S.R.O. No. 777/99.- In exercise of the powers conferred by sections 381, 382, 387, 398, and 406 read with section 565 of the Kerala Municipality Act, 1994 (20 of 1994) and in supersession of the Kerala Building Rules, 1984 issued in G.O. (Ms.) No. 127/84/LA & SW dated 14th May 1984 and published as S.R.O. No. 486/84 in Kerala Gazette Extraordinary No. 403 dated 15th May 1984, the Government of Kerala hereby make the following rules, namely:




1. Short title, applicability and commencement.-
(1) These rules called the Kerala Municipality Building Rules, 1999.
(2) They shall apply to all Municipalities in the State.
(3) They shall come into force at once.

2. Definitions -
(1) In these rules unless the context otherwise requires,-

(a) 'access' means the way to a plot or building;

(b) 'accessory building' means a building attached or detached to a building on a plot and containing one or more accessory uses;

(c) 'accessory use' means any use of the premises subordinate to the principal use and customarily incidental to the principal use;

(d) 'Act' means the Kerala Municipality Act, 1994 (20 of 1994);

(e) 'advertising sign' means any sign either free, supported or attached to a building or other structure which advertises an individual, a firm, a society, an establishment or a product displayed on the said premises for identification purposes;

(f) 'alteration' means a structural change, such as an addition to the area or height or addition of floor/floors or mezzanine floor within any existing floor height, or change of existing floor or changing the roof to concrete slab or re-construction of existing walls or construction of concrete beams and columns amounting to structural change or construction of internal walls for sub-dividing the existing rooms with the intention of changing the use of the room/rooms which amount to change in the occupancy group of the building under these rules, or closing of any required means of ingress and egress to the building;

(g) 'apartment' means a part of a building intended for any type of independent use including one or more rooms or enclosed spaces located on one or more floors or parts thereof in a building, intended to be used for residential purposes and with a direct exit to a public street, road or highway or to a common area, leading to such street, road or highway. This word is synonymous with residential flat;

(h) 'appendix' means the appendix to these rules;

(i) 'approved plan' means the set of drawing and statements submitted under these rules for obtaining development permit or building permit and duly approved by the secretary;

 (ia) 'balcony' means a horizontal projection, including a handrail, or balustrade to serve as passage or sitting out place;

(j) 'basement floor' means the lower storey of a building below or partly below the ground floor. This word is synonymous with cellar;

(k) 'bathroom' means a room or cubicle for bathing;

(1) 'building' means any structure for whatsoever purpose and of whatsoever material constructed and every part thereof whether used for human habitation or not and includes foundations, plinth, walls, floors, roofs, chimneys, plumbing and building services, verandah, balcony, cornice or projections, part of a building or anything affixed thereto or any wall enclosing or intended to enclose any land or space and signs and outdoor display structures;

(m) 'building line' means a line which is away from the street boundary and up to which the main wall of the building facing that street may lawfully extend, no portion of the building may extend beyond this line except as prescribed in these rules;

(n) 'carpet area' means the usable floor area excluding the area of staircases, lift wells, escalators, ducts, toilets, air condition plant room and electrical control, room.

Note:-In calculating carpet area, for avoiding the ariea  of wall twenty percent of the floor area, shall be deducted from the total floor area;

(o) 'ceiling' means the internal roof/lining of any room; in case there is not such lining, the roof membrane shall constitute the ceiling;

(p) 'Chief Town Planner' means the Chief Town Planner to the Government of Kerala;

 (q) 'chimney' means an upright shaft containing and encasing one or more flues;

(r) 'conversion' means the change of one occupancy group into another occupancy group;

(s) 'corridor' means an exit serving as a passage way communicating with separate rooms or with different parts of a building or with different buildings;

(t) 'coverage' means the maximum area on any floor of the building excluding cantilevered open balconies, it does not include the spaces covered by,- 
        (i)  garden, rockery, well and well structures, plant, nursery, water tank, swimming pool
             (if uncovered), platform around a tree, tank, fountain bench and the like;
        (ii)  drainage,culvert, conduit, catch-pit, gully pit, drainage chamber, gutter and the like; and
        (iii) compound wall, gate slide, swing, uncovered staircase, areas covered by sunshade and the like;

