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National building code


Abass w.o


Onuwabhagbe e.v.



ARC 510




NOV., 2009



The aim of this

code is to provide the minimum standards to safeguard life and property and to
guarantee public health and welfare by effectively regulating the process of planning, design, approval,
costing, construction, use and occupancy, location and maintenance of a
ll buildings and structures
taking into consideration the traditions, environment, culture, technological and economic
circumstances of Nigeria.

These regulations shall be known as the “Nigerian Building Code”, and shall be cited as such, and
hereinafter r
eferred to as “The Code”.



The provisions of this Code shall apply to and control all matters concerning the planning, design,

costing, construction, alteration, addition to, moving, demolition, location, repair and use of any


or structure, whether existing or proposed within the Federal Republic of Nigeria; except works

specifically controlled and otherwise provided for in some other body of rules and regulations duly

promulgated by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

This Co
de shall always be construed to secure its expressed intent, as stated in Section 1.2, for the

purpose of ensuring public safety, health and welfare to the extent as they are affected by matters

within the scope of this code, (building construction, stru
ctural strength, adequate means of egress,

facilities, sanitary equipment, fire safety etc) and in general to secure safety to life and property from all

hazards incident to the design, erection, repair, demolition, removal or use and occupancy of buildi

structure or premises.

Where in any specific case, different sections of this code or other related regulations, specify standards,

or other requirements, the most restrictive shall govern. Where there is conflict between a general

, and a specific requirement, the specific requirement, shall be applicable. The standards

specified in this Code shall constitute the minimum requirements from which other regulations may be




The provisions of this code shall c
over all matters affecting or relating to buildings and

When the provisions herein specified for health, safety and welfare are more restrictive than

other regulations, this code shall control; but in any case the most rigid requirements of e
ither this code

or those of any regulations shall apply whenever they conflict.



Continuation of existing use:
The legitimate use and occupancy of any structure existing on the date of
promulgation of this code, or for which it h
as been hereto properly approved, shall be permitted to
continue without change, except as is specifically covered in this code, or other relevant regulations
listed in the Appendix.

It shall be unlawful to make any change in the use or occupancy of any s
or portion thereof which would subject it to any special provisions of this code without the approval of
the Code Enforcement Officer, and the Code Enforcement Officer’s Certification that such structure
meets the intent of the provisions of regul
ations governing building construction for the proposed new
use and occupancy, and that such change does not result in any greater hazard to public safety or

itions, alterations, or repairs:

Additions, alterations or repairs to any structure s
hall conform to that

required of a new structure without requiring the existing structure to comply with all the requirements

of this code. Additions, or alterations, shall not be made to any existing structure or building which will

cause the existing

building or structure to be in violation of any of the provisions of this code, nor shall

such additions or alteration cause the existing building or structure to become unsafe or in any way

adversely affect its stability, ventilation, fire safety, mean
s of egress, sanitation or the general

performance of the building.

The totality of any building so altered which involves a change in use of occupancy, shall not exceed the

height, number of floors, and area permitted for new buildings, including the
new additions if any.

Alterations, or additions shall not be made to any existing building or structure when such a structure or
building is not in full compliance with the provisions of this code, except when such addition or
alteration or repair will res
ult in the existing building or structure being in full compliance with the
provisions of this code.



All buildings and structures, and all parts thereof shall be maintained in a safe and sanitary condition.

All devices

or safeguards, which are required by this code, shall be maintained in good order.

The owner or the designated agent shall be responsible for the maintenance of buildings and structures.

The Code Enforcement Officer shall cause the re
inspection of any
building or structure to determine

compliance with this sub

Application or notice to the Code Enforcement Officers shall not be required for ordinary repairs or

rehabilitation provided that such repairs or rehabilitation shall not include the c
utting away of any load

bearing wall or portion thereof, the removal or cutting of any structural beam or bearing support, or the

removal or change of any required means of egress, or re
amendment of parts of a structure affecting

the existing requireme
nts, nor shall ordinary repairs include addition to, alteration of, replacement or

relocation of utility pipes or conduit, drainage, sewer, electrical or mechanical installations affecting

public health or general safety.



Before a structure can be demolished or removed, the owner or agent shall notify all utilities having

service connections with the structure such as water, electricity, telecommunication, gas, sewer and

other connections.

