Feb 112014
 

Electric Fences Regulations & Rules Explained

A Definition of  Electric Fences

Electric fence top wall s Electric Fences Explained

Electric barrier fence erected on top of a street facing wall

For the purposes of managing and assessing proposals in terms of the City’s policy, an electric fence means “an electrified barrier erected on top of a boundary wall or attached to a boundary wall or fence”.

Specifications for Electric Fences

  • Electric fences shall conform to the following:
  • Electric fences may not be any higher than 450 mm.
  • They must be at least 1,8 m above the level of natural ground at any point.
  • They may only be erected on top of walls and fences, or attached to them.
  • They may not encroach over site boundaries.
  • Regulation 11 of the Electrical Machinery Regulations promulgated in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, No 85 of 2003 must be fully complied with.

Regulation 11 of the above Act gives information in terms of how electric fences operate in terms of the shock they impart. For instance, the peak value of voltage is 10 kV; the maximum duration of the electrical impulse it puts out is 50 ms; the minimum interval allowed between impulses is 0.75s; the maximum quantity of electricity per impulse allowed is 2.5 mC; and the maximum energy discharge per impulse measured at a resistance of 500 ohms is 8 J. In a nutshell, electric fences are intended to be a deterrent – not a device that will kill an intruder!

Other points in Regulation 11 include (but are not limited to):

  • “fence energizers” shouldn’t be installed in locations where they could become a fire hazard
  • they shouldn’t be installed any closer than 2 m from the earth of any other electrical system
  • barbed-wire should never be electrified – the idea is that a person who touches electric wiring will let go immediately

In addition, the City’s policy document states that freestanding electric fences may not be erected along any boundary in a position that would allow people to “inadvertently come into contact therewith”.

Essentially the reasoning is that while electric fencing is erected to keep intruders out, it must not be erected in such a way that a passer-by could touch it accidentally.

Security Devices Explained

Definition of Security Devices

Spikes wall electric1 s Electric Fences Explained

Spikes and an electric fence mounted on top of a street facing wall.

For the purposes of managing and assessing proposals in terms of the policy, security devices include a variety of devices – security spikes, razor wire and barbed wire affixed to, or on the top of walls or fences.

Requirements Regarding Security Devices

Any proposal in this regard shall comply with the following:

  • Security spikes are permitted on top of boundary walls as long as they are affixed at least 1,8m above the footway (usually a pavement or kerb).
  • Security spikes may not encroach over the site boundary.
  • Razor and barbed wire is not permitted in any form in residential-zoned and commercial-zoned areas. They may be used in areas that are zoned industrial.
  • Glass shards are not permitted in any form in residential areas.

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Acceptable Materials for the Construction of Boundary Walls and Fences

1. Residential and Commercial-zoned Areas

Street Frontage

These materials are allowed:

  • Facebricks and facebrick finishing
  • Plastered and painted brickwork
  • Decorative brick and blocks
  • Natural stone
  • Galvanized or plastic-coated wire mesh
  • Pre-cast concrete
  • Cast-iron work
  • Steel palisade fencing
  • Timber, as long as the components consist of:

(i)            processed and treated and square-sawn timber

(ii)          round poles of even thickness in the case of ranch-type fencing

(iii)         in the case of interwoven fencing, shall be suitably capped and framed

  • Freestanding electric fences that are set back by at least 1 metre from the boundary.
  • Electric fences and spikes are permitted on top of walls and fences.

These materials are not permitted:

  • Galvanized iron sheets
  • Asbestos-cement or fibre-reinforced sheets
  • Barbed wire, unless the Council is satisfied that the property is being used for bona fide farming purposes (which clearly wouldn’t be the case in a residential area).
  • Razor wire
  • Off-cut, untreated split-pole or sapwood timber (laths or latte) of any kind.
  • Razor wire and barbed wire, and embedded glass shards are not permitted on top of walls and fences

2. Lateral Boundaries (ie neighbour’s boundaries)

These are the boundaries between you and neighbouring properties.

These materials are permitted:

  • Facebricks and facebrick finishing
  • Plastered and painted brickwork
  • Decorative brick blocks
  • Natural stone
  • Galvanized or plastic-coated wire mesh
  • Pre-cast concrete
  • Cast-iron work
  • Steel palisade fencing
  • Timber, provided the components consist of:

(i)            processed and treated and square-sawn timber

(ii)          round poles of even thickness in the case of ranch-type fencing

(iii)         in the case of interwoven fencing, shall be suitably capped and framed

  • Freestanding electric fences must be set back by at least 1 metre from the boundary.
  • Electric fences and spikes are permitted on top of walls and fences.

These materials are not permitted:

  • Galvanized iron sheets
  • Asbestos-cement or fibre-reinforced sheets
  • Off-cut, untreated split-pole or sapwood timber (laths or latte) of any kind.
  • Razor wire and barbed wire, and embedded glass shards are not permitted on top of walls and fences

3. Industrial Areas

As above except that galvanized iron sheets, razor and bared wire are allowed on both street and lateral boundaries.

Authority to Erect a Boundary Wall or Fence or Electric Fence

Prior written authority to erect a boundary wall or fence or to install an electric fence must be obtained from Council in terms of the National building Regulations and other applicable laws.

[Note: The local authority has the right to demand plans for walls and fences that are higher than 1,8 m]

Deviations and Relaxations of the City of Cape Town Policy

Deviations and relaxations of the policy are permitted at the discretion of the District Manager. Any application for a deviation or relaxation must be accompanied by a full motivation including endorsement by the neighbouring property owners.

[So if you want to do something that is not normally allowed, your neighbour will have to agree – in writing. The same applies to your neighbour.]

Sources

Boundary Walls and Fences Policy. City of Cape Town, Directorate: Strategy & Planning; Department of Planning & Building Development Management; Development Policy & Processes Branch. January 2009.

Reader’s Digest Family Guide to The Law in South Africa. The Reader’s Digest Association South Africa (Pty) Ltd. Cape Town. 1986.

Dec 072013
 

The PAJA: A Law to Protect Your Rights

DeptJusticeHeader The PAJA: A Law to Protect Your Rights

We get questions daily about buildings blocking views, balconies overlooking neighbours’ bedrooms, building approval without neighbours’ consent, developers not putting in correct storm-water drains; complaints that the neighbours wall is on “my” property; the list goes on and on. People also want to know who they can contact to find out what the situation is, who approved the plans (if indeed they were approved), and how and why their neighbours are “getting away” with these activities. The good news is that there is a law in South Africa that was published in 2000 – The Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000 (Act 3 of 2000) – that was promulgated to protect you.

The Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (PAJA)

 

DofJ s The PAJA: A Law to Protect Your Rights>

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This piece of legislation is not well known, and it is there essentially to ensure that the government (and all its departments) act in a fair way when decisions are taken that might affect any individual. It is your basic human right to have just, fair and equitable administrative action.

The South African Constitution guarantees that any action taken by any administration in South Africa has to be reasonable, lawful and must follow procedures. It must also be fair in relation to all concerned.

The law covers all levels and all departments in all the provinces:

  • Departments at national, provincial or local government level,
  • The national, provincial and local legislatures,
  • The national and provincial executives,
  • The judiciary (or courts),
  • ‘Parastatals’ such as Eskom and Telkom.

We will refer to those that deal with building regulations and the building by-laws in South Africa.

Allowance has also been made for anybody to ask for an explanation from any of the government or municipal departments regarding why they made a certain decision. You also have the right to request reasons as to why a certain decision was made that negatively affects you. The law states that it is your right to ask for reasons and they cannot refuse you this right.

It is important to note that these requests and replies should all be done in writing. If you are given verbal response it’s you prerogative to accept it, but if you aren’t happy, you have every right to demand that it is given to you in writing. Of course it is always best to have this type of thing in writing, particularly when there is a substantial dispute.

The PAJA addresses the fact that if after reasons have been supplied there is still disagreement. If this is the case, then provision has been made for a review of “the administrative action” by a court or a tribunal.

Once you have identified something you are not happy with (either issues mentioned above or other problems you are facing) that you feel that the relevant department should have consulted or informed you about, you must follow the correct procedures:

  1. Request the reasons, in writing, from the department that made the initial decision. This must be done within 90 days of finding out the decision has been made. If you are not satisfied with the reasons given then…
  2. You must use the internal appeal procedure for that department (see below), if they have one. Not all departments have an internal appeal system. If they don’t you can then…
  3. Go to court (see below)
  4. Use other remedies (see below)

To help you we have two pdf documents as guidelines when making requests:

Form to request reasons PDF

Form for Prior Notice PDF

I want to request reasons for what has been allowed—What do I do?

Firstly and most importantly your request must be in writing. State clearly, with reference details, which decision your request is for. Next say why you think the decision that they made is wrong. You must include all your details including your full name, postal address, email, telephone/cellular phone contact details and/or fax number. Your letter can be sent by post, fax, email or delivered by hand. Make sure that you send faxes or emails to the correct address or number. It might be best to deliver your request so that you get a signature and proof of delivery. If you do deliver by hand, get a signature and full name of the person who takes the letter, and include the date and time next to the signature.

How will they respond? What reasons will they give?

They must not try to persuade you that their decision was the correct one. What they must do is give you a clear reason why and how they reached their decision. All your questions that you asked must be answered.

How long will they take to respond?

They must give you a satisfactory reply within 90 days of receiving the request.

Can they tell me the reasons over the phone?

All reasons should be in writing, unless you accept reasons given to you verbally. If not you have full right to ask them to please put their response in writing.

What is the appeal process? How does it work?

There are a few departments that have the facility for an internal appeal. If the department you are dealing with has such a procedure then you have to use this first before you can consider further action. Again you will have to put your demand in writing and say that you are not satisfied with the reasons given to you up until now. Then you request that the matter be taken to the relevant appeal section. The next step is to go to court.

How do I take my case to court?

If you are not satisfied with the reasons given to you by the appeal division, or if there is no appeal board, then you can take the matter to court. You must ask a court to review your case within six months of the internal appeal, or if there is no internal appeal, within six months of the decision. Unfortunately though the court review can be costly.

Are there any other cheaper options?

The internal appeal (if there is one) is usually free.

There are a few other options such as:

  • Asking a political party in your area to help,
  • Putting your complaint to the Provincial MEC for that particular department (eg the local authority’s planning department),
  • You can find out who the Minister is, and who is responsible for that department, and write to him/her and explain your problem.
  • There are quite a few non-government organisations (NGOs) that you could ask for help. These are usually free.
  • Paralegals are there to assist people in awkward situations.
  • If you suspect that there has been any corruption involved in a decision that affects you, then you can call the public protector and give them all the details. The toll-free number is 0800-112-040
  • There are legal aid boards and justice centres in most of the major centres that will assist you free of charge. You can ask the legal aid officer at your nearest court to arrange a lawyer, free of charge, to assist you. You can also call the legal aid board on 021-481 2700.
Jun 232013
 

New Electric Fence Legislation Sends Shock Waves throughout South Africa

ElectricFenceX690 New Electric Fence Law

Photograph: Janek Szymanowski

Penny Swift,  23 June, 2013

When the regulations regarding an electric fence were changed in 2011, nobody paid much attention. But now that the authorities are enforcing the regulations, people are totally shocked and all fired up.

Yesterday a homeowner living in a “wealthy” Pretoria suburb was interviewed on eNCA. She said: “I think it is absolutely crazy. I mean we must try and do absolutely everything in our power to safeguard ourselves and the police don’t have the manpower to keep you safe.” The woman told how three would-be burglars had accessed her property and were trying to break through her front door. She said she ran to get her “pistol” and fired at them. The implication was that not even her electric fence had stopped them. But it wasn’t clear whether her electric fence, if there was one, was compliant with the new regulations – or even up to standard in terms of the relevant SANS.

She seemed to be outraged that if people did not comply with the new electric fence legislation, and a criminal was injured by the fencing, the owner could be held liable. Sure it may seem unfair that you could be charged in these circumstances. But if the woman interviewed on eNCA had hit one of the intruders and killed him when she fired her pistol, she could have been charged with murder.

Beeld ran a story on 12 June that quoted Marike van Niekerk, legal manager of MUA Insurance Acceptances: “The law requires that only certified installers may erect fences. All installers of electric fences must undergo an examination by October this year  before they can be accredited. There are very few certified installers. The Association of South African Electric Fence Installers expected that by October there will only be 300 accredited installers in the country. Not only will the owner have legal fees to pay, but he also runs the risk of criminal prosecution.”

Why is this an issue? We are expected to use qualified building contractors to build our homes. The law says that all electrical work must be carried out by qualified, registered electricians; and that only qualified, registered plumbers may do plumbing work. And we need both electric and plumbing certificates of compliance (COCs) for our newly built homes. In coastal regions, houses cannot be sold without beetle certificates, to ensure that woodwork is not infested.

These compliance issues are in the interests of you and me – as are the newly amended regulations that affect electric fencing. Well, that’s the general idea.

The main issues raised by the media recently are that if property owners don’t comply with the regulations, and get a COC from a registered company:

  • insurance claims may be rejected
  • property owners may be held liable if someone is injured by an electric fence, even if that person is a criminal

Let’s get this into persepctive. If you don’t comply with the National Building Regulations (NBR) and your house falls down, insurance isn’t going to pay. If you don’t have an electrical COC, and your house burns down because of faulty wiring, insurance certainly won’t pay. If you build a staircase that doesn’t comply with the NBR, and someone falls down and breaks a leg, you can be held liable and be forced in a court of law to pay substantial damages.

Electricity is potentially lethal. Would you really consider getting a company that is not qualified to install an electric fence to do the job? … even if they were cheaper? The new registration process is intended to ensure that you and I know who is qualified and who is not.

So What is the Problem?

