National Building Code of the Philippines

From the Architecture Advocay Yahoo Group [Link]:

The initially anotated copy of the 2004 Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR, effective 01 May 2005) of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1096 (otherwise known as the 1977 National Building Code of the Philippines or NBCP) is available through the following:

1/ Free download at the Latest Publications section of the website of the Professional Regulatory Board of Architecture (PRBoA) at; anotations supplied by the PRBoA; and

2/ Hardcopy at the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) Headquarters Office at Scout Rallos in Quezon City; priced at P700.00 each.

The copy previously sold at the National Bookstore (with blue cover and authored by Vicente Foz) contains material errors that tend to confuse or mislead the public into believing that PD No. 1096 supposedly allows civil engineers (CEs) to prepare, sign and seal architectural documents. Sec. 302 of the original text of PD No. 1096 (the 1977 NBC) never stated that CEs can do those things. Another material error is the omission in the IRR of a specific provision that states that professional regulatory laws such as RA No. 9266 should be observed in the implementation of the IRR of the NB.

PRB0A Letter, 26 June 2009 regarding the bookstore copy stated above.

Check it out for yourself.

[2008-06-07] PD 1096 (1977 Natl Bldg Code of the Phils)
[2008-06-07] Natl Bldg Code IRR Rules I-VI
[2008-06-07] Natl Bldg Code IRR Rule VII
[2008-06-07] Natl Bldg Code IRR Rule VIII
[2008-06-07] Natl Bldg Code IRR Rules IX-XXI


160 thoughts on “National Building Code of the Philippines

  1. Good Day!

    I am Mr Isidro Montero, President of the Binalbagan Public Market Vendors Association. I would like to inquire about fire safety, It is necessary that each block of the market are required to put a fire extinquiser, we have a good fire hydrant in our market with complete equipment.

    Hope to hear your respond.


  2. tnx for the info
    can i ask where can i find the latest innovations in architectural design?????
    i am an architecture student in P.U.P here in the phillipines

    1. The are deregulated which means each city or municipality has their own schedule of fees. This is available in their respective building official’s office.

  3. I have been out of the country for 9 years and still working in the Architecture Business. I said business because it still involves money and contracts to sign. The Architecture Profession is the attitude of the individual on how he works with the parties involved in the business. As for the Philippine Building Code, that document has never been updated since I graduated from college in 1993. It’s already, as they say it in the Western Hemisphere, a dinosoar. The standards are already too dangerous to implement because is compromises the safety of the occupants. When will this ugly dinosoar be killed and be replaced with a batter entity?

  4. Good morning! I would like to ask if emergency fire exits are to be considered as restricted areas? I was questioned by the Facilities mgt. because I happened to go downstairs using that. Please I need your reply. Thank you so much. your reply would be greatly appreciated.

  5. I just want to ask if the case is the building permit and certificate of occupancy are from the former owner of the property and building, is there a need for the new owner to secure those (building permit and certificate of occupancy) in his name since he is the new owner??or they are only to be transfer to the new owner, meaning the building permit and certificate of occupancy numbers are to be both for the former and new owner?

    1. Once the building has been constructed and turned over, the permit is of no consequence to the future owner as is the occupancy permit.

      The occupancy permit may need to be updated every year, especially if this is a place of business as it is required when applying or renewing business permits.

      1. hello sir, if i may ask what do you mean by the occupancy permit be updated every year?

      2. If you have a business establishment, you are required to renew your Business Licensing documents, in some cases, a requirement to this is an occupancy permit.

  6. I just want to ask if we could build a traffic bridge above a structure simultaneously? if there’s any violation w/ the nat’l building code?

  7. thank you…
    when do you consider a building dilapidated?and who may declair it?
    and is lessor’s permit transferrable?i mean could the new owner use or possess the former owner’s lessor’s permit?

  8. what if magkaroon ng major construction/ renovation ang bldg, does the new owner has to secure a new building permit on his name n?

  9. Need advise on how to go about documenting damages to house whose foundation was affected by construction of adjacent 4-5 storey building. Thanks a lot in advance. Any advise other than the legal option is most welcome.

    1. Hi, you can commission an engineer [civil or structural] to do the investigation. He should be able to submit a report detailing the actual effects (if any). Have him [or her] sign the report to make it official.

      1. Thanks for the speedy reply. What do I do if the newly construced building which caused the damages to my propery is being occupied even if no occupancy permit was issued? Is there any other remedy I can do aside from complaining to the City Engr’s Office, which I have done already & the owner was already given notice 2x by the said Office?

    1. At the moment, there is no specified minimum dimension of traffic ways in condominiums. More often than not, they are derived from the column spacing of the building.

  10. This is a low cost information, very helpful. but i think the Rules IX-XXI is apparently damaged and cannot be downloaded to complete the PD copy.