A permit to demolish or remove a structure shall not be issued until the respective

service connections and appurtenant equipment, such as meters and regulators, have been removed or

sealed and plugged in a safe manner.

Only when written notice has bee
given by the applicant to the

owners of adjoining plots and to the owners of wired or other facilities, of which the temporary removal

is necessitated by the proposed work, shall a permit be granted for the removal of a building or




It shall be unlawful to erect, construct, extend, alter, restore, improve, convert or demolish a building or

structure; or change the use or occupancy of a building or structure, exit or sanitary provisions; or to

install or alter an
y equipment for which provision is made or the installation of which is regulated by this

code, without filing an application in writing and obtaining the required approval therefore; except that

repairs, as defined in Chapter 12 and which do not involve

any violation of this code, shall be exempted

from this provision.


Storage buildings of not more than 12m

Temporary fences not over 1.8m high

Movable cases, counters and partitions not over 1.5m high

Water tanks, supported directly of capacity not exceeding 2000 litres (500 gallons)

However, exemption from the permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant

authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provision
s of this code or any

other related regulations.



All designs and specifications for new construction work, extension, alteration, improvement,

restoration, modification or conversion including change of material, involving the p
ractice of

architecture and engineering, as defined by the statutory requirements of the professional registration

laws of the country, shall be prepared by registered Architects and Engineers. All working drawings

, specifications, computations and eng
ineering drawings required for a building permit application for

such work shall be prepared by or under the direct supervision of a registered architect and registered


The Building Production Management for new building construction works,

alterations, improvement, restoration, modification or conversion including change of material involving

the practice of Building shall be carried out by registered Builders. All Building Production Management

Documents such as Construction

Methodology, Construction Programme, Project Quality Management

Plan, Project Health and Safety Plan required for the execution of the building construction works shall

be prepared by or under the direct supervision of a registered Builder.

The description of works, preparation of quantities and cost estimate, schedule of rates,

preliminaries/general items and conditions of contract for new building construction works, extensions,

alterations, improvement, restoration, modification or conve
rsion including change of material involve

in the control of building works shall be carried out by a registered Quantity Surveyor. All aspects of

documentation comprising description of works, Bills of Quantities, schedule of works and rates for the

xecution of the building construction works shall be prepared by or under the direct supervision of a

registered Quantity Surveyor.



The provisions of this part shall control the classification of all buildings and structures as to
use group.

The provision of this part shall not be deemed to nullify any provisions of zoning regulations or any other

statute of the jurisdiction pertaining to the location or use of buildings, except as is specifically required

by the provisions of thi
s code.



Every building or structure whether existing or hereafter erected shall be classified by the Code

Enforcement Officer according to its use or the character of its occupancy into one of the use groups

listed below:


group A




Use group B


Business and Professional


Use group C




Use group D


Factory and Industries


Use group E


High Hazard


Use group F




Use group G




Use group H




Use group I




Use group J


Mixed Use and Occupancy


Use group K


Doubtful use Classification


Use group L


Utility and Miscellaneous

All buildings and structures shall also be graded in accordance wit
h the
degree of fire hazard as

contained in Part I section 7 of the National Fire Code.



The provisions of this Chapter shall apply to all construction operations in connection with the erection,

alteration, repair,
rehabilitation, demolition or removal of buildings and structures.

Nothing herein contained shall be construed to nullify any rules, regulation is or statutes of state

agencies governing the protection of the public or workers from health or other hazards

involved in

manufacturing, mining and other processes and operations which generate noise, toxic gases, dust or

other elements dangerous to the respiratory system, eyesight or general well

Combustible and explosive hazard:

The provisions of this
code which apply to the storage, use or

transportation of explosives, highly flammable and combustible substances, gases and chemicals shall

be construed as supplemental to the requirements of the federal laws, and the rules and regulations of

the state
s and local governments.

Plans Specifications and Special Permits

Temporary construction:

Before any construction operation is started, plans and specifications shall be

filed with the Code Enforcement Officer showing the design and construction of all te

construction interfacing the public highways access and services. Approval shall be secured before the

commencement of any such work.

Special permits:

All special licenses and permits for the storage of materials on sidewalks and highways,

for t
he use of water or other public facilities and for the storage and handling of explosives shall be

secured from the administrative authorities having jurisdiction.

