Static testing fundamental for the usability of buildings


Emma Potter

The procedure for obtaining habitability for a property has undergone various transformations over the years, going from the old Habitability/Usability certification issued by the Municipality to the most recent Certified Report of Usabilitywhich is now the responsibility of a qualified technician.

This regulatory evolution is sanctioned by art. 24 of Presidential Decree 380/01, as updated by Legislative Decree 222/2016.

But what does Static Testing actually imply in the context of these procedures? How does it affect building safety and what are the penalties for non-compliance with the regulations?

The certified usability report

The Certified Report of Occupancy (SCA) is the fundamental document that certifies the possibility of using a building. It replaced the previous Certification of Habitability, simplifying the process but maintaining high standards of safety and regulatory compliance.

According to the art. 24 of Presidential Decree 380/01, the SCA must include Static Testing or a declaration of regular execution issued by the Works Manager for minor works. This regulation ensures that each building is structurally safe and suitable for its intended use.

The role of Static Testing

Static testing is an essential prerequisite for obtaining the usability of a building. This technical verification, conducted by a qualified structural engineer, aims to ensure that the building is able to withstand the expected loads without risk of subsidence or collapse.

Static testing includes a series of tests and detailed inspections of the load-bearing structures, which may include load tests on beams and pillars, foundation checks and checks on the materials used.

This procedure is mandatory for all new buildings and for existing ones undergoing significant structural interventions, such as extensions or renovations that affect the stability of the building.

The lack of Static Testing not only precludes the release of the Occupancy Certificate, but also prevents the legal use of the property. Without this certification, a building cannot be occupied or sold, as it does not comply with the safety standards established by current laws.

The static test certificate must be attached to the Certified Occupancy Report (SCA) to demonstrate compliance with building regulations. This document certifies that all interventions have been carried out correctly and that the structure is safe and stable.

In the case of minor interventions, a declaration of regular execution issued by the Works Director may be sufficient, but only if these interventions do not compromise the overall structural safety.

Penalties for lack of static testing

The use of buildings made of reinforced concrete or with a metal structure without a static test certificate constitutes a crime, as established by art. 75 of Presidential Decree 380/01.

Article 75 of Presidential Decree 380/01

Lack of testing certificate
Anyone who allows the use of the buildings before the issuance of the testing certificate is punished with imprisonment of up to one month or with a fine ranging from 103 euros to 1032 euros.

The jurisprudence, with the sentence of the Criminal Court of Cassation n. 5307/2022, confirmed that this crime has a permanent nature, persisting as long as the building is used without the required certificate.

Penalties can include imprisonment of up to one month or a fine of 103 to 1032 euros. Furthermore, there are administrative consequences, such as the declaration of uninhabitability of the building, provided for by the articles. 26 Presidential Decree 380/01 and art. 222 RD 1265/34.