  11. may i know what is the required setback from the road in a primary urban core zoning in tagaytay city. thank you very much for your assistance

  12. my neighbor first build a house, inbetween us boundary they put a window now am building my house n i wanted to put a firewall inbetween us the problem is the windows they refuse to allow us to block their window, we seek the help of the engr. office they dont want to comment some undergrad engr. even suggest pagbigyan na lang but wat about my safety? n beside it is within my property line. whats my right? do i have the right to build my firewall? if yes what would be my argument with the engr.? please help me asap cause it costing me so much my workers doing nothing thank ou for ur time

    1. We have the same problem in our home in the province. Our neighbor’s kitchen window is inside our property and now that I have renovated our garage, I need to cuild over their window with a wall to give way to a storage rack for tools and parts. I suggest do the following:

      1) get an architect for your renovation (if you are not one). check that the zoning and classification of the lots are allowed to build firewalls. In some subdivisions or in R1 zoned areas, there are restrictions on firewalls so check your zoning first

      2) apply for a building permit, once the government issues the permit, build

      3) if you are not issued a permit, ask your architect why. there should be a valid reason why you were not issued a permit and not that the neighbor’s window is there. remember, in Manila, if you encroach on public property the government will demolish that extension.

      4) revise and reapply

      Its your property and its your right to build on it within the parameters of the code

  13. Hi everyone. I know this is off-topic, I just want to take a chance if anyone knows the full text (verbatim) beside the Architect’s box labeled as “IMPORTANT”? I’ve been working here abroad for a long time and I am updating myself for the new standard title block in the cover sheet of working drawings. I have seen a blurry copy this box that has a statement of “important”. Please, i need to know the full text. thank you…. vince.

    1. Hi. The box beside the architect’s box (the name of the architect, ptr number, prc number, tin number, etc) is the copyright box. Before it contained a paragraph from RA545; now architects place a paragraph from RA9266 or the Architecture Act (superceeds and annotated the previous RA. It just says that the drawing is the property of the architect and cannot just be reproduced withour consent (to summarize)

  14. Good Day sir,

    It’s nice to see this blog dedicated for us pinoy architects. However, i’m quite curious if you would like to create an online forum (i.e. forumotion, etc.) with your site to push further the relationships of us pinoy architects. More power to you and this blog!

    1. Thank you. I have been preparing to create a community site to extend this blog for Pinoy architects, students and the curious for a while now.

      It shouldn’t be long until my colleagues and I launch a community forum dedicated to Philippine Architecture and Practice.

  15. My neighbor buillt their bathroom beside my firewall. They used the side of my firewall to avoid more expenses. Is this a violation of the Building Code? Should I complain it to the the authorities?

  16. Tanong lang po may lot ako sa isang subdivision bale 3 sides nya eh may 3m right of way.Pwede ba na yung ipapatayo ko eh sagad lahat sa area ng lote at fire wall na lang sa isang side, that means wala na ako set back.

    1. You will have to tell this to your architect and the architect will help you talk to the city/municipal engineer/architect. Its possible that one of the roads is an access road for another lot and not a major road.

  17. Hello, May I ask for your advice/opinion… my friend bought a house and lot and less than a year from the time she bought it, there were large cracks forming along the interior walls of the house as well as some on the exterior walls which were not present at the time she bought it. Can she still go after the developer? Is there an implied warranty against structural defects? Thank you very much.

    1. Contractors and Developers have warranties under the law. You might want to check (a)what the contract or turnover documents say (b)have it checked, some cracks are merely cracks on the plaster placed on top of the masonry wall. Structural defects are on the columns, beams, shear wall, etc. All in all, even if the cracks are only superficial as the finishes, best inquire with the developer about this issue.

      1. Okay thanks so much for your response. Can there be a waiver of the warranty against structural defects or is it inherent in the law that even with a contract, a building must be free from serious structural defects within 15 years? The largest of the cracks runs along the exterior wall around two sides of the house and it seems as if there was a shear in the wall (even mice can go through the cracks). Thank you

      2. I have worked with contractors that have workmanship warranties from six months to one year. However, there are factors that can cause cracks on the wall that are not just due to workmanship. Design can play a big role on this issue as well as site conditions. If toy are really keen on solving this issue, I suggest have the house inspected by an Engineer.

  18. pano po ba ma compute yung buildable and non- buildable area ng isang lot?for example institutional or ang itatayo sa site?
    walang FAR (floor area ratio) ang lugar..

  19. Will do. If it seems as though the seller/developer of the house wishes to wiggle their way out of paying for the repair of the house, should the owner complain to the Office of the Building Official, HLURB or to the courts?

  20. A lot of thanks for this. It really really helps in my studies as an architecture student :)) God Bless.

    1. The “revised building code” is actually a “REVISED IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE NATIONAL BUILDING CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES (P.D. 1096) referred to as the IRR;” IRR means Implementing Rules and Regulations.

    1. If you are asking what they contain, they are basically the maximum overhang, protrusion or extension from the face of the building such as balconies, signage, lighting fixtures, etc.It is a very important provision especially if you are projecting over public domain such as streets.

  21. Hello, may nabili akong lote 120 sq.m. sa caloocan city Size 6.00 X 20.00 mts. pahaba sya… pwede kayang 1.20 m. nalang ang set back ko sa 1-side saka firewall sa likod? maapprove kaya ito ng building officials? thank you,

    1. Are you inside a subdivision? I was asking because the dimensions you provided is for a typical “row house” layout which can be done with one or two sides as firewall – depending if it is in a subdivision. Also, where in Caloocan is this, is it R2? All in all, it is best to consult the building official first before you go ahead with your designs.