The main problem is that, as the Beeld article points out, there are very few people who are registered in terms of the new legislation, which should have been enforced from October last year. According to the South African Electric Fence Installers Association (SAEFIA), electric fence installers who are “qualified” may, and have been, granted temporary licenses to issue COCs. But to get a permanent license, it is necessary to pass a test (see next section below). The deadline for registration has been extended to September 2013.

The other problem relates to the COC itself, which must be updated in certain circumstances, including when a property is sold, and where tenants lease a property.

The Amended Regulations

The regulations that apply to electric fences, are the Electrical Machinery Regulations, and they fall under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993. Until 25 March 2011, when the new Electrical Machinery Regulations were published in the Government Gazette, electric fences were governed by the rather sketchy Electrical Machinery Regulations, 1988 – as well as the relevant South African National Standards (SANS), including SANS 60335-2-76.

It should be noted that the regulations do not only deal with electric fencing, but cover all types of electrical machinery, portable electric tools, portable electric lights, overhead power lines, and personal protective equipment for electrical work. You can download the “new” 2011 Electrical Machinery Regulations HERE.

In the new regulations, an electric fence means “an electrified barrier consisting of one or more bare conductors erected against the trespass of persons or animals”. A person registered as an electric fence system installer is required to have “sufficient knowledge of the safety standards applicable to electric fence systems”. Further, proof of “electric fence system installer proficiency” must be given before registration will be approved.

But this doesn’t mean old electric fences need to be replaced. As long as they comply with the old 1988 regulations, they are perfectly legal. And if they comply, there is no reason why they shouldn’t qualify for a COC. This is important, because if a property is sold, a COC is required (see 2 below).

The regulations state that every “user or lessor” (which implicates tenants) of a new electric fence system must have a COC “Provided that such certificate shall be transferable”. Electric fence systems installed prior to 1 October 2012 don’t require a COC unless:

  1. they have been added to or altered,
  2. there is a change of ownership of the premises.

The Law and Electric Fencing: A Pocket, Ready-Reference to the Legal Dos And Don’ts of Electric Fencing In South Africa is available FREE from SAEFIA, or you can download it HERE.

 

 A LEGAL PERSPECTIVE

The following story, originally published in De Rebus (The South African Attorneys’ Journal published by the Law Society of South Africa) will be of critical interest to all home owners, property developers, body corporates, estate agents and anyone involved in the security industry.

New certificate requirement for electric fence systems

By Carol McDonald

It is important for practitioners dealing with a change of ownership of immovable property to be aware of the latest developments in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 (the Act) regarding electric fences.

Regulation 12 of the Electrical Machinery Regulations, 2011 imposes an obligation on the user of an electric fence system to have an electric fence system certificate of compliance.

The requirement does not apply to a system in existence prior to 1 October 2012. However, as with an electrical compliance certificate, this certificate will be required where an addition or alteration is effected to the system or where there is a change of ownership of the premises on which the system exists if the change of ownership takes place after 1 October 2012.

The electric fence system certificate is separate from an electrical compliance certificate and is therefore an additional requirement if the property has an electric fence system.

It will also be necessary to include an appropriate clause in sale agreements concluded after 1 October 2012 if there is an electric fence system on the property.

A transfer registered after 1 October 2012 therefore triggers the obligation to provide a certificate. It will thus be necessary to arrange for an electric fence system certificate if an electric fence system exists on a property that is in the process of being transferred.

The certificate is however transferable: Once it has been issued, there is no need to obtain a new one on a change of ownership.

Three questions arise in response to the above:

• Who is the user in respect of sectional titles? Must the owner of a unit obtain a certificate when the unit is transferred?

• If a property on which an electric fence system is situated is sold and the sale agreement is silent on, who is to obtain the certificate, who is responsible for ensuring that it is obtained?

• If a property is leased and the lease is silent on the issue, who is responsible for the certificate – the lessor or the lessee?

The regulations do not provide clear answers to these questions and they therefore require amendment.

In the interim, I submit the following comments.

Who is the user in a sectional title scheme?

The common property in a sectional title scheme comprises the land and permanent attachments to it that are not included in sections (s 1(1) of the Sectional Titles Act 95 of 1986 and GJ Pienaar Sectional Titles and Other Fragmented Property Schemes 1ed (Cape Town: Juta 2010) at 72).
An electric fence system erected on the common property forms part of the common property and is therefore owned in undivided shares by the sectional owners in the scheme (s 2(c) of the Sectional Titles Act).

A general duty is imposed on a body corporate to control, manage and administer the common property for the benefit of all owners (s 37(1)(r) of the Sectional Titles Act).

‘User’ is not defined in the Electrical Machinery Regulations, whereas the Act defines ‘user’ as:
‘[I]n relation to plant or machinery, means the person who uses plant or machinery for his own benefit or who has the right of control over the use of plant or machinery, but does not include a lessor of, or any person employed in connection with, that plant or machinery.’

A body corporate falls within the definition of ‘user’ as it exercises the ‘right of control’ over an electric fence system erected on common property.

The owner of a sectional title unit, likewise, falls within the definition of ‘user’ as each unit owner has the ‘benefit’ of the system. In addition, the body corporate is required to exercise its control for the benefit of all the sectional owners (CG van der Merwe Sectional Titles, Share Blocks and Time- sharing vol 1 Service Issue 14 (Durban: LexisNexis 2012) at para 14 2 14 11).

In respect of existing electric fence systems, a certificate is required only if there is a change of ownership of the land on which the system is situated.

The land does not form part of a sectional title unit being transferred. However, as the sectional owner’s undivided co-ownership in the land is an accessory to the section (GJ Pienaar (op cit) at 65), a change in ownership of a unit brings about a change in co-ownership of the land. The transfer of a unit will trigger the application of reg 12, which stipulates that every user of an electric fence system shall have an electric fence system certificate.

Unlike a certificate of compliance required in terms of the Electrical Installation Regulations, 2009, where the user or lessor may not allow a change of ownership if the certificate is older than two years, there is no such provision in the Electrical Machinery Regulations. As stated above, the electric fence system certificate is transferable and does not expire.

I submit that a separate certificate is not required by every sectional owner. If there is a change of ownership of a unit in a scheme, by virtue of the change of ownership in the common property, the body corporate should be obliged in terms of reg 12 to obtain an electric fence system certificate of compliance. Thereafter, if a sale agreement requires a seller to produce a certificate, a certificate issued to the body corporate and produced to the conveyancer in respect of the transfer of any sectional title unit in the scheme would be sufficient to comply with the requirements of reg 12.

Responsibility for obtaining the certificate

As stated above, reg 12 of the Electrical Machinery Regulations stipulates that ‘every user or lessor’ of an electric fence system shall have an electric fence system certificate.

This wording is similar to that of reg 7 of the Electrical Installation Regulations, which stipulates that ‘every user or lessor of an electrical installation, as the case may be, shall have a valid certificate of compliance’.

Regulation 12 differs from reg 7 in that the former stipulates that ‘if there is a change of ownership … the user or lessor shall obtain an electric fence system certificate’, whereas the latter provides that ‘the user or lessor may not allow a change of ownership if the certificate of compliance is older than two years’.

Regulation 12 does not prohibit the transfer of ownership in the absence of a certificate. It does, however, place an obligation on the ‘user’ to obtain a certificate.

Although there may be a difference of opinion on this point, I submit that there is nothing in the regulations to prohibit transfer in the absence of a certificate and it is the purchaser who would be in violation of the regulations once transfer has passed.

The obligation therefore falls on the purchaser to obtain the certificate.

There is no obligation on the conveyancer to obtain the certificate on behalf of the transferee unless the agreement of sale specifically places that obligation on the conveyancer.

Conveyancers must peruse the sale agreement and establish whether reference is made to the certificate. Provided that the agreement of sale does not prohibit it, transfer may be registered without a certificate having been obtained.

A clause in a sale agreement that places an obligation on the seller to provide the purchaser with an electric fence system certificate serves a twofold purpose: It removes the ambiguity created by the imprecise wording of the regulation and it protects the purchaser.

Penalty

Failure by the user to obtain an electric fence compliance certificate where an addition or alteration has been effected or where there has been a change of ownership of the premises on which the system exists (if the change took place after 1 October 2012) could result in a fine or a prison sentence. In terms of the reg 24 of the Electrical Machinery Regulations, any person who contravenes or fails to comply with any of the provisions of reg 12 shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a maximum of 12 months and, in case of a continuous offence, to an additional fine of R 200 for each day on which the offence continues or additional imprisonment of one day for each day on which the offence continues: Provided that the period of such additional imprisonment shall not exceed 90 days.

Lease – who is responsible for the certificate?

If a property is leased, and the lease is silent on the issue, who is responsible for the certificate – the lessor or the lessee?

The Act’s definition of ‘user’ specifically excludes the lessor, while reg 12 specifically includes the lessor. But it is the lessor of the electric fence system that is referred to in reg 12, not the lessor of the premises on which the system exists – a distinction that creates ambiguity rather than clarity.

It is unclear why the drafters specifically included the lessor.
Applying the definition in the Act, the user is the person who ‘uses … for his own benefit or who has the right of control over the use’ (my emphasis).

Who has the right of control? The lease in each case will determine the answer to this question. In a property with a single tenant, the system may be controlled by the lessee or the lessor. In a multi-tenanted building it is likely that the lessor will control the system. The body corporate will control the system where the lease pertains to a sectional unit in a sectional title scheme.

Who is using the system for their own benefit? The landlord benefits from the existence of the system on the property that he is renting out. However, the tenant also benefits. Without clarity in the wording of the regulation, one must apply common sense. It would be inequitable to require a tenant to obtain a certificate because the landlord has sold the property. The landlord should therefore obtain the certificate.

Nonetheless, it would be prudent to include a clause in the lease to address this issue.
It is hoped that there will be amendments to the regulation to provide more clarity on these issues.

Conclusion

In summary:

• A sectional title owner need not obtain a certificate. Following a change in ownership of a sectional unit, a body corporate should obtain a certificate.

• Unless a sale agreement provides otherwise, the purchaser of a property must obtain a certificate.

• A landlord should obtain a certificate for leased property.

Carol McDonald LLB (UKZN) BCL (University of Oxford) is an attorney at Cox Yeats in Durban.

 

Jun 132013
 

Consolidated Johannesburg
Town Planning Scheme, 2011

Google Jhb Town Planning Scheme   JHB

We have included this Johannesburg Town Planning Scheme document to assist you with accessing the the correct information so that you can make the right decisions when it comes to planning any construction, building and renovation or the purchase of property with developement in mind. This Town Planning Scheme applies to all properties within the municipal boundaries of the City of Johannesburg, as determined by the Municipal Demarcation Board.
This Town Planning Scheme is prepared in terms of the Town Planning and Townships Ordinance, Ordinance 15 of 1986, and is, subject to the provisions of section 3(4) of this Scheme. The Scheme relates to the area of jurisdiction of the City of Johannesburg:
a. Johannesburg Town Planning Scheme, 1979 (The clauses only )
b. Halfway House and Clayville Planning Scheme, 1976 (The clauses only)
c. Sandton Planning Scheme, 1980 (The clauses only)
d. Roodepoort Planning Scheme, 1987 (The clauses only)
e. Randburg Planning Scheme, 1976 (The clauses only)
f. Lenasia South East Planning Scheme, 1998 (The clauses only)
g. Modderfontein Planning Scheme, 1994 (The clause only)
h. Peri-urban Areas Town Planning Scheme, 1975 (The clauses only)
i. Southern Johannesburg Region Planning Scheme, 1979 (The clauses only)
j. Walkerville Planning Scheme, 1994 (The causes only)
k. Annexure F as per the Black Communities Development Act, Act 4 of 1984
l. Lethabong Planning Scheme, 1998 (The clauses only)
m. Westonaria Planning Scheme (The clauses only)
n. Alberton Planning Scheme (The clause only)

Download (PDF, 831KB)

Jun 122013
 

A List of Definitions and Terms
Used in Town Planning Schemes

Includes Land Use and Zonings Terms

Town planning zones316 Town Planning Definitions

Town Planning has different by-laws for each zone in any Municipality

The Johannesburg metropolitan area is the largest, most diverse and most cosmopolitan in South Africa, so we have based this list on definitions from their Town Planning document, see: town-planning-scheme-jhb. These are not only relevant to Gauteng but are used nationally. We have also added terms from various other Town Planning documents. In addition, your Local Authority may have terms that refer specifically to their region. If so, you can call them directly and ask them to enlighten you on the meaning of any specific terms or phrases you haven’t heard before.

 

A

Abattoir
Land or buildings where livestock or poultry is slaughtered and prepared for distribution.

Act
Any Act Promulgated and referred to to any of the Town Planning Schemes

Adult Premises
Means land and buildings used for trade with sexually explicit material, including the distribution or exhibition of films or videos which are classified as “X18″ or “R18″ in terms of the provisions of the Films and Publications Act, 1996 or any amendment thereto. It also includes any shows, be it live or via films, videos or magazines, the distribution/exhibition of sex aids and/or the operation of an escort agency.

Agricultural Purposes/Building
Purposes normally associated with the use of land and buildings for farming/agricultural purposes and it includes only dwelling units necessary for and related to the bona fide agricultural use of the property. This also includes the use of the property for urban agricultural purposes; the sale of produce solely cultivated or bread from the site; horse riding facilities and related schooling uses, but shall not include sporting and recreation purposes or a race course.

Agricultural Holding
Means land as laid out in terms of the Agricultural Holdings (Transvaal) Registration Act, 1919 (Act 22 of 1919).

Agricultural Industry
Means any farming activity such as pig and poultry farming and cattle feeding lots, that is performed on such a scale and with such intensity that it could in the opinion of the Municipality possibly cause a health nuisance in respect of noise, smells, waste and effluent.

