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Building in Italy: a seesaw between successes and failures

In recent years, the Italian construction market has been characterized by a bearish trend. After the strong crisis that lasted for about a decade, at the end of 2015, a recovery was announced for the following year that only came about in the second half of 2016.

The much-anticipated positive peak then underwent a new setback and then recovered again but without any impressive results. From various studies and statistics provided by ANCE (National Association of Construction Building), today’s tendency is much more stable and the recovery predictions for the current year appear to be very good.

 

Strong market recovery for 2017

The 2017 year is experiencing a significant boost in infrastructure investments and a strengthening of existing tax incentives, with particular attention to all the seismic safety measures and increase in energy efficiency. All of this is contributing to the relaunching of the construction sector. The predictions are hoping for an increase of 0.8% of investments in constructions; a prediction that goes beyond the actual 0.3% registered in 2016 that would offset, at least in part, the 35% drop that occurred in the past decade.

 

Constructions in anti-seismic steel

There are many construction typologies and not all of them have the full approval of builders and clients. Among the constructions that are changing the way in which architecture is carried out in Italy, there are prefabricated, anti-seismic houses in steel that are reaching the top of the housing market for their validity and efficiency in housing safety, especially in those areas subject to recurrent seismic events.

 

Advantages of prefabricated houses in steel

A structure in steel has a “dissipative structure” that, in case a seismic event should occur, has the ability to absorb seismic waves and disperse them, thereby avoiding structural damage of very serious magnitude to buildings. The efficiency of these constructions has been proven in actual real-life situations especially in countries where seismic events are very recurring such as Japan and the state of California in the USA.

Steel is flexible, 100% recyclable and represents an optimal response to even stricter construction requirements. Constructions in steel, whether they are single or two-family villas, skyscrapers or any other type, require much less costly construction work compared to structures in reinforced concrete.

Even the actual structural weight of a house in steel is much lower than the houses built with traditional materials, which makes this type of construction safe, significantly reducing the volume of inertial forces generated by an earthquake that may compress the structure itself.

Affordable costs

On the whole, houses in steel have more affordable costs when compared to those of traditional houses. Although the market costs of steel are high, the savings are generated by the reduced length of time of construction, and consequently the reduced labor and work hours. Further savings also come from the low maintenance costs of houses in steel that are less vulnerable to decay and may last for many years in full efficiency.