1) It is illegal to have operable windows and an air-conditioner on a firewall as these are both fire spread hazards.

2) As written on the 2004 IRR of RA9514 (Fire Code of the Philippines/ FCP), only fire-rated glass blocks are permitted on firewalls.

3) Firewalls represent the maximum allowable use of a property along its property line. Any extension or protrusion beyond the property line is a willful violation of property rights e.g. trespassing, illegal use of the air rights of an adjoining property, etc.

4) PD1096, the 1977 National Building Code of the Philippines (NBCP) allows the introduction of light and ventilation wells (or courts) alongside firewalls provided the operable windows are 2.0 meters (m) away from the firewall.

5) Fixed or operable windows in such a well (court) that are less than 2 m away from the firewall MUST NOT be permitted by the Local Building Officials (LBO) as these shall violate privacy laws, specifically Article 670 of RA386, the 1949 Civil Code of the Philippines (CCP).

As for the Local Building Official, if the LBO or any staff of the LGU Office of the Building Official (OBO) permits (or continues to allow) illegal openings on firewalls, these LGU officials (deputized by the DPWH Secretary to implement and enforce the NBCP) may be criminally and administratively charged for the violations of the laws mentioned above and also under RA3019, the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act before the Office of the Ombudsman (so that they could be suspended or removed from office). Thanks.

Repost from the Architeure Advocacy Forum’s Facebook Page.


Executive Order #26 of 2017

Executive Order #26 of 2017 entitled “Providing for the Establishment of Smoke-Free Environments in Public and Enclosed Places” was issued by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on 16 May 2017. This executive order invoked the Clean Air Act of 1999 and the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 to impose a nationwide ban on smoking in all public places in the Philippines.

Reading down, Section I defines the Designated Smoking Area (DSA) as the only place permitted to “smoke” outside your own home; and reading down to Section IV, it defines the guidelines in designing such spaces. Below is a summary.

Non-Smoking Buffer Zone is a ventilated area betwwen the DSA and the Smoke Free Zone not located in an open space. It is fully enclosed with a door that is distinct from the DSA’s door and is at least 2.0 meters away from the DSA’s entrance.

Designated Smoking Area (DSA) is the only place you can smoke.

  1. Only one (1) DSA per building or conveyance
  2. Not allowed in the following areas:
    • centers of youth activity such as playschools, preparatory schools, elementary schools; high schools, colleges & universities, youth hostels and recreation centers for minors
    • elevators & stairwells
    • locations in which fire hazards are present
    • withing the building and premises of medical facilites (private and public), health centers, laboratories, nursing homes, dispensaries, optical and dental clinics
    • food preparation areas
  3. Must be 10 meters away from any entrance, pathway, congregation area, or anywhere people pass-by as well as any air intake duct
  4. Maximum total area of the DSA and the NSBZ is 20% of the total building area
  5. Minimum area is ten square meters (10.0 sqm)
  6. The space must be “enclosed,” no opening except for a door equipped with an automatic door closer
  7. It is mechanically ventilated
  8. If inside a building, a “Non-Smoking Buffer Zone” must be created where the DSA’s door is at least 2.0 meters away from the Non-smoking Buffer Zone’s door
  9. If inside a building, ventilation system must be independent of all ventilation system serving the building or conveyance
  10. Must post “Smoking Area” Signage
  11. Must post prohibition of entry of minors
  12. Must post “Graphic Health Warnings” on the use of tobacco


Also, facilities  must put up “No Smoking” signs with the following specification:

  1. Minimum dimension is 8″x11″
  2. No smoking logo must be 60% of the sign
  3. Remaining 40% to show pertinent information on the law itself and penalties for its violation.

Here’s a sample I made with a little bit of tweak.


Hope that helps.


Written by Roger Scruton

Architecture, the art and technique of designing and building, as distinguished from the skills associated with construction. The practice of architecture is employed to fulfill both practical and expressive requirements, and thus it serves both utilitarian and aesthetic ends. Although these two ends may be distinguished, they cannot be separated, and the relative weight given to each can vary widely. Because every society—whether highly developed or less so, settled or nomadic—has a spatial relationship to the natural world and to other societies, the structures they produce reveal much about their environment (including climate and weather), history, ceremonies, and artistic sensibility, as well as many aspects of daily life.

The characteristics that distinguish a work of architecture from other man-made structures are (1) the suitability of the work to use by human beings in general and the adaptability of it to particular human activities, (2) the stability and permanence of the work’s construction, and (3) the communication of experience and ideas through its form. All these conditions must be met in architecture. The second is a constant, while the first and third vary in relative importance according to the social function of buildings. If the function is chiefly utilitarian, as in a factory, communication is of less importance. If the function is chiefly expressive, as in a monumental tomb, utility is a minor concern. In some buildings, such as churches and city halls, utility and communication may be of equal importance.

The present article treats primarily the forms, elements, methods, and theory of architecture. For the history of architecture in antiquity, see the sections on ancient Greece and Rome in Western architecture; as well as Anatolian art and architecture; Arabian art and architecture; Egyptian art and architecture; Iranian art and architecture; Mesopotamian art and architecture; and Syro-Palestinian art and architecture. For later historical and regional treatments of architecture, see African architecture; Chinese architecture; Japanese architecture; Korean architecture; Oceanic art and architecture; Western architecture; Central Asian arts; Islamic arts; South Asian arts; and Southeast Asian arts. For a discussion of the place of architecture and architectural theory in the realm of the arts, see aesthetics. For related forms of artistic expression, see city; interior design; and urban planning.

Read more here.