Airport/Airfield
Land and buildings designed and used for the landing and taking off of fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft, airways control, aircraft hangers, fuel depot, fuel bays, workshops for manufacturing, repair and spray-painting of aircraft, engine run test area, training facilities for flight schools, passenger terminals, luggage and freight storage and handling, customs and migration control, associated shops, sale of aircraft and parts, offices, places of refreshment, places of amusement, banks, ATMs, leasing of vehicles, vehicle valet service area, guest-house, clinic, residential buildings, dwelling-units, telecommunication masts, hotel and conference centre, aircraft and related clubs and other ancillary and subservient uses and all uses normally associated with the proper functioning of an airport to the satisfaction of the Council.

Air Rights
Means the use of a building, which spans across an existing street at a specific height above the street level and does not restrict the use of the street, for any use which has been approved by the Municipality.

Ancillary and Subservient Use
When used in the context of an associated use or purpose, means a use, purpose, building or activity, which is ancillary and subservient to the lawful dominant use of the property and which support and compliment the main use on the property and which shall not exist on their own when the main use on the property is discontinued.

Animal Boarding Place
Means land and buildings used for the boarding, breeding and grooming of dogs, cats and domestic animals and may include the sale of products related to the main use subject to the Municipality’s relevant By-laws and Regulations.

Animal Care Center
A place for the care of domestic pets and animals, operated on either a commercial or welfare basis and includes boarding kennels, catteries and pet training centers.

Applicant
Any registered owner of land, whether a natural person or a juristic body, or anybody duly authorised by such owner, who makes an application as provided for in the Town Planning and Townships Ordinance, Ordinance 15 of 1986, and/or this Town Planning Scheme or any amendments thereof.

Application
An application made in terms of the provisions of the Town Planning and Townships Ordinance, Ordinance 15 of 1986, and/or this Town Planning Scheme or any amendments thereof.

Application Register
A record of all applications submitted in terms of the provisions of the Town Planning and Townships Ordinance, Ordinance 15 of 1986, and/or this Town Planning Scheme or any amendments thereof.

Approval
Any approval granted by the Council in writing with or without conditions.

Area
The defined municipal boundaries of the City of Johannesburg and the area across which this Town Planning Scheme is applicable.

ATM
Means land and buildings used for an automatic teller machine of a bank or other financial institution.

Auctioneer
Means land and buildings used for the storage of new and second hand goods for sale to the public by means of an auction or over the counter.

 

B

Backpackers
Means land and buildings consisting of habitable rooms including dormitories, a communal kitchen, dining-room, lounge and ablution facilities for the accommodation of guests and tourists for short periods and shall be managed by the owner or manager who shall reside on the same property.

Bakery
Means land and buildings where bread, rusks, tarts, rolls, pies and other flour-baked products are manufactured in bulk for distribution to wholesale trade, shops and warehouses.

Bank
Means a public company provisionally or finally registered as a Deposit-taking Institution in terms of the Deposit-taking Institutions Act 1990 (Act 94 of 1990) and also includes an instant bank and automatic teller machines.

Basement
The space in a building between the floor and ceiling which is partly or completely below the natural ground level; Provided that a basement shall be counted as a storey for the purpose of a height measurement where any portion extends more than 1,0 m above the lowest level of the natural ground level immediately contiguous to the building.

Bed and Breakfast
A building/s in which the resident manager provides lodging and meals for compensation to transient guests who have permanent residence elsewhere provided that:
i. The number of rooms/suites may not exceed 10 without the written consent of the Council in addition to the accommodation of the resident manager
ii. The buildings may include self catered suites
iii. No buildings may be converted into dwelling units or be sectionalized.

Block of Flats
Means two (2) or more dwelling-units on two or more storeys contained in a building with a common entrance or foyer to the dwelling-units.

Boarding House
A dwelling house where the habitable rooms are rented out for an extended period by the resident owner/occupant to unrelated persons and communal facilities such as the kitchen, lounge, dining room and bathrooms are shared by the boarders.

Boundary
In relation to a land unit means the cadastral line separating such land unit from another land unit or from a public street.

Builders Yard
Land and/or buildings which is used for the storage of material and equipment which:
i. Is normally required for or used for construction work and/or building operations;
ii. Resulting from demolition or excavation operations; or
iii. Is normally used for land improvements, such as materials used for building roads, installing essential services, or for any other construction work, whether for public or private purposes; and
iv. Land or buildings used for the preparation for use of any of the aforementioned materials; provided that it does not include any builder’s yard established for the purpose or temporary storing any of the aforementioned materials in connection with and for the duration of construction or building works in the vicinity of such builder’s yard, or the storage of building material supplies for a hardware shop contained within a building.

Building
A structure erected on land, irrespective of the materials used inthe erection or construction thereof.

Building line
A line that is a fixed distance from the boundary of an erf or property abutting a public and/or private street or any other boundary of an erf or property or include a floodwater mark where indicated on the Zoning Maps, Schedule or Annexure.

Building Material Storage
Land and or buildings which is used for the storage/sale of material/equipment that relate to a hardware shop

Building Restriction Area
An area of an erf or portion of land on which no buildings may be erected, save as allowed in the Town Planning Scheme, and which is bounded on one side by a building line and / or street boundary or any other boundary of an erf or property, or which is subject to flooding as indicated by a flood water mark or designated by a floodline boundary.

Building Society
A Mutual Building Society as defined in Section 1 of the Mutual Building Societies Act, 1965 (Act 24 of 1965) and also includes automatic teller machines.

Business Purposes/Building
A property from which business is conducted and the related use of buildings including an office, restaurant, motor showroom, medical consulting rooms, domestic service industry, funeral parlour, call centers, warehouse, financial institution, dry cleaners, launderettes and building for similar uses not elsewhere defined as well as uses which are ancillary, directly related to and subservient to the main use such as a caretakers accommodation, but does not include a place of assembly, institution, public garage, industry, noxious trade or place of amusement.

By-laws
The by-laws or regulations of the Municipality in force in the area.

 

C

Cadastral Line
A line representing the official boundary of a land unit or portion as registered in the Deeds Office.

Cafeteria
Means a building or part of a building used for the preparation and sale of food and refreshments for the exclusive use of the employees and their guests or patrons of the building provided it is ancillary and subservient to the main use on the same property.

Call Centre
Means land and buildings used for a telephonic or other communication centre for rerouting telephonic or other calls by means of call operators.

Camping Site
Means land and buildings used for transient guests for the overnight accommodation of caravans, motor homes and tents and may include ablution facilities, caretaker’s flat, communal kitchen and ancillary and subservient shops and other related buildings.

Canopy
A cantilevered or suspended roof, slab or covering (not being the floor or a balcony) projecting from the wall of a building and not being enclosed.

Canteen
A building or part of a building used for providing food and liquid refreshments for the exclusive benefit of persons employed by an undertaking which owns and operates or controls such undertaking and includes the area for preparation of such foods and liquid refreshments. This use is an ancillary right on all non-residential Land Use Zones contained in this Town Planning Scheme but excludes a restaurant.

Caravan
A vehicle which has been equipped or converted for living or sleeping purposes and which is towed.

Caravan Park
Land used for the parking of caravans for transient camping purposes

 

Car Sales Lot
Land, which is used mainly for the display and sale of motor vehicles, motor vehicle trailers, caravans and heavy-duty vehicles and may include ancillary offices, but excludes a scrap yard and a public garage.

Cemetery
A place, including land and/or buildings, used for burials, and such activities and which can include all uses ancillary such as a crematorium, chapel, funeral parlour, wall of remembrance and a convenience shop.

Child Care Centre
Land or buildings thereon used as a child care centre, including a day care centre, crèche, preschool, playgroup or after school care centre, for taking care of children according to compulsory educational standards and health requirements.

Clinic
A place for the diagnosis and treatment of human illness or the improvement of human health, which has limited facilities and an emphasis on outpatients, with no overnight facilities. A clinic includes medical consulting rooms, outpatients’ center and a wellness center with associated uses.

Commencement Date
The date on which this Town Planning Scheme came into operation.

Commercial Purposes
A building and/or land designed for use or used for distribution centers, wholesale trade, warehouses, storage, computer centers, removal and transport services, laboratories, cash management centers, builders yards, coal yards, building material storage and all uses which are ancillary, directly related to or subservient to the main use such as a caretaker’s accommodation.

Common Boundary
In relation to land unit means a boundary common with the adjoining land unit other than a street boundary.

Commune
A dwelling house where the habitable rooms are rented out for an extended period to unrelated persons and who share the communal facilities such as the kitchen, lounge, dining room and bathrooms.

Community Body
A body, organization or institution of whatever nature that represents the interests of a community or segment of a community.

Consent
Permission granted by the Council, after due consideration of all relevant facts and after following a reasonable and lawful process, in terms of which a specific aspect of land management is permitted, in addition to the primary use rights applicable to the property concerned, i.e. Clauses 39 to 41.

Consent Use
The additional land use right that may be permitted in terms of the provision in a particular zone, only with the consent of the Council as contemplated in Clause 40.

Conservation
The use or maintenance of land and/or buildings in terms of its natural, cultural, historical or built environmental significance, with the object of preserving the identified special characteristics. Such areas, which are to be identified by the Council from time-to-time or as determined through the National Heritage Act or National Environmental Management Act, can include but are not limited to water courses, wetlands and sensitive eco-systems, heritage sites, historical buildings or sites of cultural significance. These areas, erven or buildings need special management and maintenance in order to preserve the identified natural, historical or cultural characteristics.

Convenience Shop
A building, or portion of a building, restricted to the sale of convenience goods such as bread and confectionery, dairy products, fresh produce, beverages, canned foods, magazines and newspapers, at the discretion of the Council.

Council
The City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality as established under the provisions of the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 117 of 1998, or its successors in title, or a structure or person exercising a delegated power or carrying out an instruction, where any power in this Scheme has been delegated or subdelegated, or an instruction given, as contemplated in section 59 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 32 of 2000.

Coverage
The total area of land that may be covered by buildings, as seen vertically from the air measured from outer face of exterior walls, expressed as a percentage of the land area, and shall include all roofed areas; provided that the following portions of buildings shall be disregarded in the calculation of coverage:
i. Unroofed stoep, entrance steps and landing;
ii. Open balconies, retractable awnings;
iii. Cornices, chimneys, pergolas, water pipes, drain pipes and minor decorative features not projecting more than 500mm from the building wall;
iv. Eaves not projecting more than 1,0m from the wall of the building;
v. A canopy erected on the street frontage of a shop;
vi. Electrical high and low tension chambers;
vii. The area covered by open air swimming pools;
Basements are dealt with and are subject to the provisions of Clause 30 of this Scheme.

 

D

Days
Calendar days.

Development
The development of land, changes in the use of land or intensification of that use and includes any matter in relation to land for which a development application is required.

Domestic Service Industry
The repair and sale of spare parts for domestic equipment and appliances, garden services, including the repair and sale of spare parts for lawn-mowers, irrigation systems and swimming-pool equipment, property maintenance services and any other service that is ancillary to such a industry. Such uses shall fall under the auspices of business purposes.

Dwelling House
A detached self-contained inter-leading suite of rooms containing a kitchen with or without an ancillary scullery and the appropriate ablutions, used for the living accommodation and housing of one family, together with such outbuildings and subsidiary dwelling unit as is ordinarily permitted therewith, as long as the subsidiary dwelling unit comply with the process stipulated in the Town Planning Scheme in Use Zone “Residential 1”; provided that a second kitchen, which is to be used for religious purposes and which is physically connected with the first kitchen, may be provided to the satisfaction of the Council. An entertainment, reception and/or living area within a dwelling house or part of a reasonably required and ancillary outbuilding (See “Outbuilding” definition), may include a wash-up area used exclusively for that purpose.

Dwelling Unit
An interconnected suite of rooms, designed for human habitation that shall contain a kitchen with or without an ancillary scullery and with the appropriate ablutions; irrespective of whether the dwelling unit is a single building or forms part of a building containing 2 or more dwelling units; provided that a second kitchen, which is to be used for religious purposes and which is physically connected with the first kitchen, may be provided to the satisfaction of the Council.

 

E

Environment
The aggregate of surrounding objects, conditions and influences that affect the life and habits of humans or any other organism or collection of organisms.

Environmental Control Area
An area defined by the Council within which any development shall be subject to a development plan or any other requirement as determined by the Council.

Erection in Relation to a Building
In relation to a building or structures includes:
1. The building of a new building or structure;
2. The alteration, conversion or addition to, a building or structure;
3. The re-erection of a building or structure which has completely or partially been demolished.

Erf
A piece of land in an approved township, registered in the Deeds Registry as an erf, plot or stand or shown as such on a General Plan of a proclaimed township.

Executive Council
The Executive Council of the Gauteng Province, established under Section 132 of the Constitution.

Existing Building
A building erected in conformity with building plans approved by the Council and which is otherwise lawful and the erection of which was:
i. Completed on or before the fixed date;
ii. Begun before but completed after the fixed date; or
iii. Completed in accordance with the terms of any permission granted by the Council during the preparation and until the coming into operation of this Town Planning Scheme.

Existing Use
A use carried out or in operation on an erf or site that was permitted in terms of the previous town planning scheme but which is contrary to this Town Planning Scheme. It shall remain an existing use right for a period of 15 years from the date of commencement of this Town Planning Scheme, unless the said use is altered in any way or ceases to be carried out for a period of 12 months during the 15 years. Such existing use can be extended for a further 15 years, subject to the written consent of the Council.

 

F

Family
A man and/or woman with or without their parents and with or without children of the said man or the woman or both, living together as one household. A family can also include orphaned children living together as a family under the custodianship of an adult.

