Title page for ETD etd-10122011-094809

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Laubscher, Jacques
Email jacques.laubscher@up.ac.za
URN etd-10122011-094809
Document Title An investigation of the National Building Regulations to promote uniformity and sustainability in the South African built environment
Degree PhD
Department Architecture
Advisor Name Title
Prof P T Vosloo Supervisor
  • Act 103 of 1977
  • National Building Regulations
  • SABS 0400/SANS 10400
  • local authority
  • building control officer
  • building
  • municipality
  • department of building control
Date 2011-09-06
Availability unrestricted
The study investigates two aspects that arise when an application is made for building plan approval to the Building Control Officer (BCO) in the Department of Building Control at a local authority (LA). Firstly, the uniform application of the minimum requirements for building plan approval is studied. Secondly, while keeping the original goal of the National Building Regulations (NBR) in mind, the inclusion of passive design requirements is considered as part of the minimum requirements.

In the Republic of South Africa (South Africa), the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act, 1977 (Act 103 of 1977) determines the minimum requirements of any building. Although the NBR are in the process of being rewritten, the amended 1990 version is still being used. On 15 June 2010, the South African National Standard (SANS) 10400-XA: The Application of the National Building Regulations Part X: Environmental Sustainability Section A: Energy Usage in Buildings, was published for public comment. However, the current version of the NBR does not address sustainability. Therefore, it is argued that the planning and erection of structures within the South African built environment do not currently conform to any minimum sustainability requirements.

A series of ‘Deemed-to-Satisfy Rules’ constitutes an integral part of the NBR. Should a development in the built environment comply with these prerequisites, it is observing the statutory requirements of Act 103 of 1977. The regulations are implemented by the Department of Building Control of the different LAs (or municipalities). Act 103 of 1977 also prescribes the appointment, qualifications and functions of the BCO who should head the department. However, it is the LA’s responsibility to appoint the BCO.

An LA’s Department of Building Control uses guidelines (as determined by Act 103 of 1977) to approve applications for new buildings and alterations to existing ones. A series of prescribed inspections should be conducted during the construction phase of a building. Before a building can be used for its intended purpose, the BCO has to sign a Certificate of Occupancy. Although the NBR provide prescriptions, the requirements are implemented in different ways by the various LAs.

After determining the origin and examining the goals and implementation methods of Act 103 of 1977 and its Regulations (together with the Code of Application (SANS 10400:1990)), this study demonstrates that the current edition of the NBR is not uniformly implemented in the Republic of South Africa. Additionally, the study links the original goal of the NBR to limit inflationary tendencies with current practice to use passive design principles to combat building operation costs.

Lastly, a pro forma application form is included as an addendum (although it is not officially part of the study). This proposed pro forma could assist in the uniform implementation of NBR, while at the same time promoting sustainability.

© 2011 The content of this dissertation and its addenda are subject to copyright in terms of the amended Copyright Act, 1978 (Act 98 of 1978), and the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Act, 1997 (Act 38 of 1997) of South Africa. The copyright is vested in the University of Pretoria, except for Addendum N (the proposed pro forma application form), for which an application has been made to have the copyright vested in the author. Addenda F, G, H and I, are subject to a publishing and copyright agreement between the SABS and the author. This agreement is provided at the onset of each relevant section.

Please cite as follows:

Laubscher, J 2011, An investigation of the National Building Regulations to promote uniformity and sustainability in the South African built environment, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10122011-094809/ >


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  00front.pdf 153.34 Kb 00:00:42 00:00:21 00:00:19 00:00:09 < 00:00:01
  01chapter1.pdf 151.44 Kb 00:00:42 00:00:21 00:00:18 00:00:09 < 00:00:01
  02chapter2.pdf 1.26 Mb 00:05:49 00:02:59 00:02:37 00:01:18 00:00:06
  03chapter3.pdf 392.61 Kb 00:01:49 00:00:56 00:00:49 00:00:24 00:00:02
  04chapter4.pdf 365.50 Kb 00:01:41 00:00:52 00:00:45 00:00:22 00:00:01
  05chapter5.pdf 93.29 Kb 00:00:25 00:00:13 00:00:11 00:00:05 < 00:00:01
  06back.pdf 15.79 Mb 01:13:06 00:37:35 00:32:53 00:16:26 00:01:24

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