(u) 'depth of plot' means the mean horizontal distance between the front and rear plot boundaries;

(v) 'development of land' means any material change on the use of land other than for agricultural purpose brought about or intended to be brought about by filling up of the land andlor water bodies or changing from the existing former use of the land, layout of streets and foot paths, sub-division of land for residential plots or for other uses including layout of internal streets, conversion of wet land, and developing parks, play grounds and social amenities of the like, but does not include legal partitioning of family property among heirs [X X X X]

(w) 'development plan' means any general planning scheme for the local area as a whole or any detailed town planning scheme for any specified area prepared under the Town and Country Planning Act in force;

(x) 'drain' means a sewer, pipe, ditch, channel and any other device for carrying of sewage, offensive matter, polluted water, sullage, waste water, rain water or sub-soil water and any ejectors, compressed air means, sealed sewage mains and special machinery or apparatus for raising, collecting, expelling or removing sewage or offensive matter to the sewage outfall; 

(y) 'drainage' means the removal of any liquid by a system constructed for the purpose;

(z) 'dwelling' means a building or a portion thereof which is designed or used wholly or principally for residential purposes;

(aa) 'dwelling unit' means a room or suites of rooms designed and intended for habitation by an individual or household in which facilities for cooking may or may not be provided; -

(ab) 'exit' means a passage, channel or means of egress from any building, storey or floor to a street or other open space of safety;

(ac) 'external wall' means an outer wall of a building eventhough adjoining a wall of another building; it also means a wall abutting on an interior open space of any building;

(ad) 'factory' means any premises including the precincts thereof used or proposed to be used for any purpose as defined under the Factories Act, 1948 and which comes under the purview of the said Act;

(ae) 'family' means a group of individuals normally related in blood or connected by marriage living together as a single house - keeping unit and having common kitchen arrangements; Customary resident domestic servants shall be considered as adjunct to the,term 'family';

(af) 'floor' means the lower surface in a storey on which one normally walks in a building. The general term 'floor' unless otherwise specifically mentioned shall not refer to a mezzanine floor;

Note: - The sequential number of floor shall be determined by its relation to the determining entrance level. For floor at or wholly above ground level, the lowest floor in the building with direct entrance road/street shall be called as ground floor and the other floors above the ground floor shall be called in sequence as first floor, second floor, third floor etc. with number increasing upwards.

(ag) 'floor area' means the built up area of a- building at any floor level;

(ah) 'floor area ratio (F.A.R.)' means the quotient obtained by dividing the total floor area on all floors by the area of the plot;

(ai) 'flue' means a confined space provided for the conveyance to the outer air of any product of combustion resulting from the operation of any heat producing appliance or equipment employing solid, liquid or gaseous fuel;

(aj) 'frontage' means side or part of a side of a plot which abuts on a  street;

(ak) 'front yard' means an open space extending laterally along thefront side (main ground floor entrance side) of a building and forming part of the plot;

Note: - Where there are more than one entrance to a building, the entrance givin access to the major portion of a ground floor shall be considered as the  main entrance;

(al) 'gallery' means an intermediate floor or platform projecting from a wall of an auditorium or a hall providing extra floor area, additional seating accommodation, etc..,

(am) 'garage' means a building or portion thereof, used or intended to be used for the shelter, storage or repair of any mechanically propelled vehicle;

(an) 'ground floor' means the lowest storey of a building to which there is an entrance from the  [x x xl adjacent ground or street.,

(ao) 'Government' means the Central or State Government.

