The terms restructuring, redevelopment and major maintenance are slightly confusing terms that are often used interchangeably. In Italy, each one has a very precise definition according to specific regulations, and tax breaks are often available for works that comply with these characteristics.
WHAT ARE BUILDING RENOVATION WORKS?
Building renovation generally refers to a series of interventions aimed at reversing the deterioration that all buildings suffer over time, improving safety and comfort standards and bringing the building into line with new aesthetic standards. Renovation works include, for example:
- demolishing and rebuilding a property, even if its shape and volume are compliant
- converting ancillary spaces (such as attics or basements) into living space (homes)
- extending the existing building volume by up to 20%
- changing the intended use
- splitting a property into separate units
- modifying the façade
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WHAT ARE MAJOR MAINTENANCE WORKS?
We often refer to renovations as major maintenance works, i.e. work carried out by a construction company but which doesn’t substantially change the structure and intended use of a property. Major maintenance is carried out to preserve a building, ensure that it complies with current regulations or give it a general makeover. For example:
- replacing external fixtures, windows or shutters by changing the material and type of fixture
- building or adapting ancillary works such as chimneys, heating systems, emergency exit stairs, elevators, etc.
- reinforcing elevated or foundation structures
- renovating stairs and ramps
By contrast, ordinary maintenance refers to the replacement of existing flooring and systems, bathroom or kitchen renovation, moving a door, or replacing and maintaining parts of existing systems.
WHAT DOES RESTORATION AND CONSERVATIVE RENOVATION INVOLVE?
Restoration work is intended to restore, preserve and enhance properties with historic, architectural and environmental value. For these interventions, the use of materials and technologies other than those used for the building’s original construction is allowed, provided they do not undermine the building’s overall character.
Conservative restoration work is intended to improve the hygiene, functionality and state of a building and can also focus on the building’s structures and layout.
WHAT IS URBAN REDEVELOPMENT?
Redevelopment generally means the restoration of an urban area that is usually in disrepair.
A redevelopment project almost always starts with the renovation of spaces and buildings, but is much broader in scope and must also take into consideration the wellbeing of the people who live in or use the area, as well as the general upgrading of the redeveloped area (aesthetic, cultural, hygiene, safety, etc.)
EXAMPLE: REDEVELOPMENT OF CAMPBELL’S COVE IN SYDNEY
SUSTAINABILITY, RENOVATION AND REDEVELOPMENT
In a world where the need for environmental sustainability is ever more pressing, the idea of restoring rather than building from scratch is vital to ensuring sustainable growth, by preserving and optimizing our architectural heritage.
Equally important is the concept of eco-sustainable renovation, which involves the use of green building materials and techniques to improve energy saving through thermal and acoustic insulation, as well as the production of energy from renewable sources
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