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  1. Terug pieng: Structural Design -
  2. Anold Mhumhi sê:


    I just wanted to understand how far can we build from a river bank or a stream?


  3. Hi there. I would like to build a tiny house in my mom’s back garden. What are the building restrictions and regulations for Table View Area, Cape Town? Thanks so much.

  4. Corlia Mathews sê:

    Good evening

    I would like to find out what the height is of the level between the natural ground level and the floor height of a patio, wooden deck or stoep?

    At what height does one need to start putting up railings? and is there a building regulation (number/reference) i can go and have a look at?

  5. Ester Du Toit sê:

    Good day, may one erect a wooden Wendy house on the corner of a street or on the pavement/sidewalk of a street? This will be outside of the property owners boundary walls, in which case and in actual fact it becomes municipal ground? Thus no permission from municipality granted and no permission from other neighbors in the direct vicinity. What can be done get this removed. Where does one find proper guidelines in term of Wendy House erections and where they are and are not allowed to be erected as to inform other persons this is not legal

  6. You have every right to ask the seller for the plans – you can also see if the local authority has copies (they should have). There is only one set of building regulations in SA – the National Building Regulations – although local by-laws also come into play, particularly when it comes to building lines. Your local authority should be able to give you info about by-laws.

  7. Annette van Rhyn sê:

    Afternoon Jane, please advise where I can find information on building regulations for the Alberton, Johannesburg area? We are in the process of buying a property and I am not sure if the carport that is already there is within building regulations as it is about +/- 1m from the boundary wall? Do I have a right to ask the Seller for the plans for the house? Thank you

  8. If you are saying that this “green zone” does not belong to her, then you need to report what she has done to the local authority (presuming they own the land) and object to what she has done.

  9. Hi Charles, The requirements for each city/town in SA differs and the local bye-laws and zoning regulations are different for each as well. You do not say where you are so we will not be able to tell you for your area. The best is to contact your local council planning department and give them your erf number and suburb and size of your plot and they will be able to tell you.

  10. Hi Anita, Yes you can. I self-built one of my houses with a wooden floor and had the ensuite bathroom on the wooden tongue-in-groove floor. What I had to do was to re-inforce (extra upright support beams) under the sections where the shower and the bath were. The floor of the shower was a concrete slab with the normal drain plug and the bath was a victorian cast iron bath so both of these were quite heavy. Today plastic and fibreglass units are much lighter. You must seal the timber extremly well so as to protect it from getting damp or letting any wet get through.

  11. Can one build a bathroom on wood floor?

  12. Goeie dag.

    I would like to build a grassroof lapa between 20 and 24 square metres, but dont know what all the regulations/rules are. Could you kindly furnish me with the regulations pertaining to distances, fire safety requirements, etc. Thanks in advance.


  13. Johan van Tonder sê:

    haai daar

    My neighbour living across a green zone (natural park, until she started demolishing parts of it for purposes of expanding her own garden) has recently erected very bright external lighting on the boundary wall and in her garden, “to limit crime in our area”. These lights are so bright I can read a book in my bedroom which is at least 30 meters away without additional lights being turned on in my bedroom. They are so bright that normal curtaining fails to darken the room, resulting in constant disturbance of sleep which has detrimentally impacted my health and that of my family. It has also disturbed the little bit of natural tranquility we still enjoyed from the park at night. The lights come on at dusk and remain at full brightness till the sun rises. Is there no regulation governing this type of intrusive behaviour, since common sense and regard for another’s wellbeing is seemingly beyond some people?

  14. Roellen the regulations regarding stormwater require an engineer to ensure that it is disposed of without undermining buildings etc. And a property owner cannot simply allow the water to drain onto a neighbour’s property. As far as swimming pool water is concerned, this is governed by local authority bylaws – specifically whether the water can be drained into the road and/or council stormwater drains. He/she cannot simply drain the water into your backyard. Contact the local authority for guidance on this issue.

  15. Hi

    We moved into our new house two weeks ago, and discovered that our neighbours pool and fish pond pipes is “flushing” into my backyard. I am aware that you cannot stop storm water but for swimming pools what is the regulation for that?

  16. Ann unfortunately I am not certain about this. The location of a sewage treatment plant in an urban area will be governed by zoning by-laws. It would definitely though need to be inspected before it operates – there are stringent plumbing regulations that relate to sewage and I have no doubt there are regulations that relate to sewage treatment plants. They also would definitely not be permitted to flush untreated sewage onto (you say into? – do you mean down drains?) public roads or into open drains. That would be a health hazard.

  17. Ann Veldman sê:

    Please tell me what the legal distance is between a house and a sewage treatment plant. Also, if the plant must be inspected prior to operating and if it is allowed to flush untreated sewage into public roads.

  18. Leslie your local authority has bylaws that specify allowable building lines from boundaries, so you will need to check with them. They are not all the same. You can download the Tshwane town planning scheme document here, there may be some other useful information in this.
    As far as the illegal structures are concerned, as the owner of the property it is your responsibility to remove them. You could try and sue the previous owner for costs because that person did not divulge that they were illegal. But this will involve legal (and possibly court) action.

