Jul 1, 2012

National Building Code NBC for Residential Apartments

National Building code is a document containing standardized requirement for the design & construction of most types of apartments in India. Although codes may sometimes seem fussy, they are the result of years of experience and testing. Building codes exist to protect the public’s health, safety and welfare. National Building Codes (NBC) regulate building construction & building use in order to protect the health, safety & welfare of the occupant. You must always take the correct precautionary measures to assure the safety of your family members.

National Building Code

National Building code is a document containing standardized requirement for the design & construction of most types of building in the country. The Code was first published in 1970 at the instance of Planning Commission and then revised in 1983. Thereafter three major amendments were issued, two in 1987 and the third in 1997. Considering a series of further developments in the field of building construction including the lessons learnt in the aftermath of number of natural calamities. As a culmination of the Project, the revised NBC has now been brought out as National Building Code of India 2005 (NBC 2005). The NBC 2005, formulated by the Bureau of Indian Standards, spells out new regulations for adoption by infrastructure departments, municipal administrators, public bodies and private agencies. It contains mainly administrative regulations, development control rules and general building requirements, fire safety requirements, stipulations on use of materials, structural design and construction and building and plumbing services.

General Building Requirements

The National Building Code (NBC) is now a national instrument that will guide the regulations for construction activity. It contains all the important aspects relevant for safe and orderly building development. The building that does not satisfy building code or violation of National building code will lead to penalty, cancellation of sanction or demolition of the building.

Lift:In case of Building having height more than 13.0 Mts. lift shall be provided. Lift shall be provided from ground floor and shall have minimum capacity of six persons. On the basis of detailed calculations based on the relevant provisions of National Building Code the number of lifts can be varied.
Fire Safety or Fire Protection: In the case of apartment buildings exceeding three storeys above ground level, a certificate of approval from the Director of Fire Force or an officer authorized by him shall be obtained before issue of the building permit. All other requirements in respect of fire protection shall conform to part IV, Fire Protection National Building Code of India. Every floor of a flat, apartment or residential accommodation exceeding 150 sq. meters of floor area with a capacity for accommodating more than 20 persons shall have at least 2 door ways as remote as practicable from each other. At least one stair-case shall be provided as a fire staircase as defined in the National Building Code. This shall not be applicable if any two sides of a staircase are kept totally open to external open air space. The detailed plan showing the arrangement of pipe lines, booster pumps and water-tanks at various levels shall be submitted for approval of the concerned authority along with the plans and sections of the buildings. Every building having a height of more than 25 Mts. shall be provided with diesel generators which can be utilized in case of failure of the electricity.
Foundation & Structural design: All materials and workmanship shall be of good quality conforming generally to accepted standards of Bureau of Indian Standard specification & codes as included in National Building Code of India. All materials and workmanship shall be of good quality conforming generally to accepted standards of Bureau of Indian Standard specification & codes as included in National Building Code of India. No building or part of a building shall be constructed or reconstructed or no addition or alteration shall be made to any existing building in the intervening spaces between the building and any overhead electric supply line. The height of the handrail in the staircase shall not be less than 90 cms and if balusters are provided, no gap in the balusters shall be more than 10 cms wide. Every slab or balcony overlooking any exterior or interior open space which are 2 meters or more below shall be provided with parapet walls or guard rails of height not less than 1.20 meters and such guard rails shall be firmly fixed to the walls.
Plumbing Services: A plumbing or sanitation code is a set of rules and regulations imposed by cities or counties. Anyone doing work on drinking water and sewer or toilet facilities systems are responsible to make the work in a specific, safe manner to avoid accidents and spread of disease. Water conservation and the health aspects of plumbing have become important in the construction sector now. The National Building Code offers only guidelines for construction. Plumbing has to be attuned to the general design of the building. Many technical aspects such as water pressure, venting and concepts of wet and dry areas in toilets have to be looked into in any structure. Recently, the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) developed a Plumbing Code for India. The Indian Plumbing Association (IPA), country’s apex body of plumbing professionals, has launched ‘Uniform Plumbing Code’ (UPC).The World Plumbing Council’s uniform plumbing code was mended as per Indian needs and created the code for India.
Lightning Protection: Locations, surrounded partially or fully by unbroken metallic surfaces or nets do not allow lightning to penetrate to the interior and hence a person is safe inside. Lightning prefers to strike the tallest of all objects in the location of strike. Also it prefers metal objects. The larger the metal more is the preference. Avoid using metallic pipes to fix lamps on terrace of buildings. Also for drying clothes on the terrace, iron poles with metallic or plastic wires are used. The Lightning Conductor which is also known as Lightning Rod or Air Terminal is one of the best known forms of shielding device and has been in use in protecting buildings and facilities where protection is mandatory. The protective value of Inside buildings is better when at least some unbroken vertical metallic conductors exist, such as rain gutters with down-pipes, water mains, rails for elevators, vertical metal strips, steel braces or reinforcement, electrical installations and wires, etc. Electrical and electronic equipments can be protected to a considerable extent from damage by installing a Lightning Arrestor.
Building Services: The planning, design and installation of electrical installations, air-conditioning and heating work shall be carried out in accordance with part VIII Building Service Section 2 – Electrical installations, Section 3 Air conditioning and Heating of National Building Code of India. The planning, design including the number of lifts, type of lifts, capacity of lifts, depending on occupancy of building, population on each floor and height of building.

Other Building Requirements


As a property owner you can choose your designs, products or building methods, as long as your building consent application demonstrates that your proposal meets National Building Code requirements. National Building Code regulates building construction & building use in order to protect the health, safety & welfare of the occupant. In order to learn which codes are being used and how they will affect you and your construction project, contact your local building inspection department, developers and concerned Authorities. Other building requirements are as follows.
  • Every room that intended for human habitation shall abut on an interior or exterior open space or to a verandah open to such interior or exterior open space.
  • Every interior, exterior or air space, unless the later is a street, shall be maintained for the benefit of such building exclusively and shall be entirely within the owner’s own premises.
  • Every person who intends to erect, re-erect or make alternation in any place in a building or demolish any building shall give notice in writing to the concerned Authority of his intention in the prescribed form and such notice shall be accompanied by plans and statements in sufficient copies.
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Fire Service, Pollution Control Board, Electrical safety department, Water Supply and Sewage Department and other concerned department.
  • No land shall be used as a site for the construction of building if the Competent Authority considers that the site is unsanitary or that it is dangerous to construct a building on it.
  • Building should be safe for occupant and it is important to inspect when your site is getting marked for dimensions. Inspect construction after every two feet progress.
The building will be inspected by concern authorities and you will get completion certificate for your apartment or building. Issuing of Completion Certificate will ensure that the owner has constructed the building as per approved plan. Without the occupancy certificate, it is difficult to get the electricity, water and sanitary connection. The NBC 2005, formulated by the Bureau of Indian Standards, spells out new regulations for adoption by infrastructure departments, municipal administrators, public bodies and private agencies.
Rain water harvesting system and solar water heater are mandatory for newly constructed building in some states. National Building Code will soon be updated with energy saving methods in construction methods. In order to learn which codes are being used and how they will affect you, contact developers and concerned Authorities in your locality for construction of building or apartment. Deviation from approved plan or violation of National Building Code (NBC) will lead to charge penalty, cancellation of approvals or demolition of property.

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