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The processing of the build license of your ARKIHAUS home

A recurring question from our customers is related to the process of processing the build license of their ARKIHAUS house. It is for this reason that below we will detail the process in broad strokes, so that you as a future owner understand its implications.

To do any type of building, is necessary the build license issued by the competent authority of the municipality where the land is located. In the first instance it is important to understand that the processing of the build license is an administrative act with very technical aspects, for this reason it is a service that at ARKIHAUS we offer to the future owner, through our architecture and engineering department, in order to to make the correct and timely follow-up to all the technical aspects related to the build license and to avoid setbacks in the construction stage of your home.

ARKIHAUS has a non-refundable fee for the processing of the build license of your home. Includes site visits, meetings, professional services, printing, and associated administrative expenses. Municipal fees are not included in our rate. You will be informed in a timely manner during the processing of your license about these municipal expenses.

The license process has two parts:

  1. The production work of the specific technical information required for the project in your land. At this stage, the design of the ARKIHAUS home model selected by you is adapted to your specific requirements. There is architectural, structural engineering, sanitary and electrical work based on the geotechnical and soil studies of your land that must be done in order to produce the information required in step # 2.
  2. The presentation and follow-up to the competent authorities of all the documents required for the project’s build license application.

What is a build license?

The land use plan (POT in spanish) is based on the principles of preference of the collective interest over individual interest, the equitable distribution of burdens and benefits, and the ecological and social function of property. That is why whenever a build project is planned, the prior authorization or build license issued by the urban curator or the competent authority in each municipality is needed. The issuance of the build license includes the certification of land use and compliance with the standards established by the POT.

How long does it take to process a build license?

Approximately 45 business days, counted from the filing of the project in legal and due form, according to National Decree 1077/2015 and 1203/2017, so that the curatorships can rule on the requests.

Once the technical, legal, structural, urban and architectural review of the project has been carried out, the minutes of observations and corrections will be drawn up once, if applicable, in which the applicant is informed about the corrections or clarifications that must be made to the project and the additional documents you must provide to decide on the application.

The applicant will have a period of thirty (30) business days to respond to the request. This term may be extended, at the request of a party, up to an additional term of fifteen (15) business days. During this period, the term for issuing the license will be suspended. After this time, if the project does not comply with all the observations, the curatorship terminates the process, that is why the technical and administrative monitoring that we provide at ARKIHAUS is very important. If it complies; Once the corrections requested to the project have been corrected within the established terms and the urban delineation tax and the variable charge have been canceled, the curatorship proceeds with the issuance of the respective license and its notification.

A build license can take approximately 2 to 5 months.

Requirements for processing

  1. Copy of the land tradition certificate, whose date of issue is not more than one month before the date of the application.
  2. Copy of the identity document of the owner of the land in the case of natural persons or certificate of existence and legal representation, whose date of issue is not more than one month, in the case of legal persons.
  3. Special power duly granted, before a notary or judge of the republic, so that ARKIHAUS acts as agent.
  4. Copy of the document or private declaration of the property tax of the last year in relation to the land, where the alphanumeric nomenclature or identification of the property appears. This requirement will not be required when there is another official document based on which the address of the property that is the object of the application can be established.
  5. The relationship of the address of the neighboring properties to the project object of the request. Adjoining properties are understood to be those that have a common boundary with the property or properties that are the object of the license application. This requirement will not be required in the case of properties completely surrounded by public space or located in non-suburban rural areas.
  6. The certification issued by the public service providers must be attached, stating that the property has immediate availability of public services. In addition, the information that supports the direct access to the property to be transferred from a public vehicle must be presented under the conditions of the corresponding urban regulation.


Before we get to the first step we will go through a basic checklist to make sure there is not a major obstacle preventing us from beginning the licensing and construction process. The checklist includes the following:

  • The confirmation of ownership ( Tradition Certificate).
  • The basic dimensions of the lot, (Boundary Plane and Topography Plane – heights at 1 mt).
  • Availability of soil studies carried out at the ideal implant point of the house.
  • ARKIHAUS house model to be built on the lot.
  • Conditions of the site where the work will be carried out (access, accessibility of the utility, availability of services – electricity and water).

Step 1: Feasibility study and planning

In this step we will help you determine technically if the construction of the ARKIHAUS housing unit selected by you for your specific land is technically feasible.

The feasibility study will include consultation with the architect / designer of the specific ARKIHAUS house model selected by you, the projection of the size of the final house selected and the development of the plan on the specific land. In this step the ARKIHAUS architecture and engineering department will meet with the planning department of the municipality where your land is located to obtain the most current requirements, codes and criteria related to zoning and other applicable specific requirements.

With all the information previously obtained, ARKIHAUS will prepare the necessary documents for presentation to the curatorial department of the municipality for the approval of your project.

Step 2: Build license

In this step we will complete design drawings including structural engineering (lot specific), mechanical, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, Title 24 energy calculations, and supporting documents as required by the local building department. Once all the technical documentation of the construction project of your ARKIHAUS house for your land is completed, it is entered in the curatorship of the respective municipality.

The curatorship has to carry out the study, processing and issuance of the licenses, within a maximum period of up to 45 business days (Decree 1077 of 2015 Article. to resolve the requests for licenses and modifications. This time is counted from the date on which the request has been filed in legal and due form.

In case of observations by the curatorship, the amount of time it takes to go through the approval process may vary according to the municipality, however ARKIHAUS will carry out a technical follow-up of the case in order to respond diligently to any request.

The build permit phase of your project is usually the second longest step in the process and the time required for this process is almost impossible to predict. One advantage that ARKIHAUS houses have over other projects is that our construction designs are standardized and, in some jurisdictions, may have been pre-approved, which will involve a review and approval that could be very quick.

Step 3: Construction

ARKIHAUS in its standardized construction procedures provides quality control and inspection services at key stages of construction. We will also be available for consultation and to answer any questions or concerns that may arise during the construction project from the future owner. Each partial quality control inspection can be studied in detail by the future owner using the VIRTUAL CONSTRUCTION SUITE (VCS). At the end of the project we will prepare a final report documenting the scope and findings of our inspections for delivery to the construction department of your municipality.

Your ARKIHAUS home project is scheduled to be built in 6 months, on average half the time of a traditional home construction project.