have the shutters and they all thought I was a bit odd. Another 'odd' thing I did was to have all my internal partitions as lightweight plasterboard system apart from a couple of cross walls that had to stay masonary to tie the house together(genio civile requirement).If you can get your hands on a 'prezzario regione sicilia' (google) this will give you costings that are generally used for different types of work and will also have the wording for the detailed elements of work. If you also google 'britishexpats italy' it will give you some other forums where you could make further enquiries. 

In reply to by italyprogetti

Hi italyprogetti, thanks a lot for your advice, really appreciate it! This prezzario regione sicilia is for public works, can you just take the prices 1:1 on private buildings works, you reckon?

In reply to by moe.ske

As they do not have a mechanism to collate private works costings, its a good comparison tool. It will give you an idea of costings. Generally speaking works for government would be a little higher. As you may know the building industry in Italy is limping especially at local level, so I think your local builders will be pricing 'fairly', assuming that you will be getting say 3 quotes/tenders in place. Your engineer/geometra should know costings anyway from previous experience.My engineer(friend) usually does a mock up 'preventivo' at what he thinks the costs will be, all itemised for every element of works including site prep and health/safety. He will give this to the client as a guide and then when the (3) 'prentivo's' come in they will compare.I think that the actual wording in the prezzario will come in handy as it gives you details on the different methods of work, standard of materials and differences. 

The prezzario is not just for public works - it is the price guide for all works, though you negotiate a discount.  There is nothing in English for the Noto area - we are after all in Italy.  However, when you bought the agent should have told you what was feasible.  The CDU attached to your atto will give you the basics, height, colume and distance that you can build.  Bear in mind that with the piano paesaggistico in Noto alot of land is now not buildable.  If you are in a green zone (zone 2) then you can build to low density, but thecomune is against building where the view to and from the city can be impaired. Obviously as an architect you can design your building, but you must have an Italian egineer to transalte what you want to do into something allowable in Italy - I use an engineer who speaks English and is honest in Noto and who will not try to put his stamp on the building.   You can pm me if you want and Ill send you his details.  As italprogetti says, you can not oversee your own job . you must have a qualitifed person on site as director of works and to be responsiblefor health and safety.   Bear in mind that in Noto they do not look kindly on glass and steel boxes, they want 'traditional' building , double pitched roof, rendered etc that fit into the landscape.  If you are in zone two all your plans will have to pass the Beni Culturali for their parere, which adds time and sometimes costs to the project as they can and will tell you what they see as acceptable or not.  

Hi Moe.ske, I agree with both Italyprogetti and modicasa. If you take over a building or renovation project in Italy, it is necessary to hire someone who is able to assist you (with the language as well) and suprvise the entire process on your behalf. If you need assistance, you can contact me at fabiana@italypropertyservice.it We specialise in property renovaiiton supervision and property caretaking . Regards, 

Hello moe.ske,I am an italian architect based in London where I run my own practice (doing this type of projects in Italy too), happy to help. Please feel free to get in touch, my email is abigolin@abdw.net or call 02074483063. Kind regards, Alessandro