Temporary encroachments:

Subject to approval, sidewalk sheds; 'underpinning and other tempo

protective guards and devices shall project beyond the interior and street plot lines where required to

ensure the safety of the adjoining property and the public. When necessary, the consent of the adjoining

property owner shall be obtained.



It shall be unlawful to load any structure, temporary support, scaffolding, Sidewalk Bridge or

sidewalk shed or any other device or construction equipment during the construction or demolition of


building or structure In excess of its safe working capacity as provided in Chapters 24 and 25 for

allowable loads and working stresses.

Unsafe equipment:
Whenever any doubt arises as to the structural quality or strength of scaffolding

plank or other c
onstruction equipment, such material shall be replaced, or the Code Enforcement

Officer shall require a strength test to four times the superimposed live load to which the material or

structural member is to be subjected.

The member shall sustain the te
st load without failure.

Unsafe condition:

When inspection of any construction operation reveals that any unsafe or irregular

conditions exist, Code Enforcement Officer shall notify the owner and direct the owner to take the

necessary remedial measures
to remove the hazard or violation.

Failure to comply with orders:

Unless the owner so notified proceeds to comply with the orders of the

Code Enforcement Officer within 7 days, the Code Enforcement Officer shall have full power to correct

the usage cond
itions as provided in Section and 2.6. All expenses incurred in the correction of

such unsafe conditions shall become a lien on the property.

Unsafe construction equipment
: When the strength and adequacy of any scaffolding or other device or

onstruction equipment is in doubt, or when any complaint is made, the code enforcement officer shall

inspect such equipment and shall prohibit its use until tested as required in Section or until all

danger is removed.

All construction equipment

and safeguards shall be constructed, installed and properly maintained and

shall be so operated as to ensure protection to the workers engaged thereon and to the general public.

It shall be unlawful to remove or render inoperative any structural, fire p
rotection or sanitary safeguard

or device herein required except when necessary for the actual installation and prosecution of the work,

Existing Buildings:



All existing and adjoining public and private property shall be protected
from damaged incidental to construction operations.


Chimney, soil and vent stacks:

Whenever a new building or structure is erected to
greater or less heights than an adjoining b
uilding, the construction and extension of new
or existing chimneys shall conform to the provisions of the mechanical code listed in the
Appendix, and the construction and extension of soil and vent stacks and the location of
window openings shall comply w
ith the provision of Section 28.5.4.

Adjoining walls:

The owner of the new or altered structure shall preserve all adjoining
independent and party walls from damage as provided herein. The owner shall underpin
where necessary and support the adjoining bu
ilding or structure by proper foundations
to comply with Section 13.6.


In case an existing party wall is intended to be used by the person who causes an
excavation to be made, and such party wall is in good condition and sufficient for the
se of both the existing and proposed building, such person shall preserve the party wall
from injury and support it by proper foundations at his own expense, so that it shall be
and remain as safe and useful as it was before the excavation was commenced. D
the demolition, the party wall shall be maintained weatherproof and structurally safe by
adequate bracing until such time as the permanent structural supports shall have been

Beam holes:

When a structure involving a party wall is being de
molished the owner of
the demolished structure shall, at his own expense, bend over all wall anchors at the
beam ends of the standing wall and shall brick up all open beam holes and otherwise
maintain the safety and usefulness of the wall.

Party wall exi

A party wall balcony or horizontal exit shall not be destroyed unless
and until a substitute means of egress has been provided and approved by the Code
Enforcement Officer.

Adjoining roofs:

When a new building or demolition of an existing building is

undertaken at a greater height, the roof, roof outlets and roof structures of adjoining
buildings shall be protected against damage with adequate safeguards by the person
doing the work.

Protection of Public Workers


Whenever a building or structure is erected, altered, repaired, removed or demolished,
the operation shall be conducted in a safe manner and suitable protection for the
general public and workers employed thereon shall be provided.


Every construction operation located 1.5m or less from the street plot line shall
be enclosed with a fence not less than 2 4m high to prevent entry of unauthorized
persons. When located more than 1.5m from the street plot line, a fence Or other
barrier sh
all be erected when required by the Code Enforcement Officer. All fences shall
be of adequate strength to resist wind pressure.

