• The salient features of Kerala Building Rules are given below.
  • For details please visit the respective website – few of the links are provided after this write-up.
  • Please look out for amendments from the respective authorities as and when its published .
  • These are only guidelines . Please consult your Architect /Consultant /respective authority.


Drawings are attached which are for illustration and guidance . For details on structural design and architecture please consult your Engineer /Architect

1) Sample Drawing -1 (Click here to view)

2) Sample Drawing -2 (Click here to view)

3) Sample Drawing -3 (Click here to view)

4) Sample Drawing -4 (Click here to view)

5) Sample Drawing -5 (Click here to view)

1)Steps involved in the process of obtaining a building permit

  • Property sketch
  • Site layout
  • Building Elevation
  • Sections
  • Site plan
  • Floor plan
  • Detail of septic tank
  • Details of soak pit
  • Detail of potable water tank
  • Detail of rain water harvesting
  • Location plan

All the mentioned details above shall comply with the Kerala Municipality Building Rules (KMBR) or according to the laws of the Authority under which your property comes.

2) Property Documents Required For Obtaining the Building Permit

Possession certificate:

 Possession certificate is issued through Akshaya centres. The supporting documents to be uploaded are Aadhaar Card, latest land tax receipts, proof of ownership of property, Encumbrance certificate and Voters ID. Once the prescribed fees are paid the certificate will be issued to you in a week

Latest Land Tax Receipts:

 The property tax receipt is issued from the revenue department after submission of the proper documents and payment of fees. For land tax receipts one can likewise visit the online portal of the revenue department of Kerala.

Original and Copy of the Deed Or “Aadharam”: Registration papers are enough to prove the ownership of your property.

The next process is to get an online approval, which is issued by the local self-governing body under whose jurisdiction you belong. (Panchayat,Municipality or Corporation ). Application for a building permit can be submitted by a licensee (Architect, a licensed draftsman or a licensed engineer) in the prescribed format through the relevant local self-governing body's web site.

Submission of Hard copy Building Permit application (licensee):

Once the licensee has completed the e-filling for the building permit and acknowledgement certificate will be issued. Along with this acknowledgement certificate, the following hard copies of various papers should be made into a file and submitted to the local self-governing body office at the earliest.

3) List of documents for a Building permit application

1) Possession certificate original

2) Latest land tax receipts

3) Copy of the “Aadharam”

4) Land sketch - (3 copies)

5) Copy of Architect’s or Licencee’s licence

6) On-line acknowledgement certificate

Once the file containing these documents are submitted at the local self-governing body. The relevant original documents will be verified and you will be subsequently issued with a file number for your application.

Building Inspector's Site inspection and Verification

The assigned building inspector (BI) will visit your property and verify the authenticity of the data provided via your application and later submit a detail report to the assistant engineer (AE).

Verification by the AE(assistant engineer)

The AE will then conduct another round of verification and submit the report with his remarks to the assistant executive engineer (AXE).

Approval of the application

The assistant executive engineer has the liberty to approve or to reject the application. For larger buildings like shopping complexes and other commercial buildings, there will be more rigorous checks and would require further more approvals. The rules differ from type to type and classification of buildings.

Fee payment and the issue of Building Permit

Once the attestations are done and approval is given for the applications which full fills the criteria. The prescribed fees are then paid and will be issued with the requested building permit, normally it will be sent to your registered address.

4) General Rules to be followed in Municipality/Panchayat- FAR/FSI

Floor space index (F.S.I.)’ means the quotient obtained by dividing the total built up area by the area of the plot. (This word is synonymous with FAR)

F.S.I. = Total built-up area /Plot area

Covered area’ means the ground area covered by the building and is synonymous to area of the building foot print. It shall include covered parking

‘Coverage’ means the percentage of covered area with respect to the plot area.


5) Distance between plot boundary abutting the street and building

National Highway, State Highway, District Roads, other roads notified under section 383A of the Kerala Municipality Act 1994, other un-notified roads with width 6 m and above

Other un-notified roads with width less than 6 m



6) Height of buildings

(1) The maximum height of any building or part thereof shall be limited according to the width of the street as follows

(a)The maximum height of the building or part thereof shall not exceed twice the width of the street abutting the plot plus twice the width of the yard from the building to the abutting street;

(b) If a building plot abuts on two or more streets of different width, the building plot shall be deemed to abut the street that has the greater width for the purposes of this rule and the height of the building shall be regulated by the width of that street and shall be continued at this height along the narrower street:

Provided that the height restriction as per this rule shall be compulsory only for buildings or part of building coming within 12 metres of building line

(2) For buildings, structures and installations in the vicinity of airports, the stipulations with regard to height shall be further limited as subject to any notification issued by the Government of India under the Aircrafts Act, 1934 (Central Act XXII if 1934) and its amendments from time to time or approved zonal map issued for each airport. The permissible height of the building in this case shall be calculated upto the highest point of the building without any exemptions.

