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.

National Building Code of the Philippines

From the Architecture Advocacy Yahoo Group [Link]:

The initially annotated 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: Continue reading “National Building Code of the Philippines”