Building Regulations South Africa - An Introduction

The Site That Tells You All About Building Regulations

South Africa’s National Building Regulations were originally produced as a set of functional guidelines for anybody building any type of structure. They were not intended to be prescriptive in terms of what people should build, but they do stipulate important “dos” and “don’ts” – many of which are in fact mandatory. So if you are planning to build, this is a document you should familiarise yourself with.

NewIntroPic1 s Building Regulations Introduction

Three stages of building; Foundations, Construction and Finishing

If you want to know more about these important regulations, have a look at the scroll-down menu under National Building Regulations (SA). While these topics are those found in the regulations, we have not duplicated the regulations. Instead we have discussed the issues the regulations cover in easy to understand pages.

The Building Regulations are divided into 22 chapters as follows: General Principles and Requirements, Structural Design, Dimensions, Public Safety, Demolition Work, Site Operations, Excavations, Foundations, Floors, Walls, Roofs, Stairways, Glazing, Lighting and Ventilation, Drainage, Non-water-borne Sanitary Disposal, Stormwater Disposal, Facilities for Disabled Persons, Fire Protection, Refuse Disposal, Space Heating and Fire Installation.

Additional blogs (which we are adding to over time) under the various chapter headings give further information, some personal experiences, and case history-type articles that share what others have experienced in terms of the regulations. We have included an A to Z Glossary of definitions and terms used in the National Building Regulations to help you understand the meaning of the various terms used in the context of the legislation and national standards.

You can find the following on our downloads page:

Guide for Architects Concerning Drainage Water and Storm-water Drainage.

Drainage Details (guidelines in the form of technical drawings covering most aspects of drainage).

Standard Electrical, Mechanical & Architectural Guidelines for the Design of Accessable Buildings (Facilities for Disabled Persons).

Hardware Sample List (guidelines for the required finishes etc. of hardware when submitting tenders)

A “Norms Calculator” for Quantity Surveyors

Our Documents Page has free downloads of all the important building codes of practice for example SANS 10400-1990 and the 2008 amendment.

While this is a coza website, we are including information about building regulations and construction standards, not only in South Africa, but in other countries as well.

Our LinksPage to Local South African Websites of interest: NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council), SAIA (The South African Institute of Architects) and SABS (The South African Bureau of Standards)

 International links on our Links Page to information rich sites such as the International Building Code (IBC)  and the International Code Council (ICC) entries on Wiki (or you can go directly to the ICC here) we will keep you updated with more current sites.

Please have a look at our TOOLS Page where we have sourced a selection of tools for every homeowner.

Although we have launched the site (and gone public), there is so much to cover that the site will technically be “under construction” for a while.  If  there is something specific you need guidance on, please post a comment on the relevant page and we’ll see how we can help. Please only use the “contact us” if you want to advertise or if you have a suggestion on how we can improve your visit with us.

>>>>> We Rely on Regulations – READ MORE >>>>>

  394 Responses to “Building Regulations Introduction”

Comments (394)
  1. Goog day, I have just signed an agreement to purcase a property and just discovered that the neighbours boundary wall is on the property that I am buying. And what is the legal height of a boundary wall in a residential area? What are my rights as a buyer as I have ageed on a price unknowing that the wall was on “my” property.thanks

    • Elvis, ask the seller for proof of what she agreed to. It must be in writing. If she can’t provide this you can cancel the agreement to purchase. I am pretty sure you can also cancel it on the grounds that 17 sq m of the property has been taken by the neighbour – and or reduce the amount of your offer. You will probably have to do this via an attorney.
      The National Building Regulations state that boundary walls up to 1,8 m in height = minor building work and so don’t require plans. Some local authorities allow building up to 2.1 m without plans. If any higher than this there must be plans and the local authority will need to approve them.

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