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Building Bye Laws for Residential Buildings – All You Wanted to Know
bye laws of building planning

Building Bye Laws for Residential Buildings – All You Wanted to Know

Building Bye laws

Building Bye laws:

A bye law is a local corporate law outlined by a secondary authority. The building bye laws for residential buildings are set forth in such a way that, it should meet all the standards and specifications designed to necessary protections not only to the labourers before starting, during construction to the health and safety point of view but also to the general public and visitors .

Building Bye laws and Regulations: The building bye laws oversee the following rules and regulations of building features.

  1. Set back or building line
  2. Floor Area Ratio (FAR) or Floor Space Index (FSI) or Total built-up area
  3. Open space requirements all over the building
  4. Plan showing internal dimensions of rooms, kitchen, living etc.
  5. Cross sectional details showing height of building and floor height.
  6. Lighting & ventilation of rooms.
  7. Structural details and designs
building bye laws for residential buildings
Fig 1. . Building plan showing setbacks, FAR, internal dimensions etc. as per regulations of Building Bye laws
  1. Set back or building line: Set back is nothing but the open space available between the front of the building and road (Ref. Fig 1). The merits of the setbacks are as follows.
  • The open space left in front of the building is highly advantage under the circumstances of widening of road in near future. Governmental body will acquire this space as per rules and regulations.
  • If all the buildings parallel to the road follows the setback rules and construct accordingly the aesthetic of the locality will improve (E.g. Plots situated in many gated communities. Refer Fig 2)
  • The air, ventilation and light of the buildings is sufficient if setbacks maintained to the plots.
  • The open space can be utilized for gardening or vehicle parking purpose.
  • The marginal distance always helpful for the building in case of heavy traffic and other nuisance.
  • The possibilities of fire accidents will reduce due to the increased distance between opposite sides of buildings.
building bye laws for residential buildings1
Fig 2: Houses in gated community as per Building Bye laws regulations

2. Floor Area Ratio (F.A.R) or Floor Space Index(F.S.I) or Total built-up area : Total Built-up area = Total Site area – All Open spaces area

                                            Sum of All floors area

Floor Area Ratio (F.A.R) =   ——————————-

                                                Area of the site

Floor Area = Built-up area – Area of wall thickness.

The local authority or the secondary authority is responsible for governing the value of F.A.R, is different for different zones and type of buildings in the locality. The F.S.I can be utilized for checking the density of the population. E.g. if the plot area is 1200 Sqft and if the allowable F.S.I is 0.8, then the maximum built-up area allowed for the plot is 960 Sqft. As per the National Building Code (NBC-2016) for clear understanding, the built-up area versus plot area is as follows.

SL. NO.Plot AreaMax. Allowable built-up area
1Less than 200 sq. m60% with 2 storied structure
2From 200 – 500 sq.m50 % of the plot area
3From 500 – 1000 sq.m40% of the plot area
4Above 1000 sq.m33.33% of the plot area

3. Open space requirements all over the building: As per NBC, the open space for different heights of buildings is listed below.

Sl. No.Height of buildingOpen space (setback) requirement
1.< 10 m

a) Front setback or open space width:

i) For a building with front road – min. 3 m.

ii) For a building with roads on 2 or more sides –

Average 3 m and in no case < 1.8 m

b) Rear setback – Average 3 m and in no case < 1.8 m

c) Side setback – Min. 3 m for every detached & semi-attached building

d) Distance from the centerline of any road – In no case < 7.5 m or as determined by the local authority

2.From 10 m – 25 mRequirement as per above item no. 1 is increased at the rate of 1 m for every 3 m or fraction thereof.
3.From 25 m – 30 mMinimum 10 m.
4.> 10 mMin. 10 m. is increased by at the rate of 1 m for every 5 m or fraction thereof subject to a max. 16 m

Section: As per table 2 of section of part III of N.B.C.

SL. NoHeight of building in MetersExterior open spaces/setbacks to be left on all sides.  Minimum in meters
1.Above 9.5 up to 124.5
2.Above 12 up to 155.0
3.Above 15 up to 186.0
4.Above 18 up to 217.0
5.Above 21 up to 248.0
6.Above 24 up to 279.0
7.Above 27 up to 3010.0
8.Above 30 up to 3511.0
9.Above 35 up to 4012.0
10.Above 40 up to 4513.0
11.Above 45 up to 5014.0
12.Above 5016.0

4. Plan showing internal dimensions of rooms, kitchen, living, etc.: As per NBC the minimum areas or sizes for individual rooms and apartments are listed below.(Ref. Fig 3)

Sl. No.Type of roomMinimum area
1One habitable room9.5 sq.m, Min. width – 2.4 m
2Two habitable roomsMin. area of 1 room 9.5 sq.m & of other 7.5 Sq.m with min. width of 2.4 m
3Kitchen only4.5 sq.m, Min. width 1.8 m
4Kitchen with store room5.5 sq.m, Min. width of the kitchen – 1.8 m
5Kitchen cum dining room9.5 sq.m, Min. width 2.4 m
6Bathroom1.8 sq.m or Min. size 1.5 m x 1.2 m
7Water closet (WC)1.1 sq. m Floor Area
8Bath & WC combined2.8 sq.m (Floor area) – Min. width 1.2 m
9Mezzanine floor (Living room )9.5 sq.m ( > 1/3rd of the plinth area of the Building)
building bye laws and regulations
Fig 3. Three dimensional Plan showing all rooms, kitchen, living etc. as per regulations of Building bye laws

5. Cross-sectional details showing the height of the building and floor height:

As per NBC the height of the building with respect to its road width is listed below. 

Sl. No.Height of the buildingWidth of the Road
1General criteria – 1.5 times the width of the road
2Not more than 12 mAbove 8 m or Equal to 12 m
3Not more than road width  and not > 24mAbove 12 m

6. Lighting & ventilation of rooms:

In order to get proper air and ventilation to the rooms of building, all openings such as windows, ventilators or direct openings are provided at suitable places.

Sl. No.Openings of the buildingThe floor area of the room
1For dry and hot climate excluding door areasMin. 1/10th of floor area
2For Wet hot climate excluding door areasMin. 1/6th of floor area
3The total doors, windows, and ventilators< than 1/7th of floor area

7. Structural details and designs: The detail structural design analysis and calculations for each and every component of the building has to be done and considering all forces of loads, earthquake, SBC etc. by applying appropriate IS codes. However the general thumb rules are considered as follows.

a) Depth of foundation0.75 – 1.0 m for one storied building below GF 1.00 – 1.3 m for two storied building below GF
b) Width of the foundation wall2 times the thickness of the wall just above the plinth + 30 cm
c) Concrete in the foundation wall5/6th of the thickness of the wall above the plinth

The Link for downloading NBC in PDF

1:… (Volume 1)

2:… (Volume 2)

(Building Setback Distance from Property Line)


Srinivasa N is the founder of My Home My Design. With 28 Years of vast experience in the field of construction, backed with Civil Engineering Degree from Recognized University and College. He is also a BBMP registered Engineer. He has held senior positions in construction industries such as General Manager, Quality Head, Consultant and Managing Partner in the said company. He is deeply passionate about quality and an eye to detail. While he is not busy conducting audits for residential and commercial properties, he likes to share his knowledge and expertise on this website.

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