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The New Code For Building

But, like RERA, the efficacy of the model building code will depend on its proper implementation by the states

Photo Credit : Ritesh Sharma

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In the backdrop of the new developments and advancements in the construction sector, the revised National Building Code (NBC) that prescribes regulatory guidelines for development control rules, structural design, construction materials and quality and safety of  buildings, augurs well for the users.

The new building construction guidelines hold great significance in view of the long delays in building construction and delivery by property developers, with financial implications for buyers, besides safety and quality issues pertaining to residential and commercial developments. The revised building code released early this year, for the first time incorporates the Integrated Building Approval Process for the states to follow.

This is in line with the Central government’s reform agenda, linking implementation of mandatory municipal reforms (including speedier approval of building  plans) to Central government funding for urban development schemes.

 A detailed provision for streamlining the approval process involving different agencies, has been included in the building code in the form of an integrated process through a single-window approach for faster approvals. It calls for submission of plans, design drawings and other details, besides sanctions, online. In fact, the Delhi Development Authority has considerably eased/simplified the building sanction process by integrating all external agencies.

Further, in tandem with RERA (Real Estate Regulation Act) guidelines that  make property sales on carpet area basis mandatory, building construction guidelines have been updated by  incorporating the method of measurement of  plinth, carpet and rentable areas of  buildings, bringing clarity and transparency about plinth and built-up area. Significant modifications have also been made regarding construction management and building safety, with elaborate provisions for structural adequacy of  buildings and guidance to structural engineers for varied use of material and technology needed for building design.

In the wake of the rising number of complaints by property buyers about poor workmanship and overall quality, the construction guidelines have been completely modified with regard to materials and workmanship. The building code focuses on sustainability in design, construction and operation of  buildings, with guidelines for efficient air-conditioning systems, sources for artificial lights, natural ventilation, energy conserving lights, promoting use of clean, cheaper renewable energy, besides use of appropriate eco- friendly building materials. The construction guidelines emphasise enhancing building performance by upgrading clauses on building automation systems with the latest practices for web-based monitoring and control of  performance parameters.

Keeping in view the growing trend of super tall buildings, performance measurement of  lifts/escalators from the point of  view of speed, fire-fighting and emergency evacuation, has also been included. Also, considering the essential requirements for providing information and communication-enabled installations and tech systems, adequate provisions are made for making the infrastructure supportive of multiple technologies and products.

As poor design affects building performance, impacting maintenance costs, the new building code underlines a comprehensive approach to asset and facility management. For the first time, the code spells out an integrated approach by qualified professionals with regard to design and construction, besides cost optimisation through proper selection of material techniques, equipment, value engineering  to ensure safety and durability.  

The aim is to get the maximum benefit for the building and its services in terms of cost, quality and timely completion. But, like RERA, the efficacy of the model building code will depend on its proper implementation by the states.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Vinod Behl

The author is senior real estate media professional

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