      1. Sa may zabarte almar ang lote, actually 240 talaga ung kabuohan, size 12.00 X 20.00 m. hinati lang sa gitna naging dalawa na ang may ari. nasa abroad kasi ako kaya hirap ako makapag consult, may website kaya ang caloocan engg? thank you uli

      2. I would suggest send someone you know to inquire for you. They would most certainly not answer any emails.

  22. A duplex house was built beside our home. My issue is their firewall has 3 windows (one each for their 2 bedrooms and walkway of their 2nd flr); worst katapat pa ng windows nila is yung window ng room ng daughter ko. Won’t it cause safety issue when fire occurs and also violation of privacy especially that the windows are just parallel to my daughter’s room?

    We want to extend the wall of our garage to somehow block the opening. Can we do that since sa garahe naman namin yun? Note that there is about 1 meter distance from our house to their firewall.

    1. It is definitely a safety issue. Fire Code states that no opening are allowed on firewalls. You can actually build your own firewall set against theirs, however, for you to do this, you will need to apply for a building permit. In the inspection (during your application) state that your neighbor has an opening so they can act upon it. Worst case, your neighbor and you will be at odds at each other but that’s about it.

      I had a case where my client’s situation was the same as yours. The building official approved an extension with a firewall covering their neighbor’s kitchen. I gave them notice that a wall will be built against their kitchen window (which was a penetration on their firewall), they got pissed of course but I suggested they use the time I gave them to board up their window lest they open their “jalousie” into a wall.

  23. Sir,

    We have an irregular corner lot, it is shaped like a curved trapezoid. with setback and all, our house is cramped. My question is, can our planned veranda be moved beyond and encroach the setback. We can use that extra .75 M to make my son’s room more spacious.

    Thanks in advance

    1. In all honesty, it is up to the building official to decide if they will allow you or not; since I do not have a clear and detailed picture of your situation, please check Section 804 of the NBC. You can download a copy from here under RULE VIII. You will see on Table VIII.2 the prescribed minimum setbacks for different lot types against the different occupancy types.

      From what i just read on your post, they will most likely not allow it.

  24. Hi Architect,

    Sir, I have a question and I don’t know any engineer and architect. WE have a house in a corner lot, the distance of our fence to the road/street is large and we also have a small garden. We decided to maximize our lot. but our contractor built the house beyond the fence. now the distance of the new extended house from the street and canal is only 1 meter.. is this ok or legal? and now the city municipal engr wants us to demolished the whole structure.

    1. Hi. Regulations on setbacks vary from city to city even though there is a prescribed setback distance in the National Building Code and it also depends on the type of housing development you are in. In the event that you go beyond the setback, the municipal engineer will declare it a violation and they can order it to be demolished. If you are comfortable in giving me details of your house, shoot me an email.

    2. in the city of Manila, you can befriend the sitting building official and he will exempt you from the building code. no property setbacks and interpretation of the useless code is with him . His word is the code

  25. Sir,

    May building permit po ako. Ang firewall ng katabi naming building ay nilagyan ng opening some sort of a window. Pag itinuloy namin ang pagconstruct ng aming building matatakpan ang window nila. Kailangan pa bang humingi ako ng pahintulot sa kanila?

  26. Hi Sir Architect,

    I really appreciate your response to my query and I thank you in advance. Sorry because I am here abroad so its difficult to tell you the exact dimensions of the house, what specific details do you want so that I can ask my relative? NOw, they granted us electrical permit, but I would really want to still have a building permit so that no legal implications will worry me in the future..

    1. Hi. An Electrical Permit is applied separately in some cases. But your issue is that you are worried that your contractor may have built in error to the code with regards to the allowable setback. To check this, identify the zoning where the house is built, the prescribed setback is shown on the building code. on Figure VIII.11 from Rule VIII

  27. Hi sir,

    I would like to ask if you know where to downloas a softcopy of National Structural Code of the Philippines 2010 edition? Please.

  28. Sir, good day po.yung kapitbahay po nmin,di ho ba dapat ang side ng bahay ng kapitbahy namin ay firewall?kasi ho nilagyan nya ng balcony ito imbes na firewall, ang sukat ho mula sa dingding ng bahay nmin patungo sa side nila(ito po ay bakante lote na di pa namin nalalagyan ng extension) ay dapat 3.5meters pro ng pinasukat ho nmin 2.7 meters lang po, pano po ba to, bukod sa puro bintana and suppose firewall may balkonahe pa at pag umuulan ang tubig ay umaagos sa side namin, kya nmn nagkakaron ng stock na tubig sa gilid ng bahay nmin na bakante lote ay kumain pa sila ng .8meters.sana po matulungan nyo po ako bilang single mother.

    1. Hi. Not all zones require the use of firewalls. In some cases, especially in R1 (residential zones) they do not allow firewalls however, they require huge setbacks, some as far as 2.5 meters. However, it si forbidden for the neighbor to encroach onto your property, even so, they should follow a proper setback from the property line.

      You ca file a complaint to the city engineer’s office so they can check if they applied for a buildine permit (properly), if not, the city will take action.

      If you want to pursue this further, contact an architect to help you,

  29. Sir,can you give me link of where i can find different setbacks.its too long to scan this PDF file
    .im a new architecture student.thanks..

  30. Hi sirs,

    Our new house is under construction.
    Mali kami ng nakuhang tao, engineer ang nacontrata namen instead of architect.
    Ngayon, ginagawa yung bahay namen na walang kahit anung plano, kaya wala rin bldg permit.. ano po ba dapat kong gawin.

    1. Without a Building Permit, you will never be given an Occupancy Permit so I suggest that you contact an registered and licensed architect and have plans drawn up. The architect can also help you coordinate with the building official and rectify the problem. It is also possible that you will be given a penalty but that should be minor.

