October 2017

As of 2017 an architect is required to build a house of over 150 m2!

The threshold over which a building permit application must be signed by an architect changed in the spring of 2017. It has gone from 170 to 150 m2 of floor area for the planned building, a measure that certainly affects the various players in the sector including housebuilders, prime contractors and architectural firms

The law now requires that an architect be involved, whether the building project is public or private. It is a way to promote architects, who are qualified to design buildings that are as aesthetic as functional. Their grounding in bioclimatic architecture and their familiarity with the many urban planning laws and regulations are certainly no luxury for many clients! For buildings destined for agricultural use, an architect is only required if the floor area exceeds 800m2.

Will the new law impact the average cost of a new house?
Yes, according to the LCA (housebuilders’ union) which has been working for many years on improving products and energy efficiency while controlling final consumer costs to adapt them better to the detached housing market.

Not necessarily, according to a Senate report published in summer of 2014. Its authors state that the “building cost” viewed long-term was less when an architect was involved.

The Vice-President of the National Architects’ Council CNOA (Conseil national de l’Ordre des Architectes) François Rouanet, and the Vice-President of the Architects’ Union UNSFA (Union Nationale des Syndicats Français d’Architectes) Lionel Carli, jointly stated that “it is neither more or less than the return to the 1977 threshold on architecture which was recently repealed by the ‘surface area’ decree.”


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