The new construction or conversion of a property in Mallorca is often a very complex matter implying various tasks. In addition to the construction company and the craftsmen, the architect and the technical architect are involved. In Spain, the latter is referred to as ‘aparejador’ and has a significant role in the success of a building project – even though many developers often still underestimate their importance.
It’s not always been like this. “The profession of the ‘aparejador’ already dates back to the 16th century,” says Gabriel Ferra Mir, technical architect and project manager at the company Edificam in Calvià. “Even at that time, the task of this occupational group was the technical supervision on the construction site. The ‘aparejador’ was and today still is responsible for the compliance of the requirements of the architect regarding statics, construction methods, and materials,” says Mir.
But what exactly is behind these tasks? “The technical architect performs the actual construction management alongside the architect,” explains Gabriel Pérez Moreno, who, just like Gabriel Ferra Mir, has been working as an ‘aparejador’ in Mallorca for many years. The work of the architect and the technical architect are strictly separated regarding the responsibility. “This is best explained as the difference between a composer and a conductor. The composer writes the piece of music while the conductor subsequently turns the notes into a concert with his orchestra,” says Moreno. Which means that the architect specifies what the house, the villa, or the reconstruction has to look like, but the technical architect takes over the practical implementation of the architect’s plan. He decides on the materials to be used, the type of execution and, ultimately, also the operational control.
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However, even before the first cement mixer turns, the ‘aparejador’ comes into action. “Normally, his tasks include the application for all necessary papers and permits from municipalities and the island council,” says Gabriel Ferra Mir. In most cases, the technical architect is also responsible for adhering to all construction terms and, as a construction manager, supervises the compliance with legal safety and health regulations for all workers involved on site.
The area of responsibility also includes quality and cost control. “If material is delivered, the technical architect checks the bills,” says Gabriel Pérez Moreno. Similarly, he checks whether technical or building defects creep into the works or whether the ordered material has the required quality. “That way he is the most important contact person for all companies involved in construction,” says Gabriel Pérez Moreno.
Is a technical architect statutory for every construction on Mallorca though? “A technical architect should always be commissioned for new buildings as well as major renovations,” says Gabriel Ferra Mir. “He guarantees the quality of the work to be performed and the professionalism of the companies involved in the construction.” Therefore, and especially in the case of costly projects, an ‘aparejador’ should always be there.
“In many cases, only construction companies are contracted for smaller projects or renovations,” says Gabriel Pérez Moreno. This saves money initially, but can cost the builders dear in the long term, since many construction companies lack the technical expertise that modern projects nowadays require. “Hence, it is always advisable to consult a technical architect for any type of construction project.”
Conclusion: If you want to save yourself a lot of time when building or renovating in Mallorca, you should always hire an ‘aparejador’. As a conductor on the building site, he not only guarantees the quality of the work to be performed, but also controls the time and cost schedule. As a ‘deputy’ of the builder, the technical architect can solve any problems that may arise, as well as carry out the corresponding negotiations.
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