  31. in between sa lote ko is is an alley measuring 2.37m. ang measurement ng frontage namin ay parehong 4.70 napapagitnaan kami ng alley measuring 2.37 ang issue namin nag-overlap siya 0.10m sa harap at 0.08 ang overlapped niy sa alley according dun sa surveyor niya. ang nakalgay sa reprort “negligble at allowable daw yun. pero sa tinigin po namin hindi lang ganun kalaki kasi ang measurment ng alley ngayon ay 2.10 na lang. is there such a thing negligable at allowable kapag ganun ang overlappped? nabasa ko ho sa isang comment niyo ay ide-demolish kapag nag-encroach ka sa isang gov’t o public property. alin po ba ang tama? may mga 3 window sa taas at may dalawang malalaking swing-out windows sa ibaba pwede po ba ipasara yun?

  32. sir… sinasabi po sa pd 1096 yung hindi daw sumunod sa regulations, ma ipose ng fines and penalties.. san ko po makikita yung specifics nito? tnx in advance

  33. Hi Good day Sir,
    I have a problem with our neighbor, they file a case in our barangay it said that our firewall within our property is producing/leaking black water they said that it comes from our septic tank.( but this just their assumption they really don’t have any study which it may cause, maybe they are not on our part because water can penetrate at any area of a lot). and the things is we already make a move on our part by plastering the said wall and put some additive or water proofing(SAHARA),but still it has a leakage. but on our part what if it is not us because the houses here in Marikina are firewall to firewall, and to think they don’t have their own firewall because they use it as their hallway and it has only a small Canal or open small drainage. do we have chance to say that they don’t have their own firewall, do we have a law pertaining to that problem in our national building code.

  34. hi sketch, applicable for all po ba yung BP220?

    Firewall(Amended per Board Res. No. 824, Series of 2008)
    Whenever a dwelling abuts on a property line, a firewall shall be required.
    The firewall shall be of masonry construction, at least 150 millimeters or
    6 inches thick and extend vertically from the lowest portion of the wall
    adjoining the living units up to a minimum height of 0.30 meter above the
    highest point of the roof attached to it. The firewall shall also extend
    horizontally up to a minimum distance of 0.30 meter beyond the
    outermost edge of the abutting living units.

    dapat po ba beyond 2008 dapat 6 inches na ang firewall ng abutting units?

  35. Can I ask, what is the minimum and maximum area per user that is used in houses? thank you!!!! 🙂 (still an architecture student)

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  37. Hi thank you for this forum….my problem is that our house was built 30+ years and there is a window in the part wall facing an empty lot. This year somebody bought the lot and started constructing a 3 storey condo type building. They Re putting up a party wall covering out windows and using our wall as support. I read in the building code re period of prescription when the window is in the party wall. Please help. Thanks so much.

    1. Hi, thank you for your question, I hoe your problem gets solved amicably. I do have some questions I need to ask to get a good picture of the situation.

      When you say that there is a “window in the part wall,” do you mean that you have an opening for a window on a firewall (a wall that is dividing your lot from the neighboring lot), ie, a wall right on the property line?

      When you say that they are using your warty wall for support, were you able to look at their structural drawings and verify on site that their building is structurally attached to yours?

      Again, thanks for your question. I would to look deeper into your situation to help you out but from face value, if your opening is on the firewall, they can cover it up with their own firewall. As to the matter of them using your party-wall for support, that is a problem. I sugegst you call on your local building official for assistance in clarifying this matter.

      1. Hi thank you for your very quick reply. Yes they are using the wall as part of their support. Instead of creating a 4sided support fir the fire wall they are building they created a 3side the fourth attached to our wall. We’ve already called the attention of the city official but up to this time they have not done anything on this.

        In the revised building cide what do you mean by prescription period of 10 years for easent of light and view? Based on my understanding ssunce the house was built 30 + years already and that side where the firewal with windows was there already the owner of the lot shall construct 50cm away from our wall. Thank you

      2. That is unfortunate to hear that they are using your wall as part of their wall. What is the zoning regulation prescribed for your lot? The easement for light and view is a guideline for construction of habitable spaces and fenestration. It prescribes that there should be sufficient distance from the property line for a wall to have an opening for the space to enjoy ample light and view; and that a firewall or partywall cannot have such openings. (RULE VIII). Can you point to which section you are referring to? Thanks.

      3. Hello! I really appreciate your immediate response. Thank you so much. Yes we checked the site and the post they are building is attached to our wall. We already called the attention of the baranggay officials and the city engineer but no action has been done yet.

        Also, does UAP has sanctions for an architect/contractor who decieved us for making us believe that the perpetual right of way is part of their property and that they can occupy the area and build their fire wall in that perpetual right of way. Construction is still on going and we had reported the whole thing to the city engineer and also seeked the services of a lawyer.

        Please help! Thank you so much


  38. Hi,
    I am starting to build structures on my property along the beach. The property is fronting a 3 meter road along the beach. I have a few questions hope you can help me.
    1. What is the allowable setback for a the building from the beach.?
    2. Where will i base my setback? from the road or from the beachline? Note: beach line is different on high & low tide.
    3. Can i also build the fence after the road to secure my lot? ( the barangay stopped me from building a fence.)

    Thank you… hope you can help me with this issues.