(ap) 'head room' means the clear vertical distance measured from the finished floor surface to the finished ceiling surface; where a finished ceiling is not provided, the underside of the joists or beams sortie beams shall determine the upper point of measurement;

(aq) 'height of building' means the vertical distance measured from the average level of the ground contiguous to the building or the centre line of the adjoining street.-

(1) in the, case of flat roofs, to the highest point of the eailing building adjacent to the street wall;

' (ii) in the case of pitched roofs, to the point where the external surface of the outer wall intersects the finished surface of the slopping roof;

' (iii) in,the case of gabled roofs, to the midpoint between,the eves level and the ridge; and

'(iv) in the case. of dommed roofs, to the '[lowest point on  the eailing;] Provided that architectural features serving no other function except that of decoration shall be excluded for the purpose of taking heights.,

(ar) 'height of room' means the vertical distance between the floor an the lowest point on the ceiling; '

(as) 'hut' means any building constructed principally of wood, mud, leaves, grass, thatch or such easily perishable material;

(at) 'lift well' means the unobstructed space within an enclosure provided for the vertical movement of the lift car (s) and any counter weight (s) including the lift pit and the space for top clearance;

(au) 'loft' means a residual space in a pitched roof, or any similar residual space, above normal floor level without any direct staircase leading to it which may be constructed or adopted for storage purposes;

(av) 'mezzanine floor' means an intermediate floor in any storey over - hanging and over - looking a floor beneath;

(ava) 'occupancy group' means the principal occupancy for which a plot, a building or a part of a building is used or intended to be used; for the purposes of classification of a plot or building according to occupancy, an occupancy shall be deemed to include the subsidiary occupancies which are contingent upon it;

(aw) 'open space' means an area forming an integral part of the plot left open to the sky;

(ax) 'operational construction' means a construction whether temporary or permanent which is necessary for the operation, maintenance, development or execution of any of the services essential to the life of the community or so declared by the Central or State Government from time to time;

(ay) 'owner' in respect of land or building, means the person who receives the rent for the use of the land or building or would be entitled to do so if they were let and includes,-

(i) an agent or trustee who receives such rent on behalf of the owner or is connected with any building devoted to religious or charitable purpose;

(ii) a receiver, executor or administrator or a manager appointed by any court of competent jurisdiction to have the charge of or to exercise the rights of the owner;

(iii) mortgagee in possession; and

(iv) a lessee in possession;

(az) 'parapet' means a low wall not more than 1.2 m in height built along the edge of a roof or a floor;

(ba) 'parking space' means an area enclosed or unenclosed, sufficient in size to park vehicles, together with a drive way connecting the parking space with a street or alley and permitting ingress and egress of vehicles;

(bb) 'passage way' means a means of access;

(bc) 'pathway' means an approach constructed with materials, such as bricks, concrete, stone, asphalt or the like;

(bd) 'permit' means a permission or authorisation in writing by the Secretary to carry out work;

(be) 'plinth' means the portion of a structure between the surface of the surrounding ground and surface of the floor, first above the ground;

(bf) 'plinth area' means area of the building at the plinth level, does not include the area of open porch (not enclosed by wall) uncovered staircase and the like;

(bg) 'plot' means a parcel or piece of land enclosed by definite boundaries;

(bga) 'plot corner' means a plot at the junctions of and fronting on two or more intersecting streets;

(bgb) 'plot depth' of means the mean horizontal distance between the front and rear plot boundaries;
(bgc) 'plot double frontage' means plot having a frontage on the two streets other than a corner plot;

(bgd)' plot interior' means a plot, access to which is by a passage from a street whether such a passage forms past of the plot or not;

(bh) 'Pollution Control Board' means the Kerala State Pollution Control Board;
 (bi) 'porch' means a canopy supported on pillars or otherwise and used for the purpose of pedestrain or vehicular approach to a building;

(bj) 'rear yard' means the utility open space extending laterally along the rear side of the plot and formin part of the plot; any side other than rear if used as utility open space shall be deemed as rear yard;

(bk) 're-development of land' means the revision or replacement of an existing land use and population distribution pattern and the clearance and building of the area according to a development plan. It involves the reduction or inc1rease of population densities; the acquisition and clearance of deteriorated buildings, the repair, modernisation and provisions of sanitary facilities, water supply and electricity, provision of street, parks or other public improvements and preservation of predominantly built up areas that are in good condition;

