Lawyer in Israël


Tama 38

The name ‘Tama 38’ comes from the initials of the Hebrew phrase “Tokhnit ha Metaer ha Artzit”. In English it means the “National Master Plan” and concerns the strengthening of existing buildings against earthquakes. In fact, it is a collection of regulations concerning the risks of earthquakes. In 2005 the government approved the law about the plan that was created by the National Council. A team of consultants and planners chaired by architect Jonah Pitelson designed this plan.

It is a renewal and urban development plan. It concerns all buildings built before 1980 with fragility criteria that do not meet today’s safety standards. Israel is sitting on the Syrian-African rift, so a big earthquake is only a matter of time. There is no “if” there will be an earthquake, the question is “when” and “what magnitude” it will be. There are currently more than one million buildings in Israel that are in danger of collapsing during a severe earthquake. In addition, there is the risk of fire, with or without earthquake. This is also part of the reasons for this building reinforcement plan.

The buildings from before 1980

All the buildings built before 1980 were built without considering today’s safety standards. This presents many enormous risks, the first being their collapse and destruction in the event of an earthquake. The second is the risk of fires. The fire services in Israel are opposed to the government because of the latest amendment to the building code. They say that aws for construction are already lax and do not need to be even more so!

We remember the catastrophic fire of the Grenfell tower in London in June 2017, which left 79 dead. This fire was able to spread because of flammable materials with which the facades of this building were covered. The fire and rescue services have warned that this is exactly what is likely to happen in Israel. There are currently hundreds of buildings from north to south with the same problem as the Grenfell tower.

This warning from fire and rescue services is not based solely on the Grenfell Tower. In June 2016, a 15-storey residential building in Ramat Gan caught fire. The fire was small at first but spread out and quickly reached the upper floors. Fortunately, there were no casualties, but several people had to be treated for smoke inhalation. In both cases, insulation panels placed outside of the buildings are suspected. As they contain polyethylene this suspicion is legitimate but has not yet been proven.

The Tama Plan 38

There are two types of Tama 38, type 1 is the one we are talking about here. Type 2 is called “pinouille / binouille”, meaning “destruction / reconstruction”, and we explain it in another article. Buildings meeting the Tama 38 criteria are examined by experts who decide which type of Tama 38 suits them. In some cases, one of the types is not feasible so the second is decided.

The purpose of the Tama 38 is to rehabilitate buildings built before 1980 by consolidating and renovating them. In addition to reinforcements and improvements there are many benefits for the residents and the contractor s of the building.

In most cases, residents or owners associate themselves with a sponsor or a contractor . Together they will decide what reinforcements and additions they wish to make to the building. The advantage for owners or residents is that the work will not cost them much. For the sponsor/contractor  it is that he can build new apartments upstairs and sell them on the market. The profit they will make will be their gain.

Benefits of Tama 38

Disadvantages of Tama 38

Contract between owners and promoters

When a Tama 38 project is implemented there is first a meeting. It will be between the owners of the building’s apartments and the sponsor/contractor who will take over the work. Both parties will sign a contract stipulating the commitments of each party. In this contract will be mentioned that the sponsor/contractor will have to give the owners a bank guarantee. This in the eventuality where they could not finish the work or should slow it down, whatever the reason.

All project costs are payed by the sponsor or contractor. This includes lawyers’ fees, taxes and other costs, planning, supervision and of course all work. The sponsor/contractor is solely responsible for any deterioration or damage that the apartments in the building may suffer. They also must take the insurances to cover all the risks concerning the whole project.

The sponsor/contractor will be accompanied by a licensed site foreman. The role of the latter will be to ensure that all clauses of the contract are respected. He will also supervise and control the work. Everything must be done according to the specifications of the specifications and the building permit, it is his responsibility.