    1. Hi. Normally your local planning office will have the guidelines for the allowable development area. The National Building Code, in its current state, is the general guideline and in your case, you will need specific guidelines found on the restrictions set by your zoning board. Once you know the zoning restrictions, the setbacks will follow, in this case (a) is your property on a residential zone? If so, what is the allowed density? (R1, R2, R3 etc). (b) setbacks are based on the property line shown on your plan and indicated on the property by the “mohon” or those concrete cylinders marking corners on your lot. The beach is public domain and you cannot build in this zone. (c) you described your lot fronting a 3-meter road along the beach, does this mean the road is between your lot and the beach?

      If you want to discuss this further, please email me. Thanks.

  39. Hi!
    Just want to ask the minimum setback for a corner lot (2 streets) , i understand the front setback is 3m how about the side along the street? Rear setback? I badly need answer, we have an ongoing construction. What do i do if the setback is like 10mm short from the required setback?

    1. I understand frontage setback should be 3m, how about the setback on the side along the street (R2/lot type isfig. VIII-4)? What to do if 10cm short from the required setback?

      1. Hi! Thanks for the reply Sketch. Minimum setback for the side along the street is also 2m? We have like 2.90m setback on the side along the street. Is there different setback requirements for every town/municipality/city?

  40. The NBCP is the umbrella code used in these restrictions. Each municipality and city creates ordinances in correlation to this, usually stricter. Each Local Governt Unit (LGU) has their own Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) that prescribes abutments for each lot.

  41. hi,

    Balak ko pong mag extend sa likod ng 2 storey kong bahay. May 2m set back required sa area namin. Balak ko sana i occupy yung buong 2m set back by building a wall along the property line pero gusto ko sana mag leave ng opening para malagyan ko ng fixed glass para may natural lightings. Ganon din sa taas ng laundry, Balak ko gawin naman itong sampayan ng damit sort of balcony. Bale ung 2m set back ko ay magiging 2 storey laundry area. at parehong may chb wall na may openings (fixed windows). Allowed ba ito?

  42. Hi
    May I ask what happens when the property owner of adjoining thorough lot of a proposed 5-storey building with mezzanie did not give consent in putting up a firewall? Given the zonal classification is I1. I went to the city official the set back requirement has 2m setback in the sides/rear of the lot and the required Firewall is only 1. But in their plans they wanted to put 2 firewalls.
    Immediately beside the perimeter wall is a common garage of residential apartment units. Our opposition stems from what if we decide to construct on the garage and we needed to finish the walls of the side of the building the 2 meter set back maybe reasonable space so we can do that. Not to mention water waste that may run down from that proposed firewall. Need Help po Architect.

    1. If you have lodged a complaint, the building inspector will order a stop to the work till both parties agree on things. There is obviously fault (mind that the zonal requirements and design limits are not satusfied) in the design so it will be the office of the Building Officials duty to put a stop to this.

  43. Hi.

    Iam buying a townhouse and i would like to know if there is a standard # year/s on structural and functional warranties.

    My agent said that we only have six months of warranty.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi. I believe the six month warranty refers to the painting, waterproofing and fixtures. Structural elements of the building should remain intact for the duration of its lifespan.

  44. Hello,
    My neighbor at the back of my house is having a construction now. They dont have any construction plans to show us, except telling us that they will construct a firewall for a 2 storey house in place of a their concrete wall. I opposed to sign the neighbors consent as requirement in getting a permit. i noticed in the forms like electrical it has been pre signed by an architect and an engineer. but the forms have not been filled up by the applicant and the inspector himself of the village is the one requiring us to sign. I sense that they are in some kind of connivance, no permit has been taken but construction is on going. Now just want to ask if there is a limit in building a firewalll at the back of my house? What if then they cover the whole area with firewall, is it allowed? Need your advice thanks…

    1. Hi. Depending on the classification of the lot, the setback and area, firewalls are limited in nature.

      RULE VII
      SECTION 704. Location on Property
      4. Building Footprint and Firewall Requirements

      a. The following rules shall be observed in the determination of the Allowable Maximum Building Footprint (AMBF) for buildings and related habitable structures. If the stated rules are compared with (1) Rule VIII Table VIII.1.- Reference Table on Percentage of Site Occupancy and Maximum Allowable Construction Area (MACA); (2) Rule VIII Tables VIII.2. and VIII.3. (setbacks, yards and courts); or (3) with the applicable stipulations under this Rule and with the applicable stipulations of the Fire Code, the more stringent but applicable regulation out of the aforementioned rules should be observed;

      b. If without a firewall, the footprint of a proposed building/structure shall be measured horizontally from the property line to the outermost faces of the exterior walls of the building/structure; Provided, that the distance measured from the property line shall conform with the applicable stipulations of this Rule and Rule VIII; The resultant area established at grade level upon which the proposed building/structure may stand shall be the AMBF;

      c. Footprint Based on Firewall Provisions
      i. If with a firewall on one (1) side, the footprint of a proposed building/structure shall be measured horizontally from the property line with a firewall to the outermost faces of the opposite exterior walls of the building/structure; Provided, that the applicable stipulations of the Fire Code are strictly followed;

      ii. If with a firewall on two (2) sides or on one (1) side and the rear property line, the footprint of a proposed building/structure shall be measured horizontally from the opposing property lines in case of a firewall on two (2) sides or from the rear property line with a firewall to the outermost faces of the opposite exterior walls of the building/structure; provided, that the applicable stipulations of the Fire Code are strictly followed;

      iii. Absolutely no firewalls are allowed for a low density residential (R-1) uses or occupancies; an abutment of up to 3.20 meters from established grade level may
      however be permitted but solely for the purpose of supporting a carport roof; provided further that such abutment shall be constructed of perforated or decorative
      concrete blocks above 1.50 meters measured vertically from the established grade level; such an abutment shall not be longer than 7.00 meters or 50% of the side property line in total length, whichever is shorter.

