Quality in Construction

The Quality in Construction Unit engages in two clearly distinct areas of activity. Both aim to further construction quality, the first by lending scientific and technical support to applied research, and the second by granting quality marks. The unit also fosters knowledge transfer via publications and training.

The most prominent activities under the first heading include: the formulation, in conjunction with public institutions (ministries and regional departments), of regulations, manuals and technical guides geared to industry actors; engagement in applied and pre-regulatory research; and participation in working groups.

The second group of activities focuses on furthering quality through the issue of seals, conformity certificates and other marks of quality; this area is undergoing rapid growth, in particular in connection with the CIETAN conformity seal for precast concrete members.

Since its creation in 1970, the CIETAN seal of conformity (Spanish acronym for Eduardo Torroja Institute – ANDECE Conformity) has aimed essentially to further the quality of precast concrete members. It is presently the only officially recognized quality seal for slabs, pursuant to accreditation awarded in 1981 and renewed yearly by the Ministry of Housing as provided in the Ministerial Order of 12 December 1977 on building quality seals and marks. Precast members bearing the seal therefore benefit from the preferential treatment respecting control requirements stipulated by Spanish legislation.

This voluntary seal is a user guarantee of highly reliable products that have passed statistically contrasted quality tests conducted in accordance with internal and external control processes laid down in technical regulations drafted by experts and approved by the CIETAN Commission. These controls are performed and supervised under the scientific and technical authority of the IETcc.

Manned by specialists in all disciplines relating to building safety (structural, fire and use) and habitability (healthy buildings, noise protection and energy savings), as well as accessibility and, naturally, building construction sustainability, the unit’s horizontal organizational structure affords it a strategically integrated vision.

The proven experience of the unit’s staff is attested to by their enlistment to participate in the formulation and coordination of the Technical Building Code, Spain’s new legislation on building quality, as well as by the unit’s thirty-plus years of experience in awarding the CIETAN seal of conformity.