(3) In the case of construction or reconstruction of buildings or alteration or addition to existing buildings within any Security Zone, the overall height of building upto its topmost point shall not exceed 10 metres.

Provided that if the overall height of any existing building in the Security Zone is 10 metres or more upto its topmost point, further vertical extension of that building shall not be permitted: Provided further that the height of building shall be measured from the average level of ground contiguous to the building.

7) Occupancy of Buildings

All buildings existing or herein after proposed shall be classified as follows

  1. Group A1 Residential
  2. Group A2 Lodging Houses & special residential
  3. Group B Educational
  4. Group C Medical/Hospital
  5. Group D Assembly
  6. Group E Office
  7. Group F Mercantile/Commercial
  8. Group G1 Industrial – I
  9. Group G2 Industrial – II
  10. Group H Storage
  11. Group I Hazardous
  12. Group J Multiplex Complex

8) Set back rules – KBR



9) Sanitation: Toilets

  • These shall be provided at the ground floor for A1, A2, B,C,D,E, F & J occupancies and at every floor in multiples of three for A2,B,C,D,E, F& J occupancies.
  • Minimum size of toilet shall be 1.50 m x 1.75 m.
  • Minimum clear opening of the door shall be 90 cm. wide, the door shall swing out, or be sliding or folding type.
  • Suitable arrangements of vertical/horizontal handrails with 5cm. clearance from the wall shall be provided in the toilet.
  • The water closet seat shall be 50 cm. above from the floor level:
  • At least one sink in each floor shall have a knee room of 70cm. high under the sink; and
  • Locks of such toilet doors shall be of a type that can be opened from outside in case of emergency.

10) Lighting and Ventilation

  • Every habitable room shall be furnished with sufficient number of openings such as windows and ventilators affording effectual means of admission of light and air by direct communication with the external air or shall be sufficiently lighted and ventilated by artificial means.
  • No portion of a room shall be assumed to be lighted if it is more than 7.5 metres away from the opening assumed for lighting that portion unless it is artificially lighted.
  • Windows and ventilators which open into a verandah shall be deemed to communicate with the external air, if such verandah is not more than 3 metres wide and open throughout its entire length into an open space open to the sky, the width of such open space being not less than 3.0 metres. Trellising, mesh, grill or net may, however, be provided on the open side of the verandah;
  • Every kitchen shall be ventilated according to the standards stipulated for habitable rooms and shall have suitable flue for the escape of smoke and heated air unless it is provided with an approved form of smokeless installation.
  • Every bathroom or latrine shall be provided with sufficient light and ventilation.—
  • Every bathroom or latrine shall have at least one of its walls abutting on an open space or open verandah or an air shaft if not centrally air conditioned

11) Wells

  • The set back from any street shall be as that required for a building.
  • There shall be minimum 1.20 metres set back from other boundaries.
  • The well may be located within or abutting or away from the building in the plot.
  • No leech pit, sock pit, refuse pit, earth closet or septic tank shall be allowed or made within a distance of 7.5 metres radius from any existing well used for supply of water for human consumption or domestic purpose or within 1.2 m distance from the plot boundaries.

12) Rainwater Harvesting

The components of workable groundwater recharging arrangements,

  • (i) Roof gutters
  • (ii) Down pipe
  • (iii) Filter unit
  • (iv) Recharge well or recharge pond or percolation pit

The minimum capacity of the storage tank, as stipulated in sub-rule(2)(iv) of the rain water storage arrangement shall be at the rate given below:

  • Group A1 - 25 litres/sq.metre of Covered area
  • Group A2 - 25 litres/sq.metre of Covered area
  • Group B - 50 litres/sq.metre of Covered area
  • Group C - 50 litres/sq.metre of Covered area
  • Group D - 50 litres/sq.metre of Covered area
  • Group E - 50 litres/sq.metre of Covered area
  • Group F - 25 litres/sq.metre of Covered area
  • Group G1 & Group G2 - 50 litres/sq.metre of Covered area
  • Group J - 25 litres/sq.metre of Covered area

13) Safety provisions for High rise building

For the purposes of this Chapter, ‘high rise building” means a building having a height of 16 metres or more or with more than 4 floors (excluding basement floor, other than telecommunication towers /poles. Components as follows

(1) Staircase.

