In Chile, the regulations surrounding architecture and construction are somewhat less restrictive than in places like the United States and Europe, however there is a formal process in place that must be strictly adhered to and followed.
The steps in the process are typically:
1] Contracting an Architect: To construct a house or building in Chile, an architect must be hired, with the required training and credentials, to draft plans of the structure. At Sur Terras we regularly work in conjunction with a local architect and can recommend him to you for your project. For more elaborate projects, or due to your preference or convenience, you can hire your own architect from outside the region.
2] Presenting the Plans to the Local Municipality: After you have contracted an architect and have drafted plans for your structures, these must be formally presented to the local municipality (Departamento de Obras) The municipality will inspect the plans and make sure that they meet all of the local structural, health and safety requirements.
3] Final Inspection of the Property: When your structure is complete, depending on its type (residential or commercial) you may be required to undergo a final inspection by the governing authority. This may include a review by the Chilean Ministry of Health (Autoridad Sanitaria) or the Ministry of Tourism (Sernatur) should your project fall under their jurisdiction.
The above process ensures that your building of structure meets the “minimum requirements” of health and safety as stipulated under Chilean law. However, some clients may wish to exceed these requirements. If this is the case, you will need to make that known to the architect you contract and the contractors you employ to work on the project. At Sur Terras we can put you in touch with professional, reputable architects and contractors to will ensure that all of your requirements are met and that no “short-cuts” will be taken that might compromise health or safety.
Commercial & Tourism Projects:
If you are planning on developing a commercial or tourism project (like a restaurant or hotel), you will be required to meet the building requirements of not only the local municipality, but also of government agencies like the Sanitary Authority and/or the Ministry of Tourism (Sernatur). These agencies have straightforward but strict guidelines that ensure that your project incorporates the necessary infrastructure to support your intended clients. These include things like, adequate potable water supplies, food preparation areas and sanitary facilities for the number of individuals that you anticipate serving. All of these things can be discussed with your architect, who is familiar with the various regulations, prior to planning and construction.
You also may need to rezone your property, from a rural, agrarian designation to another designation that involves tourism. This is known as changing the use of the soil (Cambio de uso de suelo) and is covered more thoroughly on our Real Estate Development page.