      iv. For medium density residential (R-2) uses or occupancies, a firewall can be erected on a maximum of 80% of the total length of a side property line; provided that only
      one (1) side property line is used for a firewall in the case of a R-2 structure; and provided further that the applicable stipulations of the Fire Code are strictly followed;

      v. For high-density residential (R-3) uses or occupancies, two (2) types of firewall construction may be permitted:
      (a) For a R-3 use or occupancy with a firewall on two (2) sides, a firewall can be erected on a maximum of 85% of the total length of each side property line; provided that all firewall construction shall not exceed 65% of the total perimeter of the R-3 property, i.e., total length of all property lines; provided that firewalls in R-3
      lots shall only be allowed for a maximum two (2) storey component structure; and provided further that all the applicable stipulations of the Fire Code are strictly
      followed; and
      (b) For a R-3 use or occupancy with a firewall on one (1) side property line and at the rear property line, a firewall can be erected on a maximum of 90% of the
      total length of the side and rear property lines and up to 100% in case the rear property line is only 4.00 meters wide; provided that all firewall construction at the
      side property lines shall not exceed 50% of the total perimeter of the R-3 property, i.e., total length of all property lines; provided that firewalls in R-3 lots shall only be allowed for a maximum two (2) storey structure but not at the rear property line where the maximum allowed firewall height shall only be 3.20 meters measured vertically from established grade; and provided further that all the applicable
      stipulations of the Fire Code are strictly followed.

      vi. For townhouse residential (R-4) uses or occupancies, firewalls on the two (2) sides of each townhouse unit may be permitted; the R-4 firewall can be erected on a
      maximum of 85% of the total length of each side property line; provided that all firewall construction shall not exceed 50% of the total perimeter of each R-4 property, i.e., total length of all property lines; provided that firewalls in each R-4 use or occupancy shall be allowed for a maximum three (3) storey structure; and provided further that all the applicable stipulations of the Fire Code are strictly followed;

      vii. For residential condominium (R-5) uses or occupancies, two (2) types of firewall construction may be permitted:
      (a) For a R-5 use or occupancy with a firewall on two (2) sides, a firewall can be erected on a maximum of 75% of the total length of each side property line; provided
      that all firewall construction at the side property lines shall not exceed 50% of the total perimeter of the R-5 property, i.e., total length of all property lines; provided that side firewalls in R-5 uses or occupancies shall only be allowed for a maximum eight (8) storey component structure, i.e., the podium; and provided further that all the applicable stipulations of the Fire Code are strictly followed; and
      (b) For a R-5 use or occupancy with a firewall on one (1) side and at the rear property line, a firewall can be erected on a maximum of 65% of the total length of
      the side property line and on a maximum of 50% of the total length of the rear property line; provided that all firewall construction shall not exceed 60% of the total
      perimeter of the R-5 property, i.e., total length of all property lines; provided that the side firewalls in R-5 uses or occupancies shall only be allowed for a maximum eight (8) storey component structure and that at the rear property line, the maximum allowed firewall height shall only be 14.00 meters measured vertically from
      established grade; and provided further that all the applicable stipulations of the Fire Code are strictly followed.

      viii. All existing openings on all firewalls shall be sealed completely to maintain the fire integrity of adjoining buildings/structures.

      ix. The provision of a fully functional sprinkler system and the installation of other fireretardant or fire suppression devices in the case of commercial, institutional and industrial buildings/structures may allow firewall construction for up to 70% of the total perimeter of the property lines provided that the prescribed setbacks, yards and courts fronting the Road Right-Of-Way (RROW) are first fully complied with; and provided further that all the applicable stipulations of the Fire Code, particularly on the number, type and locations of fire exits are strictly followed.

  45. we are renovating our house, and we construct a terrace on the rear side portion of our house. The neighbor got mad and request us to demolish the terrace cause kailangan daw ng 2 meter setback baka daw sila pasukan ng magnanakaw. My question is, Is it still a building code violation If I can request sa neighbor ko na hwag ng gibain yun terrace and I will put all the necessary safety para hindi sila pasukan ng magnanakaw . Under R1 kami. need your help

    1. Hi, thank you for participating. Just a few clarifications, is it a balcony (second floor) or a Terrace (ground floor or veranda)? What is the distance from the edge of your balcony/or terrace to your neighbors’s property line?

  46. Hi Sir. Ask ko lang po ano po minimum setback distance from adjacent property? Saka if ever na may creeek sa likod ng bahay, ilan din po setback distance? Thanks.

      1. Thank you so much, Sir. Next question po. If ever na firewall nalang po gawin,pwede po ba may opening? Kung pwede po, ilan po minimum? Yung nasa NBCP po kasi 50% of the area daw po ‘yun ay kung exterior wall. Eh pano po kung hindi namin siya gagamitin as exterior wall? Thanks po.

