European Federation of Foundation Contractors

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AIF – Italian Association

AIF is an acronym for National Association of Foundation Companies. AIF was founded in 2002 within the ANCE system (Italian Association of Construction Contractors) for the promotion and protection of Italian companies specializing in underground works.

In 2012 AIF started an innovative project by creating a new federation called “FIAS – Italian Federation of Specialized Associations”, with the union of 4 Associations, which meets the demands of the underground works’ category:
• AIF (National Association of Foundation Companies)
• ANISIG (National Association of Specialized companies in geognostic investigations)
• ANIPA (National Association of Hydrogeology and Water Wells)
• ANIG HP (National Association of Geothermal Equipment Heat Pump)

AIF companies are currently 43; despite their diversity determined by geographic and market factors, they share some essential characteristics, such as:
• high economic investment in equipment, with high technological content;
• presence of highly qualified personnel (technical graduates – specialized workers);
• ongoing professional training regarding the new technologies applied to materials, to product realization processes and performance (ie. “Driving License” for complex machines’ operators).

Nevertheless, the number of member companies has been reduced by approximately 50% compared to 2009 because of the deep crisis that has hit Italy in recent years (and Europe), especially as far as the construction industry is concerned.

In the past 14 years and nowadays, the main AIF targets have been the following:
• AIF carries out a policy of regulatory reforms aimed at obtaining fairer contract terms and more guarantees in terms of qualifications, in order to restore dignity to companies specializing in underground works.
• The fundamental participation in the EFFC working groups, that has permitted AIF to get closer to normative and technological issues in Europe.
• AIF promotes and implements training projects and professional development of human resources (rig driver’s license), as well as the continuous improvement of working conditions, both in terms of safety and innovation, thanks to a positive dialogue with trade realities.
• AIF wants to be given the dignity that belongs to companies performing highly specialized works that require huge investments and high levels of professional skills and technology.

SAFETY AT WORK – TRAINING OPERATORS «Patentino» operatori macchine complesse

The “Driving License for Drill Rig Operators“, called “Patentino” in Italy, for complex machines’ operators (large and small diameter pile rigs) whose creation in 2008 in Italy was spurred by the need to qualify and certify specialized workers in the field of special works (foundations, consolidations, underground surveys), is aimed at improving the safety conditions of employees and, at the same time, at empowering workers with knowledge and respect of the basic rules concerning personal protection.
“Patentino” was developed in collaboration with FORMEDIL (Italian National Agency for Education and Professional Training in Buildings).
“Patentino” is a unique training project in Italy, entered into the Italian Construction Code since 2008, and it provides complex machinery operators with the qualifying requirements thanks to a specific training.
Specific training courses to operate complex machines (two different types depending on the drill diameter – large or small) are organized by “Scuola Edile”, a training center for the building and construction industry.
Driving license for small diameter piles includes: micropiles; soil nails; Jet grouting; injections; geognostic drillings.
Driving license for large diameter piles includes: Diaphragm Walls; Bored Piles; Vibro Compaction; Sheet Pile walls.

To sum up:
Main course criteria: safety at work on building sites; environmental management; large or small diameter drilling: type of machines used and safety procedures carried out; safe maintenance of the machine; engine and maintenance; safety at the building site’s workshop; presentation, positioning, drilling tests, transportation of large-diameter drill rigs; advanced technologies and possible developments.
Length of the course:
Qualification Course (40 hours) for operators with 3 years experience.
INSERTION course (570 hours in 3 years – 190 hours year, 30 hours are theoretical and 160 hours are practical) for young people over 18 years old.
Update course (16 hours course for operators who have been working less than two years in the last 5 years of license validity).
Awarded Certificate: Certificate of attendance/driving license (license lasts 5 years)

CO2 Carbon Calculator (EFFC-DFI)

AIF, within a special EFFC working group on environmental sustainability, has contributed to the development of a computer tool that allows users to calculate CO2 emissions during all phases of the construction site, with the aim of reducing emissions and the environmental impact of foundations and of consolidation works.

Italian Guidelines EN 16228

The safe use of work equipment has always been one of primary importance for AIF. The recent collaboration of AIF with ANCE (Italian Association of Construction Contractors), INAIL (Italian National Insurance Institute Accidents at Work), Italian Ministry of Labour, the Technical Committee of Italian Regions, as well as Confindustria and ANIMA (Federation of the Italian Associations of Mechanical and Engineering Industries), has led to the publication of INAIL guidelines “small drilling machines document – Evolution of the state of the art concerning protection of the moving parts involved in the production process”

Italian Foundation’s companies hoping for a new Era of the Contract law

AIF has been working for years to obtain improvement of the procurement law’s construction system by political Institutions, in order to select economic operators on the basis of OBJECTIVE CRITERIA that would certify and identify the real foundation companies.
EU directives on public procurement and concession laws have been implemented in Italy with the publication of a legislative decree on April19th, 2016.
The new procurement law has developed some very basic principles to ensure the quality of contracted works and the safety of building sites.
AIF has focused attention on the evolution of the most important rules included in the new law text, in particular on the review of the qualification system, based on the real capacity of enterprises (experience, expertise, property of resources).

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