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भुकम्प सुरक्षित भवन निर्माणमा लापरबाही गर्नु भनेको आफूद्वारा आफै ठगिनु हो ।

भुकम्प सुरक्षित भवन निर्माणमा लापरबाही गर्नु भनेको आफूद्वारा आफै ठगिनु हो ।


Nepal lies in the highly prone area for massive earthquakes, that few of us have felt and few of us have only heard. For the overall safety of building and human lives building codes are introduced and updated throughout time. It was first introduced on 2064 and kept being revised on 2072 and 2074 lately.

The goal of building codes is to protect the safety and general welfare of the public. They are also designed to specify the construction and occupancy of structures. When a particular jurisdiction decides to adopt a building code, it becomes law. Before laying the first stone of building, it’s important to familiarize oneself to various laws related to construction.

General Terminology

GCR (Ground Coverage Ratio)

GCR is the percentage of space left on your land to build a house. Generally, when building a house, GCR should be left at least 30%. Only 70 % of the area is can be used for building a house. However, in core urban areas, you can use up to 80%-100% of proposed land.

Also, in some places, you cannot build houses on more than 50%-60% of the land if the building is for commercial purpose. This is because GCR is determined differently depending on the zoning of land, land area and functional use of building.  The GCR of a commercial or residential building also varies.


A right of way is a form of easement, as a land corridor designed or constructed for the use of public access, traffic circulation and the location of public utilities such as pathways, roads and highways, regardless of the ownership of the land. New land plotting projects should have at least 6 m road.


A building setback is the open space between the building and the property boundary or lot line. We can construct the house only up to the setback line. This again varies for different types of buildings. The setback line is applicable not just in the front, but also around the entire building.

The total plot area is another determining factor for the setback line. The minimum space to be dedicated for setback at the side of the road is 5 ft from the R.O.W of road while at other sides if proposed building if one has the desire to keep doors, windows and openings of such, at least 5 ft (1.5 m) of space has to be allocated from the boundary line of the plot .If provision of shutter in building at least 2 m has to be allocated from R.O.W line .  

In case of commercial use building at least 2 m setback has to be provisioned on all sides of boundary. Setback also dictates the minimum safe distance to be allocated for rivers,kulo,  government land , high tension as below:

FAR / No. of storey

Floor area ratio is the measurement of a building’s floor area in relation to the size of the lot/parcel that the building is located on. It also varies from place to place. In most municipalities, the FAR has been kept minimum at 1.75. Depending on the place/local authorities the value of FAR can vary.

For example, if you are building a house in an area of ​​1369 square feet (4 aana), and FAR (assumed) 1.75. This means you can build a house of 1369× 1.75 = 2395.75 square feet (BUILT-UP AREA) on the land. That is, house of two floors having 1000 sq. and a half-storey of 395.75 sq. can be made into a two and a half-storey house, depending on the criteria of one’s choice. But talking about Kathmandu Metropolitan City FAR has been standardized 3.5-4.5 . It is crucial to note that basement parking areas ,  atrium, staircase cover (if on top floor ) are not calculated for the built up area even though the tax has to be paid for them as well .

Height of building

The height of building is somehow dictated by FAR but also there are some restrictions for multiple stories building for more than 10 m tall building. The height of the building should be checked with light plane so that adequate lights are accessible by all for road network as well.

For building more than 17 m height Soil test report is made mandatory for the safety of building and also the future tenants of building. As of these days, in modern and developing city’s high rise towers, apartment and penthouse are developing fast where the building designer should be very careful about all the aspects.

Categorization of structure

Complied from various sources :

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