Superbonus 110% and variants in progress: what a confusion!

Superbonus 110% and variants in progress: what a confusion!
Superbonus 110% and variants in progress: what a confusion!

When a legislative measure speaks of simplifications, there is never any need to rest assured. Especially in the technical field, methods and timing are never the result of random choices. And on the choice of the legislator to “simplify” the superbonus 110% procedures, more than one observation needs to be made.

Superbonus 110% and variants in progress: how they communicate

It is now known that Legislative Decree no. 77/2021 (Simplification Decree-bis, already converted into law) has profoundly modified art. 119 of Legislative Decree no. 34/2020 (Relaunch Decree). And among the most “important” changes are the new paragraphs 13-ter, 13-quater and 13-quinquies. Three paragraphs that should be analyzed jointly especially for the overall scope of the desired “simplification”.

The penultimate sentence of paragraph 13-quinquies reads “In case of changes in progress, these are communicated at the end of the works and constitute an integration of the presented CILA“. We are therefore talking about the 110% superbonus interventions that do not provide for the demolition and reconstruction of the building, which following the entry into force of the Simplification-bis Decree must be initiated following the presentation of a particular Commencement of Works Communication. Asseverato defined with a new model published by the Ministry of Public Administration on 4 August 2021 (the CILAS).

Basically, from 1 June 2021 all superbonus interventions without demolition and reconstruction go to CILAS. In the case of structural interventions within CILAS, the report of the works presented or the seismic authorization referred to in Presidential Decree no. 380/2001, whose release is requested.

A very delicate topic which, combined with the will of the legislator in having wanted the variants in progress to be communicated at the end of the works, raises more than a doubt about the structural interventions in which it is legitimate, for a thousand and more reasons, than in progress of work, a new deposit or a new authorization from the Civil Engineers is necessary. If so, what is the correct procedure to follow? I discussed it with my colleague
Eng. Cristian Angeli, my main reference in the discussions concerning structural interventions and
Sismabonus expert.

The substantial variants in the sismabonus project

Request – In the implementation of a seismic improvement project, it may happen that during the work you realize that you have to make substantial changes?

Else if it can happen … When working on existing buildings with structural interventions (seismic improvement, adaptation or local interventions) the variables involved are really many and therefore it is often inevitable to resort to the instrument of variants. In some cases they concern marginal aspects of the design, while in others they are more profound and then we speak of substantial variations.

If we refer to structural design, both are regulated very differently from region to region. In principle, it can be said that those involving significant variations in the effects of seismic action or in the resistances of the structures or their ductility fall into the casuistry of substantial variants, such as:

  • Adoption of a construction system different from that foreseen in the initial project
  • modifications to the structural organism, for elevations, extensions, variations in the number of floors inside and above ground
  • creation or elimination of structural joints
  • variations in the typology of foundations
  • variations in stiffness in the plane of the decks
  • changes in the distribution in plan or in height of the vertical stiffening structural elements (such as cores, partitions, bracing)
  • increasing changes in use classes and nominal life.

All the others are non-substantial or minor variants, whose interventions can be performed in deviation from the qualification title and then regularized before the construction site ends.

So if we think of a building renovation project for a masonry building, it is understood that it is sufficient to eliminate a load-bearing wall or to introduce micro-piles to deepen the bottom to fall into a substantial variant which, as mentioned, requires written notice to the one-stop shop for the building, before carrying out the work (Article 93, paragraph 1 of Presidential Decree 380 of 2001).

The variants before the Simplification Decree-bis

Request – Before the Simplification-bis Decree, Sismabonus’s interventions were in SCIA or building permit, how were the variants that require prior filing of projects or authorization from the Civil Engineers managed?

Yes, perhaps it may be useful to summarize the passages that characterized a Sismabonus practice before the simplification bis decree.