Farm Portion
A portion of land which is not an erf, agricultural holding or road and which is registered as a separate unit in the Deeds Office. Such portion is land that has not been the subject of township establishment.

Fixed Date
This is the date that this scheme came into operation via a promulgation notice.

Flood
A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of land areas from the overflow of a body of water.

Flood Water Mark
The floodlines as contemplated in Section 169(1)(a) of the Water Act, No 54 of 1956 as amended from time-to-time.

Floor Area
The sum of the gross area covered by the building at the floor level of each storey, provided that the area reasonably required for the purposes detailed below may be excluded from the calculations of the floor area, which calculations shall be clearly indicated on the building plans. Floor area shall be measured from the outer face of the exterior walls or similar supports of such building, and where the building consists of more than one storey, the total floor space shall be the sum of the floor area of all the storeys, including that of basements. Areas that may be excluded from the calculation of floor area are:
i. Any area, including a basement, which is reserved solely for parking of vehicles and loading and off-loading areas;
ii. 10% of the total floor area shall be regarded as areas required for the cleaning, maintenance, care and proper mechanical and electrical functioning of the building.

Floor Area Ratio or FAR
The ratio obtained by dividing the floor area of a building or buildings by the total area of the erf or site upon which the building(s) are erected, thus:

FAR = 

Floor Area of a building or buildings
Total Area of the Erf or Site upon which The building(s) are erected

Funeral Parlour
Property where the deceased are prepared for burial or cremation and includes facilities for associated administrative and religious functions but does not include a crematorium.

 

G

Garage
A building for the parking of motor vehicles, and includes a carport but does not include a public garage or filling station.

General Plan
A cadastral plan of a township, which has been approved in terms of the Land Survey Act No 8 of 1997.

Ground Floor or Ground Storey
A floor at ground level or a floor having its entrance directly accessible from natural ground level by means of a ramp, stairway or similar structure, provided that:
i. Subject to (ii) below, the floor level of the ground floor shall at no point, extend more than 1,5 above the lowest natural level of the ground immediately contiguous to the building
ii. Any ground floor which has a floor level higher than the distance specified in (i) above shall, for the purpose of determining height, be considered part of two storeys incorporating both the ground floor and the next storey above, being the second storey. Refer to Clause 28 for further details.

Guest House
A converted dwelling house or dwelling unit whereby the resident family/person lets out individual rooms for temporary residential accommodation, with or without meals, with the proviso that all amenities and the provision of meals and beverages shall be for the sole benefit of bona fide guests and the resident family/person. The premises shall not be used for functions such as conferences, promotions and/or receptions.

 

H

Habitable Room
A room designed or used for human habitation in accordance with standards prescribed by the by-laws but excludes a storeroom. Any habitable room, either as itself along with ancillary uses or as part of a suite of habitable rooms shall be defined as a dwelling unit.

Height
The vertical dimensions of the building from the natural ground level to the highest point of the building measured in meters or in number of storeys; provided that:
i. The height restriction which refers to storeys does not apply to roofs, domes, chimneys, flues, masts and antennae; and
ii. Elevator motor rooms, satellite dishes, ventilation shafts, water tanks, air conditioning plant and equipment on top of a building, shall be regarded as a storey, unless enclosed within the roof or hidden behind parapet walls, not exceeding 2,0 m in height, in which case it shall be counted as part of the top storey.

Helipad
Land and buildings used and designed for landing and taking off of helicopters and may include a terminal for passengers. This use is permitted in all Use Zones other than “Residential 1, 2 and 3” with the consent of the Council.

Home Enterprise
Subject to the provisions of Clause 21, the practicing of a profession or occupation from a dwelling house/unit by one or more occupants of the dwelling house/unit; provided the dominant use of the dwelling house/unit concerned shall remain for the living accommodation of the permanent occupant/s of the dwelling house/unit, and the property complies with the requirements contained in this Town Planning Scheme.

Hospital
A place for the diagnosis and treatment of human illness; with integrated facilities such as operating theatres and live-in accommodation for patients; and includes a clinic and medical consulting rooms.

Hotel
A building used as a temporary residence for transient guests, where lodging and meals are provided, and may include:
i. A restaurant or restaurants;
ii. Associated meeting rooms, conference and entertainment facilities, recreational and service facilities that are subservient and ancillary to the dominant use of the property as a hotel; and
iii. Premises which are licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the property; but does not include an off-sales facility.

House shop
Is defined as part of the dwelling house or attached outbuilding to the dwelling house, which provides a necessary local retail function to the community, supplying essential pre-packed and/or pre-wrapped items and/or foodstuff, excluding liquor and meat. A house shop is not a general business or retail function on a residential erf and the residential component remains the main use of the erf.

 

I

Industrial Purposes
The use of a building or land or part thereof as a factory and in which an article or part of such article is made, manufactured, produced, built, assembled, compiled, printed, ornamented, processed, treated, adapted, repaired, renovated, rebuilt, altered, painted (including spray painting), polished, finished, cleaned, dyed, washed, broken up, disassembled, sorted, packed, chilled, frozen or stored in cold storage; including offices, caretaker’s quarters or other uses which are subservient and ancillary to the use of the property as a factory; and includes a warehouse, the generation of electricity; the developing or processing of photographs, films or tapes; refuse disposal sites; and abattoir but does not include a noxious trade or risk activity.

Informal Trading
The legal selling of products in areas demarcated by the Council specifically for these purposes, such as markets and other demarcated areas, ensuring that each informal trader has a valid and applicable trading permit as determined by the by-laws.

Institution
A welfare or charitable facility such as home for the aged, indigent or handicapped; a hospital, clinic or nursing home, a sanatorium; or any other institution whether public or private and includes all uses ancillary, directly related to and subservient to the main use, but excludes primary office and administrative functions.

Interested Party
Any person or body who, in accordance with the provisions of the Town Planning Scheme and within any time period prescribed, has submitted in writing any objection, comment or representation in respect of any matter in this Town Planning Scheme providing for objections, comments or representations.

 

K

Kitchen
A room or part of a room equipped for preparing and/or cooking meals.

 

L

Land
Land with or without improvements, including land covered with water. It can also mean erf, place, property, plot, lot, holding and/or farm portion.

Landscaping
The placement of plants, contoured features, water features, paving, street furniture and other soft and hard elements, for the purposes of enhancing aesthetic appeal, environmental management, amenity and value of a property.

Line of no Access
A line along any street, erf or site boundary or portion thereof prohibiting any vehicular access.

Loading Bay
An area which is clearly demarcated for loading and offloading of goods from commercial vehicles, and which has vehicular access to a public street to the satisfaction of the Council.

Local authority
Refer to the definition of “Council

 

M

Medical Consulting Rooms
A building designed for use or a building or land which is used for the following consulting practices associated with restoring or preserving health but excluding overnight or operating facilities:
Medical practitioner; dentist or dental hygienist; psychologist, optometrist; podiatrist; occupational, speech and dental therapist; physiotherapist; radiographer; audiologist; dietician; orthotist; medical orthotist; and prosthetist; veterinarian; chiropractor; homeopath; naturopath; osteopath and herbalist; Provided that where the Council adds to such list such additions shall also be deemed to be included in the above definition. This use falls under the ambit of business purposes unless separately defined.

Mezzanine
An intermediate floor in a building. For the purposes of measuring height, a mezzanine shall be counted as a storey.

Mining Purposes
All land and associated buildings that were previously outside the bounds of a Town Planning Scheme and that have now been incorporated for management by the Council on which an enterprise is carried out which extracts raw materials from the earth, whether by means of surface or underground methods, and includes, but is not limited to, the removal of stone, sand, clay, kaolin, ores, minerals, gas and precious stones; and also includes the processing of such raw materials by means of crushing, cutting or polishing. Such land and/or buildings may include agricultural land and land owned by Mining Houses which have been deregulated.

Mobile Dwelling Unit
A factory assembled transportable structure, constructed in accordance with the requirements of the S.A.B.S. specification for Mobile Homes, with the necessary service connections, and designed as a permanent dwelling unit.

Motor Showrooms
The use of buildings or land for the display and sale of new and/or used motor vehicles and accessories, ancillary offices and workshops, all of which shall be within an enclosed building.

Motor Workshop and Services
The use of buildings or land for the repair, maintenance and servicing of motor vehicles including the installation of parts and accessories.

Municipality
Refer to the definition of “Council

Municipal Purposes
Such purposes as the municipality may be authorized to carry out in terms of its powers and functions and shall include all municipal land uses as well as such uses as sewerage works and reservoirs and their related buildings.

 

N

National Building Regulations
The National Building Regulations made in terms of section 17 of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act No.103 of 1977, as amended.

Natural Ground Level
The level of the land surface in its unmodified state as established from a contour plan.

Nature Reserve
A national park or environmental conservation area that has been declared as a nature reserve in terms of legislation, whether in public or private ownership, for the purpose of conserving and managing wild life, flora and fauna in their natural habitat; it includes conservation use but does not include tourist facilities or tourist accommodation. Refer to “Conservation” and “Public Open Space”.

Neighbour
The owner of the erf or site which is contiguous to the application erf or site, even though it may be separated by a road or panhandle, except if indicated differently by the Municipality.

Noxious Industry
An activity where any one or more of the following activities are carried out: Blood boiling; tallow melting; fat melting or extracting; soap boiling; bone boiling; tripe boiling or cleaning; skin storing; bone storing; fellmongering; skin curing; blood drying; gut scraping; leather dressing; tanning; glue making; size making; charcoal burning; brick burning; lime burning; manure making; manure storing; parchment making; malt making; yeast making; cement works; coke ovens; salt glazing; sintering of sulphur-bearing materials; viscose works; smelting of ores and minerals; calcining; puddling and rolling or iron and other metals; conversion of pig-iron into wrought iron; re-heating; annealing; hardening; forging; converting and carburizing iron and other metals; works for the production of or which employ carbon disulphide, cellulose lacquers, cyanogens or its compounds, hot pitch or bitumen, pulverized fuel, pyridine, liquid or gaseous sulphur dioxide, sulphur chlorides; works for the production of amyl acetate, aromatic esters, butyric acid, caramel enameled wire, glass, hexamine, iodoform, lampblack, B-naphthol, resin products, salicylic acid, sulphonated organic compounds, sulphur dyes, ultramarine, zinc chloride, zinc oxide; and all refining and works dealing with the processing or refining of petrol or oil or their products; Provided that where the Council adds to the list of noxious trades, such additions shall also be deemed to be included in the above definition and that all Health requirements are complied with.

 

O

Occupant or Occupier
Any person who physically inhabits or occupies a property.

Offices
Any property used for the conducting of an enterprise primarily concerned with administrative, clerical, financial or professional services, and includes medical consulting rooms and financial institutions.

Outbuilding
A structure, whether attached or separate from the main building, which is ancillary and subservient to the main building on a land unit, and includes a building which is designed to be normally used for the garaging of motor vehicles, and any other normal activities in so far as these are usually and reasonably required in connection with the main building. In respect of a dwelling house / unit, notwithstanding the above, outbuildings may also include small store areas, garden sheds, external toilets and a domestic outbuilding which is defined as follows:
Accommodation for staff residing on the erf and exists in association with the dwelling house/unit. The extent of the domestic outbuilding shall be restricted to 20% of the built floor area of the dwelling house/unit or 50m², whichever is the lesser, provided that this restrictive requirement may be relaxed with the written consent of the Council.
The domestic outbuilding on a “Residential 1” Use Zone shall not be alienated, subdivided and/or sectionalized

Owner
The registered owner of the land which shall include the holder of a long term lease, or the holder of a land tenure right such as a permission to occupy certificate, deed of grant, leasehold or initial ownership, a designated executor, administrator, guardian or holding any other official capacity, any successor in title, a duly authorized agent.

 

P

Panhandle Erf
Any portion or erf created through subdivision or township establishment where access to such portion is gained by a part of the portion not narrower than 3m and not wider than 8m.

Parking Bay
An area measuring not less than 5,0m x 2,5m for perpendicular or angled parking and 6,0 m x 2,5 m for parallel parking, which is clearly outlined and demarcated for the parking of one motor vehicle and which is accessible to the satisfaction of the Council.

Parking Lot or Parking Garage
A place, excluding a road, street and on-site parking associated with a primary or consent use that is used for parking of motor vehicles by the public, with or without a fee, and may include parking within a building and any ancillary use, which could be in the form of a recycling facility and a caretaker’s accommodation. These uses fall under the ambit of the Parking Use Zone.

Pedestrian Mall
An area set aside such as a thoroughfare for pedestrians, for such vehicular activities as the Council may determine and for structures erected on, above or below it. This use falls under the ambit of Public or Private Street Land Use Zones.

Pergola
Any unroofed horizontal or approximately horizontal grille or framework, such that the area in the horizontal projection of the solid portions thereof does not exceed 10% of the total area of the erf.

Petro-port
A facility with direct access from a freeway, inter city road or major transport route, which provides a range of rest, service and fueling facilities for motor vehicles, and includes emergency vehicle breakdown services.

Place of Amusement
Includes a building designed for use or a building or land which is used as a theatre, cinema, music hall, concert hall, billiards saloon, sports arena, skating rink, dance hall, casino, bingo halls, race courses, buildings for the purposes of exhibitions of trade or industry or other recreational purposes, amusement park, and also includes such uses as are ancillary, directly related to and subservient to the main use. It also includes discos, night clubs and places of live music entertainment or establishments where adult entertainment is provided.

Place of Assembly
A place which has a civic function to serve the social and community needs of an area, which may attract people in relatively large numbers and which is not predominantly a commercial enterprise; including a civic hall, concert hall, indoor sports center and club house, but does not include a place of entertainment or conference facility.

