Planning permission or developmental approval refers to the approval needed for construction or expansion (including significant renovation), and sometimes for demolition, in some jurisdictions. It is usually given in the form of a building permit (or construction permit).
House building permits, for example, are subject to Building codes. There is also a “plan check” to check compliance with plans for the area, if any. For example, one cannot obtain permission to build a nightclub in an area where it is inappropriate such as a high-density suburb. The criteria for planning permission are a part of urban planning and construction law, and are usually managed by town planners employed by local governments.
Failure to obtain a permit can result in fines, penalties, and demolition of unauthorized construction if it cannot be made to meet code.
Generally, the new construction must be inspected during construction and after completion to ensure compliance with national, regional, and local building codes.
Since building permits usually precede outlays for construction, employment, financing and furnishings, they are often used as a leading indicator for developments in other areas of the economy.
Construction covers the processes involved in delivering buildings, infrastructure and industrial facilities, and associated activities through to the end of their life. It typically starts with planning, financing, and design, and continues until the asset is built and ready for use; construction also covers repairs and maintenance work, any works to expand, extend and improve the asset, and its eventual demolition, dismantling or decommissioning.
Some construction projects are small renovations or repair jobs, where the owner may act as designer, paymaster and laborer for the entire project. However, more complex or ambitious projects usually require additional multi-disciplinary expertise and manpower, so the owner may commission one or more specialist businesses to undertake detailed planning, design, construction and handover of the work.
- On-site construction
- Commissioning and handover
- Maintenance, repair and improvement
Interior design is the art and science of enhancing the interior of a building to achieve a healthier and more aesthetically pleasing environment for the people using the space. An interior designer is someone who plans, researches, coordinates, and manages such enhancement projects.
Interior design is a multifaceted profession that includes conceptual development, space planning, site inspections, programming, research, communicating with the stakeholders of a project, construction management, and execution of the design.
Architecture (Latin architectura, from the Greek ἀρχιτέκτων arkhitekton “architect”, from ἀρχι- “chief” and τέκτων “creator”) is both the process and the product of planning, designing, and constructing buildings or other structures. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural symbols and as works of art. Historical civilizations are often identified with their surviving architectural achievements.
While artists work from real to the abstract, architects must work from the abstract to the real. Architecture, beneath all its limitations of engineering, safety, function, climate and economy, arouse us with designs in space and light achieved in the abstract.
Architecture is everywhere. Each and every building: home, school, office, hospital and supermarket were designed for their particular purpose. It is of vital importance that these buildings, and in turn the environments they form and the neighbourhoods and cities they are a part of, are designed to be the best possible buildings for their specific context, use and the people who use them.
A topographic survey locates all surface features of a property, and depicts all natural features and elevations. In essence it is a 3-dimensional map of a 3-dimensional property showing all natural and man-made features and improvements. Specifically, it shows their location, size, height and any changes in elevation.
When to request a Topographic Survey
Topographic surveys, also known as contour surveys, may be required as part of real estate transactions, civil engineering design and construction projects, including:
- New construction
- Remodeling projects to existing structures
- Utility design
- Road or bridge design or improvements
- Grading or drainage projects
- Topographic surveys are required by many local government bodies to determine the existing conditions and elevations of a site.
- Together with a boundary survey, topographic surveys are used by architects and engineers to create accurate and appropriate designs based on existing conditions.
Using data from Topographic Surveys
Measurements for topographic surveys are done either with a surveying-quality GPS unit, or with an electronic EDM instrument. The results of the topographic survey are presented as contour lines on a site map, and can be enhanced by computer software to provide interactive views. Partner’s CAD specialists are able to input this data to model how the topography may change through planned improvements.
Clients can use topographic surveys to determine and plan features such as drainage ditches, grading, or other features, using the natural landscape as the basis for such improvements. Engaging a professional surveyor to conduct a topographic survey prior to real estate transaction or the commencement or a construction project will ensure that the land’s features will be suitable for its intended use. In addition, a topographic survey can provide valuable insight in to how a site’s previous or current use how affected the land, enabling better planning for future use.
Energy Performance certificates
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) provides potential buyers and tenants with an indication of the energy efficiency of a property. The certificate will contain information about the property’s typical energy costs and will recommend ways to reduce energy use to make the property more energy-efficient.
Since 2012, EPCs were updated and simplified to support the Green Deal. The Green Deal was introduced to help homeowners make energy-saving improvements to their property. The EPC is valid for twelve years and the survey of the property will usually take between 45 minutes and an hour.
Energy Performance Certificates are regulated by Buildings Regulation 2010 (ΚΕΝΑΚ).
The EPC turned 10 years old, meaning that homeowners thinking of selling their homes should check their energy performance rating is still valid, as they will not be able to sell their homes without one.
The new EPC regulations require all eligible properties to be improved to a minimum standard. It will be unlawful to rent a property that does not meet the minimum energy efficiency standard (unless there is an exemption) and a penalty of up to £4,000 may be imposed for breaches.
How much does an EPC Cost?
EPC costs range from €70+VAT – there is no fixed cost so it is worth comparing prices from multiple companies. To get the best EC cost, make sure you get the assessment completed directly rather than through an estate agent.
The price of your energy performance certificate will also depend on several factors regarding your property, such as the type of property you own and how many bedrooms it has. The location of your property and the area you live in can also affect the EC cost.
Do I need an EPC?
An EPC is required for buildings that are to be sold, rented or built in Greece. The EPC must be commissioned before the property is put on the market and it must be available to be shown to prospective buyers or tenants if requested. Bear in mind that those given 10 years ago will now need to be updated.
If you cannot produce an EPC at the time required, you could receive a fine.
There are, however, buildings that do not require an EPC, including:
Places of worship
- Holiday accommodation and residential buildings used less than 4 months a year
- Industrial sites and workshops
- Buildings that are to be demolished
- Buildings intended to be used for less than 2 years
- Stand-alone buildings with less than 50 square metres of useful floor space.
Since January 2013, listed buildings are now also exempt from requiring an EPC, as significant alterations to the character and appearance of the buildings would have to occur to ensure compliance with the energy efficiency requirements.
Reducing environmental impact of homes
Our homes already account for 27% of the UK’s carbon emissions contributing to global climate change. The Energy Performance Certificate is designed to help homeowners reduce the environmental impact of their homes. The Energy Savings Trust estimates that following the recommendations in an Energy Performance Certificate, an average of £300 a year can be saved in fuel bills.
Only qualified and certificated Domestic Energy Assessors are allowed to prepare Energy Performance Certificates. For more information on Energy Performance Certificates and to help you to understand the requirements, visit the Government website on EPCs.