  19. Leslie August sê:

    I have moved into a house that i had bought through the bank 1 year ago.
    I now decided to errect a work shop at the rear end of the house.

    What should the distance be between my wall of the errected structure and the neighbours wall be.
    if i have the option of not asking the neighbour to sighn and also if the nieghbour has to sighn .what should the distances be.

    I also had the inspectors from pretoria here and they checked and informed me that the i have a car port and a lapa build over the servitude line,and that it has to be removed .Whos responsibility should this be as i,ve bought the house with structures already built.The car port and the lapa has allways been there for many years,now why should it be my resposibility to remove it.

    What can be done.

  20. Yes Doc you do need plans for mezzanine floor. Your local authority will do the inspection. e.g. If you live in Pretoria it would be Tshwane, if you live in Cape Town it would be the City of Cape Town

  21. There is nothing in the National Building Regulations that governs this. Go to your local hardware store and buy a good sealer. Rubbol is a particularly good one!

  22. Treatment of external timber doors exposed to weather to ensure / prevent swelling of doors ?

  23. What are the regulations governing the Mezzanine floor with regards to fire rating and staircase design? Are you required to obtain plans when building a Mezz floor? Which local authorities will be required to inspect this once it is built?

  24. Hi BK, we do not have lists or recommend any one or an other supplier on this site. You will have to look in the Yellow Pages

  25. Pl . advise about siphonic drainage system for industrial buildings, suppliers/providers with their addresses.

  26. Hi Zukiswa, we do not forward any documents sorry.

  27. I would to be forwarded the copy of the National Building Regulations Glossary on my email address.Thank you.

  28. Oehl, this is what the new Energy Regulations, SANS 204 of 2011 state:
    Building orientation
    Buildings should be orientated in accordance with figures B.1 to B.6, or approximately true north. If buildings cannot be thus orientated, they shall be orientated to achieve the lowest net energy use. Orientation sectors are shown in figure 1.
    Living spaces should be arranged so that the rooms where people spend most of their hours are located on the northern side of the unit. Uninhabited rooms such as bathrooms and storerooms can be used to screen unwanted western sun or to prevent heat loss on the south facing façades. Living rooms should ideally be placed on the northern side.
    The longer axis of the dwelling should be orientated so that it runs as near east/west as possible.”
    However there are other factors that come into play including climatic zones which affect things like insulation, the types of walls to build (e.g. where cavity walls should be built). What this means is that the new regs take both heating and cooling into account.

  29. Am at a stadium to build a new house.
    Have chosen a plot already with a view.
    The builder tells me that the regulations are, that the bed rooms need to be north facing.
    With our climate change, getting warmer why should the bedroom be north facing, if you want a cooler house /bedroom without installing air condition that consume additional electricity.

  30. Please visit your local Building Development Management Office (1st Floor, Municipal Building, Corner Andries Pretorius and Victoria Street, Somerset West) to confirm whether exemption was granted from the specific regulation on the Approved Building Plan.

  31. Hi At,
    Yes the regulations are very specific when it comes to plumbing and drainage. Your query is in Part P-Drainage of the SANS10400. In table 6 “Provision of sanitary fixtures for personnel” it says: up to 15 people: Males – 1 toilet pan, 1 urinal, 1 wash-hand basin; Females – 2 toilet pans, 1 wash-hand basin; up to 30 people: Males – 1 toilet pan, 2 urinals, 2 wash-hand basins; Females – 3 toilet pans, 2 wash-hand basins. This is the basic for the info you supplied, just be aware that each installation is different and may require more or less facilities depending on the “population” mix of male to female and what class of building the facilities are in. I hope this helps.

  32. Hi Richard,
    The regulations require a “rational design” done by a “competent person” as stated here:
    SANS 10400-T:2011 “Edition 3The design of any automatic sprinkler system, fixed automatic fire-fighting system, pressurization of emergency routes and fire detection and alarm system that may be required, is a rational design(see 4.1.1(a)).
    The assessment of building materials and components to determine their fire resistance is a rational assessment (see 4.55.1).
    Regulation A19(1) requires the owner of the building to appoint and retain one or more approved competent persons to undertake responsibility for the work associated with rational designs and rational assessments performed in accordance with the requirements of this part of SANS 10400.
    Accordingly, competent persons (fire engineering) and competent persons who design automatic sprinkler system, fixed automatic fire-fighting system, pressurization of emergency routes and fire detection and alarm system or assessment of building materials and components to determine their fire resistance shall be appointed in terms of Regulation A19.”

    The list of materials and their fire resistance is too long to list here. The competent person will have all these and will be able to interpret them for you. I advise that you do this correctly as your insurance will more than likely need a COC.

  33. at Philpott sê:

    I would like to know if there is any indication what the ratio should be in a building for employees when it comes to toilet facillities for example for every 10 employes theier should be 1 or 2 toilets and 3 basins. Or can you have twenty employees sharing two toilets with two basins.