      2. Hi. All firewalls have no openings, that is the basic characteristics of a firewall. Its primarily used as a fire stopper so it will not function if it has openings. Can you post a basic sketch of your lot?

  47. hi. we have a corner lot. i just want to know if we are entitled to have 2 right of ways/access on both roads adjacent to our lot.


    1. Hi. Depending on your Deed of Restrictions (and the current design guidelines in yiur subdivision if any), if it is indicated that you cannot then thatbis your restriction. However, if there is no restriction on that, the National Building Code prescribes (depending on the road right of way width) a setback that you can use also as your means of entry and exit. As a summary, with all conditions above, yes you may have access.

      You can show a cooy of your lot plan to your architect so your architect can prescribe the best solution. Regards.

  48. This is about my neighbor who renovated their townhouse unit next to mine.They altered the structure completely and made it up to 3 flrs from 2 flrs.Now,I have nothing against it because it’s their right as the owner to do whatever they want to do with their property.But the problem is that,their renovation caused & still causing a lot of problems to my unit w/c is next to theirs.They hacked our common wall which caused my wall to crack and my roof to leak.Not only that,debris and cement were all over my terrace and they didn’t have the initiative to clean it until I had to bring to their attention.It took a lot of effort on my part to convince them to clean their mess which sometimes made me lose my temper.I was thinking they were doing it intentionally to harass me or something. One of the workers entered my terrace w/o my permission. I’ve spent money to repair the damage that they’ve caused. I also brought it to the attention of our HOA & Brgy officials but problems seemed endless. Can I file a complaint at HLURB?

    1. Although they own the property, they cannot do whatever they want, how they want. They have to go through a whole process of permissions and permits and in this case, ask permission from the neighbor – you. You can file a complaint with the municipal or city engineers office, they will send an inspector to verify the issue. If you need further assistance, you may contact me here:

      1. Thank you very much for your reply. I’ve already submitted a complaint letter to HLURB. They’ve already endorsed my complaint to the municipal engineer’s office and still waiting for their comments. Now, I found out that it’s not only 3 floors but they are planning to add 2 more floors (5 floors in total). I think they are (the owners) not aware that our location (Rodriguez Rizal) are in between two fault lines )the east and west valley faults! And the worst is that, the townhouse units were constructed on a hill so each unit is sitting not on a flat based foundation but like of an inclined position (I don’t know if you can picture what I am trying to describe). So if there’s something happened like an earthquake for example, it might caused like a domino effect. The units adjacent to this tall structure will surely be at risk. At first, they did not get a building permit for the construction. The owner just started to secure the permit when there was an accident happened (two of the workers were electrocuted because they accidentally made contact with the high tension wire of Meralco). One worker died because of that.

  49. Are building construction types in the Philippines only related to the fire zones defined by the municipality? I am from America and other building codes I see usually have requirements for the construction type based on the occupancy, height, and area of the building, but it does not appear the NBC is the same.

    For example, I can’t tell from the NBC whether or not I could build a 6 story office building out of Type 1 construction. It seems that I could as long as I am in a non-fire restrictive zone and I don’t exceed the Building Height Limit (BHL) multiplied by the Allowable Maximum Occupancy Building Building Footprint (AMBF). Am I missing something?

    Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi. The NBC is the generic minimum that all cities and municipalities base their ordinances from. Essentially, whatever ordinance they pass must never be beyond this national minimum. Ordinances in cities are much more stricter than the NBC.

      The Zoning Ordinances that the cities and municipalities pass bear the restrictions you are looking for. They near the setbacks, height limits, development types and the densities that are used to plan and design the building.

      Are you looking for any specific city or municipality ordinance?

      1. Thank you for the feedback. Specifically I am looking for requirements in Kauswagan, but I did not find any.

      2. The local planner ng office will gave the data you need. CITY PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT OFFICE
        Engr. Isidro G. Bora, City Planning Officer. 3rd Floor, Administrative Building, City Hall, Cagayan de Oro City ) use area codes outside the area) 857-2264, 857-2179, 857-3390, Fax: 857-3148. Normally you can just drop by or call them for the information. Unlike other more prominent cities, these municipalities do not have design guidelines published over the Internet. Now, if they do not have any specific guidelines for this, you can use the minimum prescribed on the NBC. All in all, you will still need to apply for a planning permit so you will need to submit drawings and they will check the design.

  50. Hi! is it possible to extend, above grade, 1m more than the setback required on-grade for an R2 house? technically the second floor will have a setback of 2m instead of the required 3 from the front?

    1. Hi, yes, it is possible to extend. In most cities, it’s 700mm but you have to check since your roof, will also go beyond this limit.

      1. does this apply to habitable rooms? or limited to balcony or etc? and by 700mm do you mean i can only protrude by this amount? thanks!

      2. Depending on the design of your room protusions, the room use, and subdivision or local zoning guide, yes, you can protrude. In some cases, up to the property line, say for example if you’re going to use a fire wall (if allowed).

  51. hello sketch, the licensing department of our municipality have include a certificate of occupancy for the requirements to secure a business permit. is there any provisions or guidelines that exclude a light material structure from securing a certificate of occupancy in the national building code? cause if one have to secure a certificate of occupancy do i need to secure a building permit for a 2m x 3.5m light material structure? since one of the requirements of a certificate of occupancy is a approved building permit.