(bl) 'registered Architect/Engineer/Town Planner/Supervisor' means an Architect/Engincer/Town Planner/Supervisor registered or deemed to have been registered as such under these rules;

(bm) 'road' means any highway, street, lane, pathway, alley, passageway, carriageway, footway or bridge whether a thoroughfare or not, over which the public have a right of passage or access uniterruptedly for a specified period; whether existing or proposed in any scheme;

(bn) 'row building' means a row of buildings with only front and rear open spaces with or without interior open spaces;

(bo) 'Secretary' means the Secretary of a Municipality;

(bp) section' means a Section in the Act;

(bq) 'semi - detached building' means a building detached on three sides;

(br) 'service lane' means a lane provided at the rear or side of a plot for service purposes;

(bs) 'service station' means a place where no automobile repairing is done but only washing, cleaning and oiling of automobile take place;

(bt) 'set back line' means a prescribed building line drawn with reference to the central line of a street on the street side of which nothing can be erected or re-erected; 

(bta) 'sewage drain' means a drain used or constructed to be used for conveying solid or liquid waste matter, extremental or otherwise to a sewer;

(bu) 'shop' means a building or part of a building where articles of food and personal, domestic and household use and consumption are sold and goods of any kind are ordinarily sold. It does not include a workshop;

(bv) 'side yard' means an open space extending laterally between any side of a building and the boundary of the plot facing that side other than front and rear/utility yard and forming part of the plot;

(bw) site' means a plot and its surrounding presincts;

(bx) 'stair cover' means cabin - like structure with a covering roof over a staircase and its landing built to enclose only the stairs for the purpose of providing protection from weather and not used for human habitation it is synonymous with stair cabin or staircase room; 

(bxa) 'stall' means any temporary structure other than a hut used solely  for the display and sale of goods;

(by) 'storey' means the portion of a building included between the surface of any floor and the surface of the floor next above it, or if there be no floor above it, then the space between any floor and the ceiling next above it.;

(bz) 'Street' means a private street or a public street, synonymous with .road and giving access to more than one plot or one building; . @ 1 2. 3. 4. 

(ca) 'street line' means the line defining the side limits of a street;

(cb) 'street level' means the level at the centre line of the street;

(cc) 'structure' means anything  that is built or constructed or building of any kind or any piece of work artificialy built up  or composed  of parts joined together in some definite manner. The term structure includes 'building';

(cd) ['sunshade or weather shade' means a sloping or horizontal structural overhang usually provided over openings on provide protection from sun and rain;

(cc) 'tenement' means part of a building intended or used or likely to be used as a dwelling unit;

(cf) 'to erect' means-

(i) to erect a new building on any site whether previously built or not;

(ii) to re-erect any building of which portions above the plinth  leval have been pulled down or destroyed; and

(iii) conversion from one occupancy to another;

(cg) 'travel distance' means the distance an occupant has to travel reach an exit.,

(cga) 'unconnected latrine' means a latrine not connected to the public sewer system, it may be connected to a septic tank;

(ch) 'unsafe building' means building which is structurally unsafe insanitary or not provided with adequate means of egress or which fire hazard or are otherwise dangerous to human life or which in relation existing use constitute a hazard to safety or health or public welfare, by of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation or abandonment;

(cha) 'use group' means the principal use for which a plot, a building or part of a building is -used or intended to be used;

(ci) 'verandah' means a covered area with at least one side open to the outside with the exception of parapet, trellis, j ally or grill work on the openside;

(cia) 'Village panchayath' means a village panchayath constituted under section 4 of the Kerala Panchayath Raj Act, 1994 (13 of 1994)

(cj) 'warehouse' means a building, the whole or substantial part of which is used or intended to be used for the storage of goods whether for keeping or for sale or for any similar purposes but does not include a store room attached and used for the proper functioning of a shop;

(ck) 'Water Authority' means the authority delegated by the Government of Kerala to be in charge of the management of water and sewerage installations in the area;

(cl) 'water closet' or 'WC' means a latrine with arrangement for flushing the pan with water but does not include a bathroom; (cm) 'water course' means an artificial or natural drainage canal;

(cn) 'yard' means an open space at ground level between a building and the adjoining boundary lines of the plot unoccupied and unobstructed except by encroachment of structures specially permitted by these rules on the same plot with a building. All yard measurements shall be the minimum distance between the front, rear and side yard plot boundaries, as the case may be, and the nearest point of the building including enclosed porches. Every part of yard shall be accessible from every part of the same yard.