First of all, the structural designer, after having made his good project, deposited it at the competent offices with form B attached, in which he also estimated the amount of the work. Then, if during the work due to unforeseen events, errors or changing needs of the client, a variant was necessary (for example to eliminate a wall), the structural designer, together with the architectural one, updated their drawings (the structural project l ‘one and the architectural project the other) and deposited them respectively at the offices of the former Civil Engineers and at the Sportello Unico. If the (essential) variant involved an appreciable increase in the amount of work or changes to the seismic parameters, it would also have included a new module B, updated ad hoc.

Clearly, the works subject to variation (the elimination of the wall in the example) could not be carried out until the projects deposited did not acquire the validity of a qualifying title (due to the expiry of the terms of filing or due to the explicit issue of authorization by the entities). In the meantime, the other works, if not strictly related to the one subject to variation, could go on and, with them, the 110% process could also continue with sworn statements and so on. A very Italian procedure to which however we had become accustomed and which, all in all, worked well.

The variants after the Simplification Decree-bis

Request – Now all Superbonus interventions that do not foresee the demolition and reconstruction of the building go to CILAS and the variants must be communicated at the end of the works as an integration. How should we behave in the case of substantial changes that require a new green light from the Civil Engineers?

The answer to this question requires a lot of caution. Indeed, there is probably no official answer to date, in the absence of clarification from the Government.

My opinion, I hope I am wrong, is that the “substantial” variants, for which written notice is required, are not compatible with the CILAS regime, for the simple fact that they must be communicated before the work to the competent bodies, to allow the exercise of the power of control. If the CILAS can be changed only at the end (and the text of article 119 paragraph 13 leaves no doubts in this sense), the two things automatically become incompatible. Recently – and even more imperatively than art. 119 – even the AdE expressed itself on this point, reiterating in the Superbonus Guide (vers. September 2021) that “As regards the variants in progress, they must be communicated at the end of the works”. He says that “they must be communicated”, not that they can be …

With these premises, excluding the presentation of the variant CILAS during the works, because it is expressly forbidden, only non-substantial structural changes would be manageable with a final variant, i.e. those concerning individual parts or elements of the work, which do not produce significant changes on the overall behavior of the structure.

But the problem, unfortunately, does not only concern structural work.

Some works relating to energy saving may also fall into the category of extraordinary maintenance and therefore their modification, if radical, may also require written notice. Consider, for example, the case of a variant in progress for the addition of a coat on the facade, typical of Ecobonus. A change of this nature certainly cannot be regularized at the time of the declaration of completion of the works with an ex post CILA.

Not to mention the interventions on buildings subject to historical, artistic, architectural, archaeological, landscape, environmental and hydrogeological constraints, as per art. 32 of Presidential Decree 380/01.

It is a very delicate issue because in the event that an intervention already carried out (and requiring prior authorization) was presented at the end of the works with a variant practice, it would constitute a sort of self-declaration of illegitimacy (the intersection between the date of the work invoice and the variant presentation would leave no way out). If detected, such a problem would automatically determine the case of “interventions carried out in breach of the CILA”, with consequent forfeiture of tax benefits (all), as required by Article 49 of Presidential Decree no. 380/2001 (as well as sanctions and disputes against all professionals involved, including those who certify compliance).

And if it were a restructuring that includes earthquake and eco-bonus it is clear that a single CILAS practice should describe both interventions because, as is well known, the simultaneous validity of different building titles on the same property is not possible. In other words, the CILAS project would physically include both structural projects and those relating to thermal insulation and systems, often drawn up by different professionals. With related declarations.

If the thermotechnician made a false step by presenting at the end of the works what had to be regularized before, the CILAS would lose its effectiveness, also bringing the anti-seismic improvement works into the hole. And obviously it would be the same thing if the structuralist presented the late variant.

In short, a half disaster. So, once again, it takes a cool head and focus. There emerges the need not to think too much about deadlines, otherwise we get caught up in a hurry. We need to carefully consider the design choices and, in the case of the Sismabonus, carry out all the investigations on the existing structures and speak well with our customers to understand what they want and what they don’t want.

If this analysis of mine is correct, for safety, it is better to avoid essential variations to the projects presented with CILAS, since they would seem completely incompatible with the building regime introduced by the simplification-bis decree. At least until there are clarifications which, in this case, would be really important.

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