    1. Hi, I need to know several things to answer you accurately, but an occupancy permit is required for any business establishment. There are cases that a certificate of occupancy is given without going through the lengthy process but it will almost certainly entail showing the structure that you have built including its specifications. Normally you first source requirements from the City Planning Office, then a list will be given to you and you will then be forwarded to the Office of the Building Official. OBO will then determine if you need to apply for the building permit or not.

  52. HI,

    In a commercial zone, I have a firewall built. One day, my neighbor started putting sands, stones and garbages beside my firewall. Definitely, it will damage my firewall. Can I require them to build their own firewall after my firewall?

    thank yoou

    1. they will be building an apartel but they will use my firewall as their firewall, can they do that? Can I require them to build their own firewall?

      1. Hi, you cannot require them to build a firewall if the side of your firewall is facing an open space of your neighbor. The government can require them to do so depending on the use of that space. However, you can write a letter and indicate that any damage to the wall that may result with what they are doing will be charged to them. Have a copy sent to your Barangay so they can note it down.

  53. Good day,
    Thank you for this..can u please refer me to the provision of the building code for this matter so I can show it to the barangay? Hopibg for your consideration..thank u soo much!

  54. Hello Sir,

    I am applying for a building permit. It’s really taking so long like 3 months already. The latest comment of the Architect or Building official in the City Hall is that the front terrace or balcony is not allowed in an R1 lot. Is this a valid rule? May I know the exact regulations in as far as front balconies are concerned on an R1 lot?

    Hoping for your response on this.


    1. Hi, how close is your balcony to your property line? R1 lots are strict when it comes to projections ang attachments to the building. Maybe you can post a link or attach a photo to your balcony layout showing the property line as well.

      1. Hello Sir,

        Thank you for your prompt reply. Please see this link:
        I think the front of the balcony is around 1.5 meters away from the property line while the right side of the balcony is 1 meter away from the property line.

        Best regards.

      2. Thank you, Sir Sketch.

        I will discuss this with my Architect. I am just wondering why this was not considered by my Architect when we submitted the designs. I believe their firm is in the practice for quite a long time already. May I get your contact email or number for future consultancy? I have some design related queries I’m hoping to consult with.

        Happy weekend.

  55. hi, may i ask if its possible to create a setback of 0.60meters beside a firewall, instead of placing the bldg directly beside the firewall (for air ventilation purposes)?

    1. Hi, the setback depends on the zoning of your lot, the distance from the property line or another lot’s wall will be prescribed by that zoning regulation. However, if you do have an option to build a firewall but instead you opted to build 0,60m away from the neighbor’s property, you can also do that.

      1. clarification:

        1. so it is allowed for us to use our neighbor’s firewall as our firewall (with neighbor’s permission)? and also to put a setback of 0.60m from this firewall before placing our bldg? it is not necessary that our bldg should be directly placed beside the firewall?

        2. or in case we should build our own firewall beside the neighbor’s firewall, question remains the same if it is allowed to put a 0.60m setback before placing the bldg?

        fyi, we already have the necessary setbacks of 5m in front of the lot and 2 m on one side and back of the property. the only concern we have is the firewall area on 1 side, if we can put a bit of setback just for ventilation purposes?

      2. hi, thanks so much for your reply. may i ask for clarification:

        1. so it is ok to use the firewall of my neighbor as my firewall (with neighbor’s permission)? and it is ok to put a setback of 0.60m before putting my bldg beside this firewall?

        2. else if I build a firewall beside his firewall, same question still applies, if i can put a setback of 0.60m between my firewall and my bldg?

        fyi, we already have the required setbacks of 5m for the front of the lot, 2m for one side and back of the lot. the only confusion we have is if we can provide setback of 0.60m from the firewall side.

        standard designs with regard firewalls, usually place bldg directly beside the firewall, but we prefer to put a bit of space for ventilation purposes. so far, we see no law stating anything for or against it, hence our question.

        thanks for your time. =)

    1. Hi, to answer your questions, I need to put this out first. Rule VII Section 703 Par. C-iii states that:
      Absolutely no firewalls are allowed for a low density residential (R-1) uses or occupancies; an abutment of up to 3.20 meters from established grade level may however be permitted but solely for the purpose of supporting a carport roof; provided further that such abutment shall be constructed of perforated or decorative concrete blocks above 1.50 meters measured vertically from the established grade level; such an abutment shall not be longer than 7.00 meters or 50% of the side property line in total length, whichever is shorter.

      With that, its still unclear to me why there is a fire wall on your neighbor’s lot. But moving forward:
      (1a) a firewall if for that occupant’s use, meaning, your neighbor has a firewall so if there is a fire on his property, it would not spread to your property. Having a firewall will block the fire’s spread to the adjoining lot. Technically, whatever you do on the other side (on your lot) will not mean that you are using your neighbor’s firewall. Perhaps, so long as you do not damage the wall, there is no issue.
      (1b) if you have been prescribed a setback already, 2.0m from the property line on the sides, your building’s ground floor line should start at that line which is 2.0 meters away from the property line. You can build a wall, up to 2.0m of solid masonry wall 0.60m away from your neighbor’s firewall.

      fyi, we already have the required setbacks of 5m for the front of the lot, 2m for one side and back of the lot. the only confusion we have is if we can provide setback of 0.60m from the firewall side.

      If you mean by this, you still want to build a firewall, you technically cant as a firewall”s design will be in excess of your building height and required setback. You can however build another wall about 2.0m in height but would be useless for the purpose you want anyway.

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