(2) Words and expressions used but not defined in these rules but defined in the Kerala Municipality Act, 1994 (Act 20 of 1994) shall have the same meaning assigned to them in that Act.


Building:- The word building should be given its literal meaning as something which is built. The meaning to be given to that word must depend upon the enactment in which the word is used and the context in which it is used. Underground petrol tank and other structures installed for petrol pump were held to be building for the purpose of Section 106 of Kerala Land Reforms Act (Raman Pillai V. George, 1974 KLT 246: ILR 1974 (1) Ker 284).

Under Section 3(4) of the Kerala Municipal Corporations Act, 1961 boundary wall not exceeding eight feet in height is excluded from the definition of building. (Abul Latheef V. Corporation of Cochin, 1995 (2) KLT 91).

Building of a charitable trust used as auditorium does not qualify exemption from profession tax or property tax. Attuk-al Bhagavathy Trust v., Corporation of Thiru,@,ananthapuram, 2001 (1) KLT 108

"Occupier" includes a licensee in occupation of any land or (Damodaraii V. Health Assistant, 1966 KLT 124 : 1995 KLJ 1185).

The word "occupied" in Section 239 of the Kerala Municipality Act, 1994, in the context of the expression "has been vacant and unlet" can only mean the section  actual userof the building.Theexpression'hasbeenvacant'usedin is also significant. 'Vacancy' is a state of non-occupation. It implies non -userwhen both the words 'occupied', and 'vacant' occur in the section, it is clear that the said expression in the context convey different meaning. So understood the word 'occupied 'can only been actually used.(BijuMathewv.Corporationi  of Cochin, 2000(2) KLJ 68).

A house is a place pf,dwelling or habitation. Quarters in one row having common wall though each separating the other would not be taken as one building for the purpose of arriving at the annual Value. (Notified area CNT v. Behra M. Board 1999 (3' ) KL7'SN 25).

Parking Space.. - Parking fee - Owner of d shopping complex levied vehield .parking fee from the customers of its tenants and from others. In the Wdt Petitions filed challen 'ng the levy it was contended that it was mandatory under the Build- 91 ing Rules to provide parking area at the time of construction of the building and so there was no justification for levying fee. It was @held that even though there is specific provision for parking space to be mandaton'ly made available at the time of:construction, there is nothing more in the rule which prohibits a fee being charged in respect of the space that has been so used. Charly v. KTDC, 2001 (1) KLT 178.

3. Applicability

 These rules shall apply to,-

(i) any public or private building as described below, narnelv :-

(a) where a  building is newly erected, these rules shall apply to the designs and construction of the building;


(b) where the building is altered, these rules shall apply to the altered portion of the building;

(c) where the occupancy or use of building is  changed, these rules shall apply to all the parts of the building affected by the change;

(d) where addition or extension is made to a building, the rules shall apply to the addition or extension only, but for calculation of floor area ratio and coverage permissible and for calculation of required off street parking area to be provided, the whole building [existing and proposed] shall betaken in to account.

(e) where the whole or any part of a building is removed, the rules shall apply to all parts of building whether removed or not;

(ii) all lands which is proposed to be re developed or developed for construction or buildings;

(iii) all developments and constructions existing or proposed in any village panchayath area to which the provisions of these rules stand extended.

 KERALA MUNICIPALITY BUILDING RULES Ch.1 is and coverage permissible and for calculation of required off street parking area to be provided, the whole building (existing and the proposed) shall be taken into account; 1 [ X X X 11 (it) all lands which is proposed to be redeveloped or developed for construction of buildings; 7[(iii) all developments and constructions existing or proposed in any village panchayath area to which the provisions ofthese rules stand extended.]