The Site That Tells You All About Building Regulations
South Africa’s National Building Regulations (NBR) 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.
While the NBR are only available from the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), sans10400.co.za has a mission to make it easier for the general public to understand what these regulations are and how they affect us all. If you want to know more about these important regulations, have a look at the drop-down menu under SANS 10400-NBR (SA). Each of the regulations listed here is published as a separate document by the SABS. The size of each published document and its cost can be found at the SABS Online Standards Webstore.
Please be aware that while the topics featured on sans10400.co.za 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. Also note that we are in no way associated with the SABS.
Parts of the South African National Building Regulations (NBR)
The Building Regulations are divided into 23 chapters as follows: Part A: General Principles and Requirements, Part B: Structural Design, Part C: Dimensions, Part D: Public Safety, Part E: Demolition Work, Part F: Site Operations, Part G: Excavations, Part G: Foundations, Part J: Floors, Part K: Walls, Part L: Roofs, Part M: Stairways, Part N: Glazing, Part O: Lighting and Ventilation, Part P: Drainage, Part Q: Non-water-borne Sanitary Disposal, Part R: Stormwater Disposal, Part S: Facilities for Disabled Persons, Part T: Fire Protection, Part U: Refuse Disposal, Part V: Space Heating, Part W: Fire Installation and Parts X & XA: Energy Usage
We are constantly adding blog posts that relate to these chapter headings to provide our readers with further information. You will find these under the drop-down menu Construction Elements. Some of these posts include personal experience and/or case history-type articles that share what others have experienced in terms of the regulations. We have also included an A to Z Glossary of Definitions and Terms used in the NBR to help you understand the meaning of the various terms used in the context of the legislation and national standards.
We have a free downloads page where you can access various documents, including a variety of Department of Public Works Guidelines:
- The National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act. This is the original legislation published in 1977 that governs all building and construction work in South Africa. Various updates have been made since this time, and these are also available for download.
- Guide for Architects Concerning Drainage Water and Storm-water Drainage.
- Standard Electrical, Mechanical & Architectural Guidelines for the Design of Accessible Buildings including Facilities for Disabled Persons.
- Hardware sample list (guidelines for the required finishes etc. of hardware when submitting tenders).
- A “Norms Calculator” for quantity surveyors.
- Drainage Details that provide guidelines in the form of technical drawings covering most aspects of drainage.
Feel free to browse the site. To help you get orientated, here are a few articles that you may find useful:
Alterations & Additions
SANS 10400X & XA – Energy Use In Buildings
Boundary Walls & Fences
New Electric Fence Laws
NHBRC Questions & Answers
Concrete Mixes – By Weight & By Volume
Owner Building – The Pros & Cons
In the drop-down menu under the free downloads you will also find Links to several local South African websites of interest including:
- NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council),
- SAIA (The South African Institute of Architects)
- SABS (The South African Bureau of Standards)
These contain some information about the NBR.
International links on our Links Page will take you 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).
If there is something specific you need guidance on, please post a comment on the relevant page and we’ll see if and how we can help.
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