Place of Instruction
A place for education at pre-school, school or post school levels, including a crèche, nursery school, primary school, secondary school, college, technical institute, university, research institute, lecture hall; or a civic facility for the promotion of knowledge to the community such as a public library, public art gallery, museum; and associated uses such as boarding hostels, monastery, convent and all uses which are ancillary, directly related to and subservient to the main use.

Previous Scheme
A town planning scheme or similar provision that governed and controlled the use of land prior the promulgation of this Town Planning Scheme.

Primary Use
In relation to land or buildings means any use specified in this Town Planning Scheme as a primary use, being a use that is permitted without the need first to obtain the Council’s consent.

Private Open Space
Land zoned private open space, with or without access control and which can be used as a private ground for sports, play, rest and recreation, or as an ornamental garden; pleasure ground; golf course; or for buildings reasonably required in connection with such uses.

Private Parking Area
A building designed and used or land used for the provision of parking which is required or allowed in terms of the provisions of the Town Planning Scheme for another building or site or part thereof. Provided that on land zoned “Residential 1, 2, 3 or 4”, “private parking area” shall mean the use of the land and not a building.

Private Street
Land reserved for the passage or parking of motor vehicles and right-of-way, which is privately owned and does not vest in the Council or other public authority which is exclusive and ancillary to the adjoining use for obtaining access and can include access control facilities, including a guardhouse, boom or gate.

Property
Land and all buildings and structures on a cadastrally demarcated and determined erf or site.

Public Garage
Land and building(s) used for gain or reward for any one of the following purposes:
i. Storage and retail selling of motor fuel and lubricants;
ii. All ancillary uses, including the parking and storing of motor vehicles; the sale of spare parts and accessories, car wash facilities; a convenience shop which does not exceed 30% of the total built floor area or 150m2, whichever is the lesser; a take-away or sitting down facility and automatic bank teller machines;
iii. Maintenance and repair of vehicles excluding panel beating and spray painting activities.

Public Nuisance
Any act, omission or condition which, in the Council’s opinion is offensive, injurious or dangerous to health, materially interferes with the ordinary comfort, convenience, peace or quiet of the public, or which adversely affects the safety of the public, having regard to:
i. The reasonableness of the activities in question in the area concerned, and the impacts which result from these activities; and
ii.    The ambient noise level of the area concerned

Public Open Space
Property which is under or will be under the ownership of the Council or other public authority, with or without access control, and which is set aside for the public as an open space for recreation, games, sport or cultural activity; including a park, playground, public square, picnic area, public garden, nature reserve, outdoor or indoor sports stadium, and includes associated buildings and uses as permitted by the Council, including restaurants, cafés, golf course, and any apparatus, facility, structure or building which in the opinion of the Council is necessary or expedient for the purposes of such open space.

Public Parking Area
A building used or land used, whether or not for gain or reward, for the provision of parking not related to the parking requirements or provisions of the scheme for another building or site or part thereof.

Public Road
Any road, street or thoroughfare shown on the General Plan of or township, Agricultural Holding or other division of land of which the public has acquired a right of way.

 

R

Recreation Resort
The use of land and/or buildings, due to their natural or human made attractions, for nature, natural beauty, water, socio-historical, cultural and/or sports and recreation activities. It may include swimming pools, water slides, braai facilities, camping, caravanning and wedding chapel. Such facilities can include temporary accommodation as well as uses ancillary to and subservient of such facilities, including restaurant, place of refreshment, conference and business-related activities and function facilities.

Religious Purposes
A church, synagogue, mosque, temple, oratory meeting house, chapel, cathedral or other place for practicing a faith or religion, and includes associated uses such as the official residence registered in the name of the said religious community, which is occupied by an office bearer of that community and who officiates at services held by the community, an ancillary office and place for religious instruction, but does not include a funeral parlour, cemetery or crematorium.

Residential Building
A building on an erf or site, excluding a dwelling house and/or dwelling unit, that contains habitable rooms, with or without common ablution-, kitchen-, dining- and/or lounge facilities. Such definition includes but is not restricted to hostels, hotels, dormitories, communes, boarding houses, guest houses (excluding converted dwelling houses and/or dwelling units), bed and breakfast and old age homes that may or may not include ancillary frail care facilities.

Restaurant
A building designed for use or building or land that is used for the service and consumption on the site of food or liquid refreshments for the general public excluding a canteen and place of amusement.

 

S

Scrap Yard
A building or land which is utilized for one or more of the following purposes:
i. Storing, depositing or collecting of junk or scrap material or articles the value of which depends mainly or entirely on the material used in the manufacture thereof;
ii. The dismantling or storage of scrap metals, second hand vehicles or machines to recover components or material; and
iii. The storing or sale of second hand parts, poles, steel, wire, lumber yards, tyres, bricks, containers or other articles which are suitable to be left in the open without any serious damage being incurred

Second Storey
The storey above the ground floor

Shop
Property used for the retail sale and accompanying storage of goods and services to the public, including a retail concern where goods which are sold in such a concern are manufactured or repaired; provided that the floor space relating to such manufacture or repair shall not comprise more than 20% of the floor space of the shop; “shop” does not include an industry, service trade, public garage or restaurant.

Site
In relation to a building, includes the area of any building, yard, court or garden and in relation to either land or a building, may include more than one erf or portion of land, if such erven or portions of land are abutting and have been notarially tied to the satisfaction of the Council.

Social Hall
A building designed for use or buildings or land used for social meetings, gatherings and recreation, and includes a Masonic temple but does not include a place of amusement.

Spaza Shop See “House Shop

Special Building
A building designed or used for any use other than one of the uses for which the buildings herein defined are designed or used. A special building should be seen as the exception rather than the rule, an example of which could be a greenhouse.

Special Development Zone
A clearly defined area according to the cadastre that the Council has delineated for focused planning and development intervention and investment. A Special Development Zone (SDZ) will have a specific urban management focus that can include environment, transportation, urban renewal, housing and economic development related focuses. Such Special Development Zones can be added to, amended or removed in terms of Council resolution and official publication. A Special Development Zone will be indicated in terms of an Annexure.

Sport and Recreation Club
A privately owned facility that is utilized for both passive and/or active recreation by the owners and patrons of such facility. This can include a private golf course, health and fitness centre, social hall or private gardens. This however excludes any retail functions or business related activities.

Storey
That portion of a building included between the surface of any floor and the surface of the next floor above, or if there is no floor above the ceiling, provided that:
i. A basement does not constitute a storey;
ii. A roof, or dome which forms part of a roof, shall not constitute a separate storey unless the space within the roof or dome is designed for, or used for, human occupation, in which case it is counted as a storey; and
iii. The maximum height of the ground storey shall not exceed 6,0 meters and every additional 4,5 meters in height or portion thereof, shall be counted as an additional storey.
iv. The maximum height of any other storey shall not exceed 4,5 meters and every additional 4,5 meters in height or part thereof shall be counted as an additional storey.
v. The height limitations are indicated in Table 4

Subdivision
As out lined in Clause (25) and in terms of Section 92 of the Town Planning and Townships Ordinance, 1986 (Ordinance 15 of ’86)

Surveyor General
The Surveyor General as defined in Section 8 of the Land Survey Act, No 8 of 1997 or any amendments thereof.

Systems Act
The Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act 32 of 2000) or any amendments thereof.

 

T

Tavern or Shebeen
A residential building or dwelling unit or part thereof constructed, designed or adapted for use for social gatherings and for the consumption of liquor on the premises and may include the consumption of non-alcoholic beverages and the preparation and consumption of food, but shall not include the sale of any of the aforesaid items for consumption off the premises, provided that the dominant use shall remain residential for the occupant of the said dwelling and subject to the compliance of health and safety by-laws.

Township
As defined in the Town Planning and Townships Ordinance, Ordinance 15 of 1986, or any subsequent legislation.

Transitional Residential Settlement Area
Defined land upon which informal settlements are established by the occupation of land and provision of residential accommodation in the form of self help structures and some ancillary non-residential uses and regulated by the applicable Annexure.

Transport Facilities
A transport undertaking based on the provision of a transport service and includes a public private undertaking such as an airport or aerodrome, helistop and heliport; railway purposes, stations and related facilities; bus depot, termini and related facilities; metered and minibus taxi rank and related facilities; intermodal transfer site; and associated ancillary purposes including convenience shops, ancillary offices, customs, restaurants, security and police functions, medical facilities.

 

U

Urban Agriculture
The cultivation of crops and rearing of small numbers of livestock, on relatively small areas within the city, for own consumption or sale in neighbouring markets.

Use Zone
That part of the Town Planning Scheme, which has been shown on the zoning map by means of a specific notation or bordering or any other distinguishing manner, in order to identify the permitted use of the land.

 

W

Warehouse
A building used primarily for the storage of goods, except those that are offensive or dangerous, and includes property used for business of a predominantly wholesale nature.

Wall of Remembrance
A structure where containers with the ashes of the deceased are inserted in openings or niches in the structure and thereafter sealed and/or on which appropriate commemorative plaques can be attached. Such uses are part of a cemetery.

Wholesale
Land and/or a building used primarily for the distribution of goods to retailers.

Workshop
Land used or a building designed or used for the purposes of retail or services regarding goods that are wholly or partially manufactured, processed, mounted or repaired on the property and in each case a building that is not described as a factory under the Factories, Machinery and Building Works Act of 1941 or any amendments thereof.

Written Consent
A consent applied for in writing and does not involve the procedures as set out in clauses 39 and 40

 

Z

Zoning
When used as a noun, means a category of directions regulating the development of land and setting out the purposes for which the land may be used and the land use or development rules applicable in respect of the said category of directions, as determined by this Town Planning Scheme.

Zoning Map
Means an approved map or maps (A and B series) showing the erven within the Council’s area of jurisdiction and applicable use/density zoning.

Apr 162013
 

Regs Glossary49 National Building Regulations Glossary

A to Z Glossary of Definitions and Terms Used in the National Building Regulation Code of Practice

 

Every industry has terms and definitions that are specific to that industry, and the building industry is no exception. These Building Regulation definitions form part of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act (Act 103 of 1977 that has been amended several times, most recently in 2008).

Note that every individual Standard in SANS 10400, which form a body of knowledge that shows those in the industry how to apply the South African Building Regulations, has its own bank of definitions at the beginning of the Standard. Many of these are the same as those published as part of the legislation.

All the individual Standards that form part of SANS 10400: The application of the National Building Regulations, also have a list of additional Standards (both South African and international) that are relevant to that part, and need to be taken into account during the building process.

 

A

Aircon562x100 s National Building Regulations Glossary

“absorption field” An on-site effluent system, such as a french drain or evapo-transpirative bed;

“acceptable”, “adequate” or “satisfactory means acceptable, adequate or satisfactory -

(a) in the opinion of any local authority; or

(b) in relation to any document issued by the council, in the opinion of the council;

“access” An approach, entry or exit;

“accessible” The characteristic of a building, that can be reached, entered and used;
NOTE Accessibility is evaluated in terms of the safe, comfortable and convenient use of the site, building or facility by persons with disabilities.

“accessible building” A building that complies with the requirements of part of SANS 10400-S:2011;

“accessible route” The walking space that complies with the requirements of part of SANS 10400-S:2011;

“access door” means an entrance door to an emergency route;

“accredited certification body” The certification body that has been accredited by a government-endorsed accreditation body;

“accredited testing laboratory” A laboratory that has been accredited by the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS);

“action” means an assembly of concentrated or distributed mechanical forces acting on a building or the cause of deformations imposed on the building or constrained in it;

“adequate” Adequate

a) in the opinion of any local authority, or

b) in relation to any document issued by the council, in the opinion of the council;

“agrément certificatemeans a certificate that confirms fitness-for-purpose of a non- standardised product, material or component or the acceptability of the related non-standardised design and the conditions pertaining thereto (or both) issued by the Board of Agrément South Africa;

“air conditioning system” means a system of mechanical ventilation where air that has been cleansed is supplied to a building under conditions of controlled temperature, humidity, distribution and movement;

“air duct” means any pipe, tube, conduit or enclosed space used or to be used in any building for the transmission of air in an artificial ventilation system;

“applicant” means any person who makes an application;

“application” means an application contemplated in section 4 of the Act;

“approval” means -

(a) approval by any local authority, including approval contemplated in section 7(7)(b) of the Act; or

(b) approval by the review board on appeal to the review board in terms of the Act;

“approved” means-

(a) approved by any local authority; or

(b) approved by the review board on appeal to the review board in terms of the Act;

“artificial ventilation system” means a system in which air is caused to circulate through a room by means of a mechanical apparatus which forces air into or extracts air from such room;

“articulation joint” A joint in masonry provided at suitable locations and intervals, that takes cognizance of the lateral stability and structural integrity of individual panels, and that enables wall panels to move in harmony with their supports without developing significant damage;

“automatic” in relation to fire-doors, fire-shutters, fire-dampers, fire-alarms, or fire extinguishing equipment means fitted with an approved device which is activated by a predetermined amount of heat, smoke, combustion gases or flame without the need for any manual operation;

 

B

Brick D E grey549x100 National Building Regulations Glossary

 

 

 

“backflow” means the flow of water in any pipe in a direction opposite to the normal direction of flow;

“back siphonage” means the backflow of water resulting from negative pressure in a water installation or in the water supply system;

“back vent” means a ventilating pipe connecting a branch discharge pipe, to which unvented fixture discharge pipes are connected, to a vent stack or to a stack vent;

“balustrade wall” means a wall serving the purpose of a balustrade;

“basement storey/basement” Any part of a building which is below the level of the ground storey;

“batten” A small section timber member, fixed parallel to the line of the eaves, at right angles to the rafters, and onto which tiles or slates are fixed;

