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Key points of the Law on Architecture

© Col·legi d'Arquitectes de Catalunya (COAC)
Catalonia’s Law on Architecture, the first such legislation in Spain and the second in Europe, establishes architecture as an activity of general interest and the foundation for wellbeing and social cohesion. Accordingly, the Government and public administrations of Catalonia shall establish actions to foster and encourage architectural and town planning quality and measures to promote the proper framework for action in public procurement and also as a benchmark for activities in the private sector.

Based on this premise, the Law’s preamble notes Europe’s legal precedents that form the basis for the declaration of architecture as an activity of general interest and its legislative implementation. The main points of the Law on Architecture are:

- The definition of architecture as an activity of general interest and the provision of measures for its promotion.

- The establishment of measures to place value on and promote the role of architecture in people’s wellbeing.

- Promotion and highlighting of the innovative role of architecture and its potential for encouraging sustainable development.

- Stipulation of the measures to foster and boost architectural quality.

- Promotion of quality in architecture by means of exemplary public building policies.

- Stipulation that the Government of Catalonia shall define the guide value for professional fees in the field of architecture.

- In architecture tender processes, evaluation of quality criteria shall prevail over price.

- Promotion of diversity in and young persons’ access to public procurement.

- Establishment of the procurement arrangements and value above which the public administrations must contract the architectural process and town planning instruments.

- Boosting of the profile of and appreciation for architecture by means of mechanisms such as the Premi Catalunya for Architecture and Built Heritage and the Council for Architectural and Planning Quality of Catalonia, and the creation of architectural quality consultative bodies for local administrations.

- The carrying out of public tenders by means of the two-round design competition with jury involvement arrangement.

- Promotion of the proper makeup of the juries in public procurement tender processes to guarantee selection of the best bid, as well as transparency and the obligatory disclosure of jury minutes and bids presented.

- Noting in the preamble that continuity between the design and works management is one of the aims of the law.