  • Every high rise building shall have at least two staircases, including fire escape staircases.
  • The height of the handrail in the staircase shall not be less than 90 centimetres and if balusters are provided no gap in the balusters shall be more than 10 centimetres wide.

(2) Guard rails or parapets:

  • Every balcony overlooking any exterior or interior open space shall be provided with parapet walls or guard rails of height not less than 1.50 metres and such guard rails shall be firmly fixed to the walls and slabs and may also be of blank walls, metal grills or a combination of both. Provided that if metal grills are used they shall not be made of continuous horizontal members to prevent climbing on them: Provided further that guard rails shall not be made of glass or any similar material which are not reinforced to prevent breaking.
  • The spacing between the grills/ rails should be less than 10 centimetres

(3) Fire escape staircase.

  • Every high-rise building shall be provided with a fire escape stairway

(4) Ducts:

(i) Every opening to interior or exterior duct shall be provided with protective covering consisting of strong parapet wall having not less than 90 centimetres height from every floor level

(ii) Parapet walls of 1.2 metres height should also be provided around duct openings at the terrace level

(iii) All windows at a height of not less than 2 metres from ground level which can be opened to an open space either interior or exterior shall be fitted with sufficiently strong metal grills or bars in such a way that the spacing between the members is not more than 10 centimetres.

(iv)All Openings at various floor levels to vertical duct, provided for the purpose of lighting and ventilation shall be at a height of not less than 1.5 metres from the respective floor level. The openings shall be fitted with grill mesh of size not more than 10 centimetres x10 centimetres

(5) Access:

Minimum width of access to a high rise building and plot as well as the minimum existing width of the street giving access to the plot from the main street shall be 5 metres or as prescribed elsewhere in these rules, whichever is higher.

(6) Open spaces:

  • Clear motorable open spaces of minimum 5 metres width to facilitate fire-fighting shall be provided for the building at any two adjacent sides, of which, one is contiguous to the street/access. Such motorable open spaces shall be kept free of vehicle parking or any other erections or projections thereon other than projections of roof or weather shade or cornices of not more than 75 centimeters width. However, ramp provided as access to the basement floor can be given in this open space if through movement of fire engine is not obstructed in any way.
  • In case a group of buildings are to be constructed within any plot belonging to the same owner or by different owners of adjoining lands jointly, the area of the land remaining after accounting for the mandatory front, rear and side yards from the boundary of the plot shall be considered as buildable area of the plot where the buildings may be constructed subject to the conditions regarding floor space index, coverage, access, light & ventilation etc. for the whole plot, distance between the various blocks within this area shall be a minimum of 5 metres.
  • Adequate passage way and clearances required for fire fighting vehicles to enter the premises shall be provided at the main entrance; the width of such entrance shall be not less than 5 metres or as stipulated elsewhere in these rules, whichever is higher. If an arch or covered gate is constructed, it shall have a clear headroom of not less than 5 metres.

(7) Lift for residential apartments.

  • Every high rise apartment building having more than 16 dwelling units shall be provided with at least one lift capable of carrying a stretcher: Provided that if only one lift is required for the building as per the rule 40, that lift shall be one capable of carrying a stretcher.

(8) Parapets of terrace floor.

  • Where access is provided over the terrace floor or to the terrace floor, the edges of the terrace floor shall be provided with parapet walls made of stable materials to a height of not less than 120 centimetres.

(9) Structural design.

  • Application for construction or reconstruction or addition or alteration of any high rise building shall be accompanied by one set of structural design, including that regarding seismic forces as per the provisions contained in the National Building Code of India as amended from time to time and certified drawings and a structural stability certificate prepared and issued by a Structural Engineer. Provided that the provisions regarding the height of building as specified in the National Building code of India, 2016 shall not apply to multiplexes.

(10) Safety Plan:

In the case of High rise buildings, every application for approval shall be accompanied by safety plan suitable for the proposed construction in accordance with the Health and Safety Manual published by the Labour Department

Please visit the following links for details on Kerala Building Rules

Kerala Gazette - (Click here to view)


Designed by ImagiNET Ventures