“bearing” The structural support, usually a wall, positioned under the top chord or bottom chord or between the end points of a roof truss, beam or rafter;

“bed joint” The horizontal mortared joint between courses of masonry;

“block” means any masonry unit which has a length of more than 300 mm or a width of more than 130 mm;

“bond block” A masonry unit which is manufactured or modified on site to accommodate horizontal reinforcement within the depth of the unit;

“Board of Agrémentis the body that operates under the delegation of authority of the Minister of Public Works;

“branch discharge pipe” means a horizontal discharge pipe conveying the discharge from one or more sanitary fixtures to a discharge stack;

“branch drain” means any drain which discharges into a main drain;

“branch vent” means a horizontal ventilating pipe connecting two or more trap vents to a vent stack or to a stack vent;

“brandering” A small section timber member which is usually fixed to the underside of a truss chord to support a fixed ceiling;

“brick” means any masonry unit which is not a block;

“brickforce” A light, welded steel fabric that comprises two hard-drawn wires of diameter not less than 2,8 mm and not more than 3,55 mm, held apart by either perpendicular (ladder-type) or diagonal (truss-type) cross wires
NOTE Ladder-type brickforce usually has a main wire diameter that does not exceed 3,15 mm and is supplied
in rolls. Truss-type brickforce usually has a diameter of 3,55 mm and is supplied flat;

“building” includes:
a) any structure, whether of a temporary or permanent nature, and irrespective of the materials used in the erection thereof, erected or used in connection with

1) the accommodation or convenience of human beings and animals;

2) the manufacture, processing, storage, display or sale of goods;

3) the rendering of a service;

4) the destruction or treatment of refuse or other waste materials; and

5) the cultivation or growing of plants or crops;
b)  a wall, swimming bath, swimming pool, reservoir or bridge or any structure connected therewith;
c)  a fuel pump or tank used in connection therewith;
d)  any part of a building, including a building as defined in (a), (b) or (c); and
e)  any facilities or system, or portion thereof, within or outside but incidental to a building, for the provision of a water supply, drainage, sewerage, stormwater disposal, electricity supply or other similar service in respect of the building;

“building component” part of a building other than a building element;

“building element” wall, floor, foundation or roof of a building;

“building envelope” The elements of a building that separate a habitable room from the exterior of a building or a garage or storage area;

“building height” means the dimensional height in metres measured from the lowest ground level abutting any part of the building to the level of -

(a) the underside of a flat roof; or

(b) the underside of the roof of any plant room on such flat roof where the plan area of the plant room is more than 10% of the area of such flat roof; or

(c) a horizontal ceiling which is immediately under any pitched roof; or

(d) half-way between the eaves level and the ridge of any pitched roof where there is no ceiling below such roof or where the ceiling follows the pitch of such roof;

“building line” in relation to a site, means a line prescribed in any town planning scheme or any other law designating the boundaries of the area of the site outside of which the erection above ground of any building is prohibited;

 

C

Chimneyx100 96 National Building Regulations Glossary

 

 

 

“capacity” of any storage tank means the volume of such tank between the operating level of the water contained in such tank and the invert of the outlet from the tank;

“carport” means a building intended to provide shelter for a motor vehicle, caravan or boat and having a roof but having walls on not more than two sides;

“category 1 building”  A building which

a) is designated as being of class A3, A4, F2, G1, H2, H3, or H4 occupancy (see Regulation A20 in annex A),

b) has no basements,

c) has a maximum length of 6,0 m between intersecting walls or members providing lateral support, and

d) has a floor area that does not exceed 80 m2

NOTE 1 Table C.1 outlines the difference in performance between category 1 buildings and other buildings that have the same occupancy designation in respect of a number of building attributes.
NOTE 2 A building may be classified as a category 1 building for the purposes of one or more parts of SANS 10400. Additional limitations may accordingly be imposed on category 1 buildings. For example, a category 1 building in terms of SANS 10400-T (Fire protection) will be restricted to a single storey.
NOTE 3 Fire requirements for category 1 buildings are based on occupants escaping quickly from buildings. The design population for occupancies as set out in table 2 of part A of the Regulations (see annex A) should therefore not be exceeded.

“ceiling” The upper interior surface of a room or similar compartment, including all materials comprising such surface;

“certified thermal calculation software” Software that is certified by the Board of Agrément South Africa, in terms of Agrément South Africa’’s Energy Software Protocols, as being fit for thermal modelling or calculation purposes in terms of the National Building Regulations;

“chemical closet/toilet” means a closet/toilet with a fixed pan, the excreta from which pass into a tank where they are acted upon by chemicals which sterilize and break them down;

“chimney” means that part of a building which forms part of a flue, but does not include a flue pipe;

“chord” A main member that forms the outline of a truss;

“circulation space” The unobstructed area, for a minimum height of 2,1 m above finished floor level, within and around buildings, elements, fixtures and fittings required for movement into and within buildings;

“class 1 aggregate” Coarse aggregate of foamed slag, blast-furnace slag, pumice, burnt clinker, crushed limestone, crushed dolomite, crushed masonry unit or crushed burnt clay product;

“class 2 aggregate” Coarse aggregate of gravel or crushed natural stone other than limestone or dolomite;

“cleaning eye” means any access opening to the interior of a discharge pipe or trap provided for the purposes of internal cleaning, and which remains permanently accessible after completion of the drainage installation;

“clear opening width” The clear open space of an open door through which the user of a building passes
NOTE Clear opening width is not the same as the door width, as it also accounts for the thickness of the door, and any obstructions caused by door furniture on the door, or obstructions such as doorstops fixed to the floor or walls;

“clear span” The horizontal distance between the opposite faces of supporting walls;

“combustible” Is not classified as non-combustible when tested in accordance with SANS 10177-5;

“common drain” means that portion of a drain which conveys sewage other than or in addition to that sewage which emanates from the site through which such drain runs;

“common path of travel” The part of an escape route that leads to only one exit door, access door or escape door;

“communication pipe” means any pipe in a water supply system to which any water installation is connected;

“competent person” means a person who is qualified by virtue of his education, training, experience and contextual knowledge to make a determination regarding the performance of a building or part thereof in relation to a functional regulation or to undertake such duties as may be assigned to him in terms of these regulations;

“competent person” (built environment) A person who

a)  is registered in terms of the Engineering Profession Act, 2000 (Act No. 46 of 2000), as either a Professional Engineer or a Professional Engineering Technologist, or

b)  is registered in terms of the Architectural Profession Act, 2000 (Act No. 44 of 2000), as a Professional Architect or a Professional Senior Architectural Technologist, and

c)  is generally recognized as having the necessary experience and training to undertake rational assessments or rational designs in the field of roofs and roofing;

“competent person” (civil engineering)  A person who

a) is registered in terms of the Engineering Profession Act, 2000 (Act No. 46 of 2000), as either a Professional Engineer or a Professional Engineering Technologist,

b) has a tertiary qualification (degree or diploma) in civil engineering, and

c) is generally recognized as having the necessary experience and training to undertake rational assessments or rational designs in the field of civil engineering;

“competent person” (engineering geology) A person who is registered as a Professional Natural Scientist in terms of the Natural Scientific Professions Act, 2003 (Act No. 27 of 2003), and has a BSc (Hons) degree or higher qualification in engineering geology;

“competent person” (environmental access) A person who is

a) registered in terms of the Architectural Profession Act, 2000 (Act No. 44 of 2000), as either a Professional Architect, Professional Senior Architectural Technologist or a Professional Architectural Technologist, and has suitable contextual knowledge and experience to undertake a rational design or rational assessment in terms of the requirements of part S of the Regulations; or

b) generally recognized as having the necessary experience and qualifications to undertake a rational assessment and advise a Professional Architect, Professional Senior Architectural Technologist or Professional Architectural Technologist registered in terms of the Architectural Profession Act, 2000 (Act No. 44 of 2000), on a rational design in terms of the requirements of part S of the Regulations;

“competent person” (fire engineering) A person who

a) is registered in terms of the Engineering Profession Act, 2000 (Act No. 46 of 2000), as either a Professional Engineer or a Professional Engineering Technologist, and

b) is generally recognized as having the necessary experience and training to undertake rational assessments or rational designs in the field of fire engineering;

“competent person” (glazing) A competent person who is recognized by an institute, which has specialist expertise in the field of glazing, as generally having the necessary experience and training to determine glazing requirements in accordance with the requirements of SANS 10137;

“competent person” (mechanical engineering) A person who

a) is registered in terms of the Engineering Profession Act, 2000 (Act No. 46 of 2000),

b) has a tertiary qualification (degree or diploma) in mechanical engineering, and

c) is generally recognized as having the necessary experience and training to undertake rational assessments or rational designs in the field of lighting and ventilation;

“competent person” (sanitation) A person who

a) is registered in terms of the Engineering Profession Act, 2000 (Act No. 46 of 2000), as either a Professional Engineer or a Professional Engineering Technologist, and

b) has a tertiary qualification (degree or diploma) in either civil or mechanical engineering, and

c) is generally recognized as, or can furnish acceptable proof of, having the necessary experience and training to undertake rational assessments or rational designs in the field of sanitation;

“competent person” (wet services) A person who

a)  is registered in terms of the Engineering Profession Act, 2000 (Act No. 46 of 2000), as either a Professional Engineer or a Professional Engineering Technologist,

b)  has a tertiary qualification (degree or diploma) in civil engineering or mechanical engineering, and

c)  is generally recognized as having the necessary experience and training to undertake rational designs in the field of wet services;

“connecting sewer” means a pipe vested in the local authority which connects a drain to a sewer;

“conservancy tank” means a covered tank used for the reception and temporary retention of sewage and which requires emptying at intervals;

“consumer” means any person who is obtaining a supply of water from the local authority;

“contaminated land” means any land that, due to substances contained within or under it, is in a condition that presents an unacceptable risk to the health and safety of occupants of buildings constructed on such land;

“council” means the Council of the South African Bureau of Standards;

“cross vent” means a ventilating pipe connecting a discharge stack to a vent stack;

 

D

Discharge stackX100 National Building Regulations Glossary

 

 

 

“dark room” means any room used for the purposes of handling or processing light sensitive material;

“dead end” An area from which escape is possible in one direction only;

“dead-end corridor” means any corridor along which it is possible to travel only in one direction in order to reach a feeder route or emergency route;

“dead load” means the gravitational force caused by the static mass of all permanent parts of a building;

“deemed-to-satisfy provision” means non-mandatory requirement, the compliance with which ensures compliance with a functional regulation;

“deemed-to-satisfy rule” (or rule) means a non-mandatory provision which describes a method of design or construction that is deemed to comply with a particular functional regulation;

“depth of water seal” The quantity of water that would have to be removed from a fully charged trap before gases and odours at atmospheric pressure could pass through such trap;

“detached” Built separately as opposed to being attached horizontally with a common wall;

“developed length” of any pipe means the length between two specified points on such pipe measured along the centre line of such pipe, including any bend, junction or similar fitting;

“discharge pipe” means a pipe which conveys the discharge from a sanitary fixture to a drain, and includes a soil pipe, a waste pipe, a discharge stack, a branch discharge pipe or a fixture discharge pipe;

“discharge stack” means any vertical discharge pipe which conveys the discharge from two or more sanitary fixtures and which are connected directly to a drain;

“division” means a portion of a building separated from the remainder of such building by one or more separating elements;

“division wall” means an internal wall that separates one division from another division in any building and that has a fire resistance of not less than that required by these regulations;

“dolomite land” means land underlain by dolomite or limestone rock directly or at a shallow depth less than:

(a) 60 m in areas underlain by limestone;

(b) 60 m in areas underlain by dolomite where no de-watering has taken place and the local authority has jurisdiction, is monitoring and has control over the groundwater levels over the areas under consideration; or

(c) 100 m in areas underlain by dolomite where de-watering has taken place or where the local authority has no jurisdiction or control over ground water levels;

“domestic effluent” means sewage consisting of soil water or waste water or a combination of both;

“drain” means that part of any drainage installation outside a building and which is below ground level, but shall not include the following -

(a) any discharge pipe;

(b) that portion of a discharge stack which is below ground level;

(c) the bend at the foot of a discharge stack;

“drainage installation” means any installation vested in the owner of a site and which is situated on such site and is intended for the reception, conveyance, storage or treatment of sewage, and may include sanitary fixtures, traps, discharge pipes, drains, ventilating pipes, septic tanks, conservancy tanks, sewage treatment works, or mechanical appliances associated therewith;

“drencher system” means an approved system of piping and outlets which, when actuated manually or by the action of fire, releases a continuous curtain of water;

“drip”, (noun) A step or groove formed at the underside of a roof slab overhang parallel to the edge of the slab;

“dwelling house” means a single dwelling unit and any garage and other domestic outbuildings thereto, situated on its own site;

“dwelling unit” means a unit containing one or more habitable rooms and provided with adequate sanitary and cooking facilities;

 

E

Escape doorX100 National Building Regulations Glossary

 

 

 

“easy-to-use” The description of a fixture or fitting that has been designed and fitted in such a way that persons with disabilities are able to use it safely, comfortably and conveniently, both in terms of the mechanism used for its operation and the force required to operate it;

“electrical sanitary fixture” means a device which is connected to an electricity supply and to a water supply to perform a function such as the washing of clothes or dishes, or rendering waste matter suitable for disposal into a discharge pipe and includes a food-waste disposer, and a sanitary-towel disposer;

“emergency route” means that part of an escape route which provides fire protection to the occupants of any building and which leads to an escape door;

“entrance” Any access point to a building or portion of a building or facility, used for the purposes of entering.
NOTE An entrance includes the approach walk, thev ertical access leading to the entrance platform, the entrance platform itself, vestibule if provided, the entry door or gate, and the hardware of the entry door or gate.

