477 Properties

New Build or Existing Homes?

One of the reasons for the price difference between existing and new homes in Spain stems from the mandatory improved building quality. Since 2007, Spain has had the Código Técnico de la Edificación (CTE), a building code that sets higher standards for the materials and methods used in new constructions and in renovations of existing homes.

The primary goals of these improvements are to reduce energy and water consumption, leading to lower carbon emissions. Additionally, reducing noise pollution and promoting a healthier living environment are important focus areas. Since 2020, the CTE requires that all new homes have almost zero energy consumption, making them more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

The Código Técnico de la Edificación (CTE) is Spain’s technical building code and forms the basis for all regulations concerning construction in the country. The purpose of the CTE is to ensure that buildings meet specific requirements in terms of safety, health, sustainability, and accessibility. Since its initial introduction in 2006, the CTE has been regularly updated to comply with the latest standards and technologies.

Key Provisions of the CTE

The CTE is divided into various fundamental documents (Documentos Básicos, DB), each addressing a specific aspect of construction:

  • DB-SI (Seguridad en caso de Incendio): Fire safety, including regulations for the fire resistance of materials, escape routes, fire detection, and firefighting measures.
  • DB-SUA (Seguridad de Utilización y Accesibilidad): Safety in use and accessibility of buildings, with guidelines for stairs, handrails, elevators, and accessibility for people with limited mobility.
  • DB-SE (Seguridad Estructural): Structural safety of buildings, including calculations and construction of load-bearing elements.
  • DB-HS (Salubridad): Hygiene and health in buildings, with guidelines for ventilation, water supply, wastewater disposal, and moisture control.
  • DB-HE (Ahorro de Energía): Energy saving, including requirements for thermal insulation, efficient energy use, and the use of renewable energy sources.
  • DB-HR (Protección contra el Ruido): Sound insulation and protection against noise pollution.

Other Important Building Regulations

In addition to the CTE, there are other important regulations applicable to construction projects in Spain:

  • LOE (Ley de Ordenación de la Edificación): Regulates the responsibilities of various actors in the construction process and provides guarantees for the protection of property owners and users.
  • NBE (Normas Básicas de la Edificación): Additional basic standards that regulate certain technical aspects of construction, such as earthquake resistance and structural integrity.
  • Regional and Municipal Ordinances: Regional and municipal regulations may impose additional requirements specific to certain areas or municipalities.

Renovations of Existing Homes

The new building code primarily applies to new homes but is also applicable to certain aspects of existing home renovations. It is not mandatory to fully adapt existing homes to the new regulations, but specific changes, such as replacing windows, must comply with the new standards. In cases of major renovations where only the structure remains, the new building code is fully applicable.

In summary, the Código Técnico de la Edificación (CTE) ensures that both new constructions and renovations in Spain meet modern requirements for safety, health, sustainability, and accessibility. These regulations help create high-quality homes that contribute to a better living environment.