  34. Richard Broodryk sê:

    We have a cage storage area for high security goods. it have one entrance and a emergency fire door. Management want to build up the fire door to make the area more secure.
    What does the standard state about emergency fire doors?

  35. Thermal insulation is covered in SANS 10400-X & XA which was first published in 2011. So yes you can expect them to do this.
    I have added some information about roofing from this part of SANS 10400. Hier is 'n skakel.

  36. Cobis it depends where you are. If you are in Johannesburg, here’s a link to the City’s Town Planning Scheme document – 2011 – that covers parking requirements. If you are in Cape Town, have a look at the City’s Zoning Scheme Regulations. If you live elsewhere, contact your local authority.
    Parking requirements are not covered in the National Building Regulations.

  37. cobis wilson sê:

    where could i find the latest parking requirements for H3, flats etc?

  38. cobis wilson sê:

    Under the heading MINOR WORKS, this can be stretched very far, and could mean a complete house! I have a case in DORP where the building officer gives this as an excuse every time he’s caught not having asked for plans on illegal building works.
    (g) the erection of any other building where the nature of the erection is such that in the opinion of the building control officer it is not necessary for the applicant to submit, with his application, plans prepared in full conformity with these regulations;

  39. Hallo Penny

    We moved into our new home on the 1st December last year in Somerset West. The homes are developed by a property developer. After the house was completed I was informed of a 6 month snag list, where any prescribed latent defects would be repaired. Shortly after I handed my snag list to the developer the site foreman mentioned to me that according to the new building regulations it is now required of them to install thermal insulation in all the roofs of the new houses they build. What I want to know is when exactly this came into effect to be able to determine whether I can expect of them to install the required insulation.

  40. Absolutely yes. And there is no question when electrics and plumbing is involved.

  41. Hallo Penny,

    Do wendy houses need to be on the plans. Ones with electricity and plumbing. In Joburg I look forward to your response.

  42. James it depends on the zoning of that area. Contact the local authority (City) for information.

  43. I bought a property in bramly with an empty land such as No: 56 & 57 in bramley. I want to register the empty land for commercial building, it is possible for me to build some blocks of two and one bed room apartments in the empty land. please let me know.

  44. Louis it depends on the size of the shed. Also, as soon as you get into sectional title, the local authority has an out, because the body corporate has its own issues. Duet makes it even more complicated. As well, from what you say there are additional issues that include boundary walls. Please look further on this site and also on and contact us again if you are still not sure of what to do.
    Please also note that we are not specialists in sectional title property issues. So while we can give you pointers for the NBR, but we are not lawyers and do not give advice regarding the Sectional Title Act.

  45. Re: Garden / Tool Sheds – Building Regulations (Tshwane)
    I need to determine whether it is a requirement to submit building plans for tool/garden sheds.
    I own a portion of a sectional title property (duet) and the neighbour intends erecting a shed of approx 3m x 3m x 6m (w,h,d) next to the boundary wall between our properties (about 3m away from my living areas).
    Does the owner need my written approval for such a construction? Can I legally stop the construction under the building regulations or sectional title act?
    Thank you for assistance.

  46. SANS 10400 Part K, Walls mentions solid wood and “standard steel” door frames – but in the context of fixing in place. There are additional SANS that deal with some types of door and window frames, e.g. SANS 1129 Steel door frames; SANS 1553-1 & -2 that cover PVC-U. There are also ISOs that deal with the thermal performance of windows, doors and shutters – and frames. (ISO 10077). Aluminium is a popular material for frames, but I can’t find reference of a standard specific to frames. I can’t think of any material types.
    I think there may also be some references in Part B, Structural Design – I don’t have access to a copy right now.
    Part N, Glazing does not mention “double glazing”. It mentions the word “fenestration” once – cross referencing another standard: SANS 613, Fenestration products –– Mechanical performance criteria. However there are several tables in the standard that specify the nominal glass thickness for different types of windows.
    There is information about beglazing in that section of this website. Have a look at some of the comments there – because I have made reference to the new sections of 10400 – viz. X and XA. – and there is some information about safety glass – where it needs to be used.
    The word fenestration is defined in XA = “any glazed opening in a building envelope, including windows, doors and skylights”. And the standard states that fenestration products must comply with SANS 613.
    Building envelope requirements are covered in XA under the heading Orientation.
    “The building should be compact in plan, with the rooms that are used most and the major areas of glazing placed on the northern side of the building to allow solar heat to penetrate the glazing during the winter months.”
    But it does not mention “double glazing” and the word “glass” does not appear in the standard!

  47. On a new house build, what are the requirements regarding what material should new window or door frames be made from. Is double glazing a new requirement.

  48. Edgar, we normally tell people to contact their municipality to check. Can your planning department not help you? If your client is building a church, he’s going to need to work with a competent person – and I assume that in this case an engineer WOULD be the best choice.

  49. HI