“equipment” All control devices and components of systems other than appliances which are not permanently installed and integrated for the express purpose of providing control of environmental conditions for the building;

“escape door” means that door in an escape route which, at ground level, leads directly to a street or public place or to any approved open space which leads to a street or public place;

“escape route” means the entire path of travel from the furthest point in any room in a building to the nearest escape door and may include an emergency route;

“evapo-transpirative bed” means an effluent disposal system comprising a shallow sand-filled excavation covered with top soil and planted over with suitable vegetation;

“exit door” means any door that is a component of an escape route from any room;

 

F

Fire Installation National Building Regulations Glossary

 

 

 

“fall” The slope of a roof;

“feeder route” means that part of an escape route which allows travel in two different directions to the access doors to at least two emergency routes;

“fenestration” Any glazed opening in a building envelope, including windows, doors and skylights;

“fenestration area” An area that includes glazing and framing elements that are fixed or movable, and opaque, translucent or transparent;

“fire-damper” means an automatic damper and its assembly that complies with the requirements contained in SANS 193;

“fire-door” or “fire-shutter” means an automatic or self-closing door or shutter assembly especially constructed to prevent the passage of fire for a specific length of time;

“fire installation” means any water installation which conveys water solely for the purpose of fire-fighting;

“fire load” means the sum of the heat energy values of all combustible materials, including combustible partitions and other exposed combustible elements, contained in a compartment or division;

“fire resistance” means the shortest period for which a building element or component will comply with the requirements for stability, integrity and insulation when tested in accordance with SANS 10177-2;

“fire-stop” means a draft tight barrier or seal placed within or between building elements in shafts, voids and other concealed spaces to retard the spread of flame, heat or smoke;

“fixture branch” means a horizontal fixture discharge pipe;

“fixture discharge pipe” means a discharge pipe which conveys the discharge from a single sanitary fixture;

“fixture unit” means an arbitrary unit of measure for expressing the hydraulic loading on a drainage installation;

“fixture unit rating” means the value in fixture units assigned to a sanitary fixture from a consideration of the duration of its discharge, the interval between discharges and its mean discharge rate;

“flammable” means having a closed cup flash point lower than 90 °C;

“flat roof” A roof with a slight fall which is designed and constructed to allow rainwater to be shed by gutters, outlets or to the perimeter of the roof;

“flight” That part of a stairway which consists of consecutive steps between landings;

“floor area” in relation to a building or a storey thereof, means the total area enclosed within its external walls, exclusive of the area occupied by any lift shaft;

“floor drain” A pipe fitting into which waste water from the floor is discharged and that is normally connected to a branch discharge pipe, which conveys such discharge to a gully, a discharge stack or an open channel;

“floor joist” Is a horizontal beam which is the primary structural member in the construction of a timber floor;

“flooring board” A board of face side width not less than 50 mm and not more than 140 mm, which may be tongued on the one edge and grooved on the opposite edge;

“flight” means that part of a stairway which consists of consecutive steps;

“flue” means a passage which conveys the discharge of a heat generating appliance to the external air;

“flue pipe” means a pipe forming a flue but does not include a pipe built as a lining into a chimney;

“flush finish” The finishing of two adjacent surfaces in such a way that they provide no vertical or horizontal gap, gradient or camber that might affect the safe, comfortable and convenient passage of persons with disabilities;

“foundation” means that part of a building which is in direct contact with and is intended to transmit loads to the ground;

“foundation wall” means that portion of a wall between the foundation and the lowest floor above such foundation;

“free-standing wall” means a wall, not being a retaining wall, without lateral support;

“french drain” means a trench filled with suitable material which is used for the disposal of liquid effluent from a septic tank or waste water;

“functional regulation” means a regulation that sets out in qualitative terms what is required of a building or building element or building component in respect of a particular characteristic without specifying the method of construction, dimensions or material to be used;

 

G

Garage25 National Building Regulations Glossary

 

 

 

“garage” means an enclosed area which is used or intended to be used for the parking, storing, servicing or repairing of motor vehicles;

“gauge pressure” The amount by which the pressure exceeds the atmospheric pressure;

“general installation” means any water installation which conveys water for any purpose other than fire-fighting;

“geotechnical site investigation” the process of evaluating the geotechnical character of a site in the context of existing or proposed works or land usage, which may include one or more of the following:

(a) evaluation of the geology and hydrogeology of the site;

(b) examination of existing geotechnical information pertaining to the site;

(c) excavating or boring in soil or rock and the systematic description of the soil and rock profiles;

(d) determining the depth of any fill that might be present;

(e) in-situ assessment of geotechnical properties of materials;

(f) recovery of samples of soil or rock for examination, identification, recording, testing or display;

(g) testing of soil or rock samples to quantify properties relevant to the purpose of the investigation;

(h) evaluation of geotechnical properties of tested soils; and

(i) reporting the results;

“glazing” Glass, plastics and organic coated glass fixed in frames in windows, doors and roof lights, or that form doors;

“going” means the distance (measured on plan) between the nosing of a tread and the nosing of the tread or landing next above it;

“grab rail” A rail used as a support to transfer a person on or off a toilet, or to assist with other functions;

“grey water” Domestic waste water excluding toilet water;

“gully” means a pipe fitting incorporating a trap into which waste water is discharged;

 

H

Habitable Room414 National Building Regulations Glossary

 

 

 

“habitable room” means a room used or designed, erected, adapted or intended to be used by persons for sleeping in, living in, the preparation or consumption of food or drink, the transaction of business, the rendering of professional services, the manufacture, processing or sale of goods, the performance of work, the gathering together of persons or for recreational purposes;

“handrail” A rail used in circulation areas, such as corridors, passageways, ramps or stairways, to assist continuous and safe movement;

“heel joint” The position on a truss at which the top chords and bottom chords intersect, or where the first vertical web intersects with the bottom chord in stub-ended trusses;

“height” means building height;

“high risk substance” means any substance listed in the schedule to the Administrative Regulations, as amended, made in terms of the Machinery and Occupational Safety Act, 1983 (Act 6 of 1983);

“horizontal” in relation to a discharge pipe or ventilating pipe, means inclined at less than 45° to the horizontal;

 

I

Inspection Eye176 National Building Regulations Glossary

 

 

 

“impaired” A lower than generally accepted optimum performance in a human ability, which might be a temporary or permanent condition;

“impairment” Is indicative of any one impaired ability;

“imposed load” means any force assumed in the design of any building, caused by the intended occupancy thereof or by earth pressure, snow, hail, groundwater or the pending of rainwater;

“industrial effluent” means any liquid whether or not containing matter in solution or suspension which is given off in the course of or as a result of any industrial, trade, manufacturing, mining or chemical process or any laboratory, research or agricultural activity, and includes any liquid other than soil water or stormwater;

“inspection” means the general inspection by a competent person of a system or measure or installation of a building, or part thereof, at such intervals as might be necessary in accordance with accepted professional practice to enable such competent person to be satisfied that the design assumptions are valid, the design is being correctly interpreted and the work is being executed generally in accordance with the designs, appropriate construction techniques and good practice but shall exclude detailed supervision and day-to-day inspection;

“inspection chamber” means a chamber not deeper than 750 mm and of such dimension that access may be obtained to a drain without requiring a person to enter into such chamber;

“inspection eye” means any access opening to the interior of any pipe or pipe fitting in a drainage installation provided solely for the purpose of inspection and testing, and to which permanent access after completion of the drainage installation need not be provided;

“interceptor” A device that

a)  is designed to cool down incoming hot waste water to below 30 °C to enable grease and fat to separate from the water and to solidify or be collected on the surface level of the waste water, and that prevents grease and fat from entering a sewer; or

b)  separates and stores light liquid hydrocarbons from effluent water and stormwater, to prevent the light liquids from entering a sewer;

“interconnected complex” A complex of multiple dwelling units, such as terraced or multi-storey complexes, or cluster or retirement-village-type developments (or both), where management of common property usually resides with (but is not limited to) a management body;

 

L

Laminated Glass National Building Regulations Glossary

 

 

 

“laminated glass” means two sheets of ordinary annealed glass bonded to a shear and impact resistant plastic interlayer;

“laminated toughened glass” means a laminated glass where one or both sheets of ordinary annealed glass are replaced by a sheet or sheets of toughened glass;

“landing” means a platform between two consecutive flights of a stairway;

“lapa” Thatched roof building which is used for recreational purposes and has either no walls or non-combustible walls;

“lateral boundary” means a boundary of a site other than a boundary between such site and any street or public place with a width of more than 6 m measured at right angles to such boundary;

“light liquid” A liquid of a lower density than water, that is insoluble or only slightly soluble or only very slightly soluble in water, is non-saponifiable and non-polar (for example, naphthous oils, lubricating oils, diesel and fuel oils (but excluding emulsions and vegetable and animal fats and oils));

“light reflectance value” – LRV The measurement, using a spectrophotometer, of the light reflected from a surface in standard conditions;
NOTE It is expressed on a scale of 0 to 100, with black being about 5 and white about 90.

“lining” Internal surface finishing material, which may be partially or completely fixed or adhered to a substrate such as a wall, ceiling, roof or roof covering;

“load” means the value of a force corresponding to an action;

 

M

Masonry 74 National Building Regulations Glossary

 

 

 

“main drain” means the longest run of drain from a building to a common drain, to a means of sewage disposal situated on the site concerned, or to a connecting sewer;

“main entrance” The entrance that leads directly to

a) a reception area or point that provides information about the building or services within it, or

b) the primary stairway or lift foyer;

“maintained” The condition of operational readiness at all times in accordance with the original design and installation and associated maintenance procedures;

“make-up air” Air introduced to replace extracted air;

“manhole” means a chamber of a depth greater than 750 mm and of such dimension that allows entry of a person into such chamber for the purpose of providing access to a drain;

“masonry wall” means an assemblage of masonry units joined together with mortar or grout;

“means of access” The means of entering a building, site of buildings or building complex, and safe egress from the building, site of buildings or building complex, including the use of all facilities within and around the building, site of buildings or building complex;
NOTE The means of access relates to the safety, comfortable and convenient use of both the building, site of buildings or building complex and the facilities within it for persons with disabilities.

“mezzanine storey” means any mezzanine storey the floor area of which does not exceed 25% of that of the floor below it;

“minor building work” as contemplated in section 13 of the Act means-

(a) the erection of any-
(i) poultry house not exceeding 10 sq m in area;
(ii) aviary not exceeding 20 sq m in area;
(iii) solid fuel store not exceeding 10 sq m in area and 2 m in height;
(iv) tool shed not exceeding 10 sq m in area;
(v) child’s playhouse not exceeding 5 sq m in area;
(vi) cycle shed not exceeding 5 sq m in area;
(vii) greenhouse not exceeding 15 sq m in area;
(viii) open-sided car, caravan or boat shelter or a carport where such shelter or carport does not exceed 40 sq m in area;
(ix) any free-standing wall constructed of masonry, concrete, steel, aluminium or timber or any wire fence where such wall or fence does not exceed 1,8 m in height at any point above ground level and does not retain soil;
(x) any pergola;
(xi) private swimming pool;
(xii) change room, not exceeding 10 sq m in area, at a private swimming pool;

(b) the replacement of a roof or part thereof with the same or similar material;

(c) the conversion of a door into a window or a window into a door without increasing the width of the opening;

(d) the making of an opening in a wall which does not affect the structural safety of the building concerned;

(e) the partitioning or the enlarging of any room by the erection or demolition of an internal wall if such erection or demolition does not affect the structural safety of the building concerned;

(f) the erection of any solar water heater not exceeding 6 sq m in area on any roof or 12 sq m when erected other than on any roof; and

(g) the erection of any other building where the nature of the erection is such that in the opinion of the building control officer it is not necessary for the applicant to submit, with his application, plans prepared in full conformity with these regulations;

 

N

Nosing stairs726 National Building Regulations Glossary

 

 

 

“nail plate” A steel plate punched to form a nail pattern integral with the plate, and which is used as a structural connector;

“natural ventilation” means the movement of air through a building due to natural causes;

“nett floor area” The floor area excluding the area occupied by vertical elements, including enclosed lift wells and enclosed stairs;

“non-combustible” means classified as non-combustible when tested in accordance with code of practice SANS1 0177-5;

“non-return valve” (reflux valve) A water fitting that automatically permits flow to occur in one direction only;

“non-structural wall” means a wall which does not form part of a structure but which may from time to time be subject to forces other than its own weight;

“nosing” means the front edge of a tread and includes the front edge of the top surface of any landing which is situated at the top of a flight;

 

O

One pipe034 National Building Regulations Glossary

 

 

 

“obstruction” means any building or other object which partially or completely intersects any zone of space serving a window but shall not include any narrow object such as a pole or railing which does not materially obstruct the entry of light and air to the opening concerned;

“obstruction” – Part-S Is any of the following:

a)  anything impeding or preventing passage or progress in relation to a building or facility, which denies or removes from persons with disabilities, any supporting or enabling facility for their functioning within the building or facility; or

b)  obstacles that unfairly limit or restrict persons with disabilities from enjoying the opportunities provided within a building or facility on equal terms with persons without disabilities.
NOTE The failure to take steps to reasonably accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities within the building or facility can also be seen as a type of obstruction.

“occupancy” means the particular use or the type of use to which a building or portion thereof is normally put or intended to be put. Regulation A20 classifies and designates occupancies (see SANS 10400-A);

“offset” The deviation of the flow in the vertical plane of the discharge stack.
NOTE An offset in a discharge stack is normally accomplished with the use of two bends, the first to direct the flow from a vertical direction to a horizontal direction, and the second to direct the flow back to the vertical position (in the same flow direction).