Sidewalk Bridge:

Whenever the ground is excavated under the sidewalk, a sidewalk
bridge shall be constructed at least 1.2m wid
e, or a protected walkway of equal width
shall be erected in the street, provided the required permit for such walkway is obtained
from the administrative authority as provided for in

Sidewalk shed:

Sidewalk sheds shall be provided in accordanc
e with sub
section 13.4.5
through 13.4.8 as follows:

Within 3 metres of street plot line:

When any building demolished or erected is located
within 3 meters of the street plot line is to be erected or raised more than 12 meters in
height, or whenever a b
uilding more than 12 metres in height within 3 meters of the
street plot line is to be demolished, a sidewalk shed shall be erected and maintained for
the full length of the building on all street fronts, for the entire time that work is
performed on the e
xterior of the building.

Within 6 metres of street plot line
: When the building, being demolished or erected is
located within 6 meters of the street plot line and is more than 12 metres in height
exterior flare fans or catch platforms shall be er
ected at vertical intervals of not more
than two floors.

Buildings higher than six floors:

When the building being demolished or erected is more
than six floors or 22 metres (22860mm) in height, unless set back from the street plot
line a distance more t
han one
half its height, a sidewalk shed shall be provided.

An adequately lighted walkway at least 1.2 metres wide and 2.4 meters high
in the clear shall be maintained under all sidewalk sheds for pedestrians. When ramps
are required, they shall

conform to the relevant provisions of this code.

out platforms:

out platforms or other substitute protection in lieu of
sidewalk sheds shall not be used unless approved and deemed adequate to ensure the
public safety. Thrust
out platforms
shall not be used for the storage of materials.


Whenever a building is being demolished, erected or altered, a watchman
shall be employed to warn the general public when intermittent hazardous operations
are conducted across the sidewalk or wal

Demolition and Excavation

Notice of intent:

The person intending to cause a demolition or an excavation shall
deliver written notice of such intent to the owner of each potentially affected adjoining
plot, building or structure at least 30 days
prior to the commencement of work. The
notice shall request license to enter the potentially affected plot, building or structure
prior to the commencement of the work and at reasonable intervals during its execution
to inspect and preserve it from any dam
age which might result from the intended work.
The potentially affected adjoining owner shall have the' right to inspect the drawings of
the proposed works.

Protection of' adjoining property:

If afforded the necessary license to enter the
adjoining plot,

building or structure, the person causing the demolition or excavation to
be made shall at all times and at his own expense preserve and protect it from damage
or injury. If the necessary license is not afforded, it shall be the duty of the owner of the
adjoining plot, building or structure to make safe his own property, for the prosecution
of which he shall be granted the necessary license to enter the premises of the
demolition or excavation.

Removal of debris:

All waste materials shall be removed in a manner which prevents
injury or damage to persons, adjoining properties and public rights of way and keep
such premises in safe and sanitary condition.

Notice the Code Enforcement Officer:

If the person causing a demolition or excavation
to be made is not afforded license to enter an adjoining structure, he shall immediately
notify in writing both the Code Enforcement Officer and the owner of the adjoining
property that the responsibility o
f providing support to the adjoining plot, building or
structure has become the exclusive responsibility of the owner of the adjoining

Regulation of Plots


When a building has been demolished and building operations have not been
cted or approved, the following shall apply:

Grading of plot:

The vacant plot shall be filled, graded and maintained in conformity to
the established street grades at curb level The plot shall be maintained free from the
accumulation of rubbish and all ot
her unsafe or hazardous conditions which endanger
the life or health of the public. Provision shall be made to prevent the accumulation of
water or damage to any foundations on the premises or the adjoining property.

Utility connections:

All service uti
lity connections shall be discontinued and capped in
accordance with the approved rules and the requirements of the authority having

Retaining Walls and Partition Fences


When the adjoining grade is not higher than the
permissible level, the person
causing an excavation to be made shall erect, when necessary, a retaining wall at his
own expense and on his own land. Such wall shall be built to a height sufficient to retain
the adjoining earth, shall be properly coped and
shall be provided with a guardrail or
fence not less than 1 metre in height.

Design capacity:

Materials or equipment stored within the building or on sidewalk, sheds or
scaffolds shall be placed