“one-pipe system” means a system of piping between sanitary fixtures and a drain in which both waste and soil water discharge down a common discharge stack and in which any trap venting or other venting that is required may be via a common vent stack;

“operating water level” means the level of water reached in any storage tank when the valve controlling the inlet of water to such tank closes under normal operating conditions;

“orientation” The direction that a building envelope element faces, i.e. the direction of a vector perpendicular to and pointing away from the surface outside of the element;

“outside air” means air which is drawn into the building from the outside and which has not been circulated through such building;

“overflow gully” means a gully which allows the overflow of sewage but prevents the ingress of foreign matter, including rainwater directly from above;

 

P

Persons Disabilities National Building Regulations Glossary

 

 

 

“pail toilet” A toilet with a removable pail which is systematically emptied or replaced;

“pane” A piece of glazing material cut to the size and shape required for glazing;

“partition” means an interior construction less than one storey in height and is generally of a light construction and is demountable;

“partition wall” means a non-structural internal wall extending to the ceiling and constructed for the purpose of subdividing a space;

“path of travel” The circulation route or circulation space normally used by persons using the site, building or facility, including all external and internal routes and spaces in common usage, and the entrances and exits within these routes and spaces;

“percolation rate” The rate at which clean water, under a constant or nearly constant hydraulic head, percolates into the surrounding soil in both vertical and horizontal directions;

“performance” behaviour of a building as a whole or any part of it related to use;

“permanent access” The entrance to the interior of a drainage installation that remains accessible after completion of the installation;

“persons with disabilities” means those persons who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers might hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others;

“pitch” The angle of inclination of rafters to the horizontal, or angle of inclination of the surface on which tiles or sheeting is laid;

“pitch line” means a notional line which connects the nosings of all the treads in a flight or stairs;

“plastering” The application of a suitable plaster, sand, Portland cement and water to masonry interiors and exteriors to achieve a smooth surface;

“population” means the population determined in accordance with regulation SANS 10400-A21;

“prefabricated septic tank” A single-piece factory-made unit, including inlet and outlet openings, which leaves the factory completed, controlled and ready for installation;

“prescriptive regulation” means a regulation which describes in some detail an operation to be performed, or the dimensions of a building, building element or building component and the materials and method of construction to be used in such building, building element or building component;

“prescriptive rule” means a rule or regulation which describes in some detail an operation to be performed, or the dimensions of a building, building element or building component and the materials and method of construction to be used in such building, building element or building component;

“pressurization” means the creation of a positive air pressure differential between one area of and the remainder of a building and “pressurized” shall have a corresponding meaning;

“public place” means any square, park, recreation ground or open space which-

(a) is vested in the local authority; or

(b) the public has the right to use; or

(c) is shown on a general plan of a township filed in a deeds registry or a Surveyor-General’s office and has been provided for or reserved for the use of the public or the owners of erven in such township;

“purlin” The horizontal member attached to, and placed perpendicular to, the rafter in order to support roof sheeting materials;

 “purlin beam” A beam that is parallel to the eaves and that serves the purpose of a rafter;

 

R

Range 759 National Building Regulations Glossary

 

 

 

“rafter” – top chord. The horizontal or inclined member that establishes the upper edge of a truss or general roof line;

“rafter beam” The sloping roof member of engineered or rational design size that supports the roof covering material with or without the use of purlins or battens;

“ramp” An internal or external walkway with a slope between 1:20 and 1:12, in the direction of travel;

“range” means a number of like sanitary fixtures closely spaced and discharging to a common branch discharge pipe which does not receive the discharge from any other sanitary fixture not in the range;

“rational assessment” means assessment by a competent person of the adequacy of the performance of a solution in relation to requirements including, as necessary, a process of reasoning, calculation and consideration of accepted analytical principles, based on a combination of deductions from available information, research and data, appropriate testing and service experience;

“rational design” means any design by a competent person involving a process of reasoning and calculation and which may include a design based on a standard or other suitable document;

“reference building” A hypothetical building that is used to determine the maximum allowable energy load for the proposed building;

“refuge” An area that is separated from a fire by a fire-resistant construction, that is provided with a safe route to a storey exit, and that constitutes a temporarily safe place for persons to wait for assistance for their evacuation;

“regulation” (NBR) means national building regulation;

“rendering” The application of a thin premixed surface of sand, cement and lime plaster to a masonry surface;

“resealing trap” means a trap so designed that some of the water forming its seal is retained during siphonic action to reseal after siphonage has been broken;

“retaining wall” means a wall intended to resist the lateral displacement of materials;

“riser” The vertical distance between the tread of a step and the tread of the step immediately above it;

“rodding eye” means an access opening in a drainage installation provided for the purposes of gaining full-bore access to the interior of a drain for internal cleaning, and which remains permanently accessible after completion of the installation, but does not include an inspection chamber or manhole;

“roof assembly” The building cover and its supporting structure, including any ceiling attached to such structure and any additional components such as insulation;

“R-value” The thermal resistance (m2·K/W) of a component
NOTE This is the inverse of the time rate of heat flow through a body from one of its bounding surfaces to the other surface for a unit temperature difference between the two surfaces, under steady state conditions, per unit area;

 

S

Safety Glass National Building Regulations Glossary

 

 

 

“safety distance” means the distance provided between any building and the lateral boundary of the site, or where there are two buildings on the same site, the distance provided between each such building and a notional boundary line between them, so that spread of fire from one building to another due to effect of radiant heat will be minimized;

“safety glass” means a safety glazing material consisting primarily of glass;

“safety glazing material” means any material which complies with the requirements for the performance of safety glazing materials contained in SANS 1263-1;

“sanitary fixture” means a receptacle to which water is permanently supplied, and from which waste water or soil water is discharged;

“sanitary group” A combination of sanitary fixtures comprising not more than one each of a toilet pan, bath, shower and sink and either two washbasins or one washbasin and one bidet;

“secondary entrance” An entrance that is not the main entrance, and that leads directly to

a) a reception area or point that provides information about the building or services within it; or

b) the primary stairway or lift foyer;

“self-cleaning trap” A trap that, when tested with glass balls in accordance with the test method given in annex F of ISO 9896:1996, will allow at least 70 % of the balls to pass;

“self-closing” in relation to a door, fire-door, shutter or fire-shutter means equipped with a device to ensure immediate closing of such door, fire-door, shutter or fire-shutter after having been opened;

“separating element” means a wall or floor, which shall have a specific fire resistance, used between divisions, occupancies or tenancies in a building;

“septic tank” means a tank designed to receive sewage and to retain it for such a time and in such a manner as to secure adequate decomposition;

“service pipe” means any pipe which is part of a water installation and which is connected to any communication pipe;

“sewage” means waste water, soil water, industrial effluent and other liquid waste, either separately or in combination, but does not include stormwater;

“sewer” means a pipe or conduit which is the property of or is vested in the local authority and which is used or intended to be used for the conveyance of sewage;

“SHGC – solar heat gain coefficient” The ratio of the heat gain entering the space through the fenestration area to the incident solar radiation;

“single-stack system” means a particular one-pipe system in which trap vents are not required in terms of specific criteria set out in Part P;

“site” means any erf, lot, plot, stand or other piece of land on which a building has been, is being or is to be erected;

“sleeper wall” A masonry wall constructed to support a suspended ground floor;

“smoking area” Area which does not exceed 25 % of the total floor area of a public space and which is partitioned off with solid partitions;

“smoking room” A dedicated room where smoking is permitted;

“softwood timber” Timber derived from trees of the genus Pinus grown in Southern Africa and which has been appropriately graded with respect to its intended use;

“soil branch” means a branch discharge pipe which conveys soil water;

“soil fixture” means a sanitary fixture which receives and discharges soil water;

“soil pipe” means a discharge pipe which conveys soil water;

“soil water” means liquid containing excreta;

“sole plate” A strip of timber which is laid on top of walls to level the underside of flooring joists;

“space” A definable area, such as a room, toilet room, hall, assembly area, entrance, storage room, alcove, courtyard, or lobby;

“span” The distance between the centres of supports;

“spiral stairway” means any succession of tapered treads forming a curved stairway which extends as a single flight from one floor to another and which has a minimum radius of curvature of less than 100 mm;

“sprinkler system” means an approved system of piping and sprinkler heads connected to a water supply which when actuated by the effect of fire automatically releases water;

“stack vent” means a ventilating pipe connecting to a discharge stack above the highest connected discharge pipe;

“stairway” means any part of a building which provides a route of travel between different levels in such building and is formed by a single flight or by a combination of two or more flights and one or more intervening landings;

“storage tank” means any tank, other than any tank used for storage of hot water or any cistern serving a toilet pan or a urinal, which forms part of a water installation and is used for the storage of water;

“storey” means that part of a building which is situated between the top of any floor and the top of the floor next above it, or if there is no floor above it that portion between such floor and the ceiling above it (any open work floor, catwalk or gallery being taken to be part of the storey in which it is situated), and in relation to a building-

(a) the ground storey shall be taken as the storey in which there is situated an entrance to the building from the level of the adjoining ground or, if there is more than one such storey the lower or lowest of these;

(b) a basement shall be taken to be any part of the building which is below the level of the ground storey;

(c) an upper storey shall be taken to be any storey of the building which is above the level of the ground storey; and

(d) the height expressed in storeys shall be taken to be that number of storeys which includes all storeys other than a basement;

“stormwater” means water resulting from natural precipitation or accumulation and includes rainwater, surface water, subsoil water or spring water;

“stormwater drain” means a pipe, conduit or surface channel situated on a site, which is used to convey stormwater to a suitable point of discharge;

“stormwater sewer” means a pipe, conduit or channel, owned by or vested in the local authority, which is used for the conveyance of stormwater;

“street” means any street, road, thoroughfare, lane, footpath, sidewalk, sub- way or bridge which-

(a) is vested in the local authority; or

(b) the public has the right to use; or

(c) is shown on a general plan of a township filed in a deeds registry or a Surveyor-General’s office and has been provided or reserved for use by the public or the owners of erven in such township;

“street boundary” The boundary of a site which abuts any street;

“strip flooring” A floor that comprises strips of width not less than 35 mm and not more than 90 mm and that are tongued on the one edge and grooved on the opposite edge;

“structural” means relating to or forming part of any structural system;

“structural system” in relation to a building, means the system of constructional elements and components of any building which is provided to resist the loads acting upon it and to transfer such loads to the ground upon which the foundation of the building rests;

“structural wall” means a wall forming part of any structural system;

“stub stack” means a straight 100 mm diameter discharge stack not more than one storey high with a rodding eye at its top;

“suitable” means capable of fulfilling or having fulfilled the intended function or fit for its intended purpose;

“surface fire index” means a classification awarded to a combustible surfacing material (in excess of 1 mm in thickness) when tested in accordance with SANS 10177-3;

“suspended ceiling” means any ceiling supported on a system of hangers;

“suspended floor” A floor that spans supports;

 

T

Tapered treads National Building Regulations Glossary

 

 

 

“tactile” That can be perceived by using the sense of touch;

“tapered tread” means a tread which has a greater width at one side than at the other and a going which changes at a constant rate throughout its length;

“temporary building” means any building that is so declared by the owner and that is being used or is to be used for a specified purpose for a specified limited period of time, but does not include a builder’s shed;

“tenancy-separating element” A separating element between tenants within the same occupancy classification group;

“thatch” Reed, grass or straw used in roof construction;

“the Act” means the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act, 1977 (Act No. 103 of 1977);

“tie beam” – bottom chord. The horizontal or inclined member that establishes the lower edge of a truss;

“total R-value” The sum of the R-values of the individual component layers in a composite element, including the air space and associated surface resistances measured in m2·K/W;

“total U-value” The thermal transmittance (W/m2·K) of the composite element, including the air space and associated surface emittance;

“toughened glass” means a glass produced by subjecting annealed glass to a process of heating and rapid cooling which produces high compression in the surface and compensating tension in the interior;

“trained plumber” means any person who in the trade of plumbing has, in terms of the Manpower Training Act, 1981 (Act No. 56 of 1981), passed a qualifying trade test or has been issued with a certificate of proficiency, or has obtained a National Certificate in Construction Plumbing, National Qualification Framework Level 3;

“transfer space” The space required by a wheelchair user to transfer to or from a vehicle, toilet or seat;

“transparent glazing” Glazing through which images can be clearly seen;

“trap” means a pipe fitting or a part of a sanitary fixture which is designed to retain a water seal;

“trap vent” means a ventilating pipe connecting an individual trap to the open air or to another ventilating pipe;

“travel distance” means -

(a) the distance, in any building where emergency routes are required, from the furthest point in any room in such building to an access door; or

(b) where no emergency routes are required, the distance from the furthest point in any room in a building to an escape door;

“tread” means the upper surface of a step;

“truss” The triangulated combination of members and joints which, when fitted together, form a rigid structural component capable of withstanding loads;

“turning space” The circulation space in which a wheelchair can turn through 360°;

“two-pipe system” means a system of piping between sanitary fixtures and a drain in which waste water and soil water discharge through separate discharge pipes and in which any trap venting or other venting that is required is via separate ventilating pipes for the waste and soil water systems;

 

U

Unit fire load National Building Regulations Glossary

 

 

 

“underlay” The flexible membrane fitted between the roof support structure and the battens;

“unit fire load” means the fire load of a compartment or division divided by the floor area of such compartment or division, and is expressed either as timber equivalent (kg/sq m) or heat energy value per sq m (MJ/sq m);

“unprotected steel” means structural steel which is not protected with fire resistant material against the effect of fire;

 

V

Vent Pipe s National Building Regulations Glossary

 

 

 

“vent” means a ventilating pipe;

“ventilated improved pit toilet” – VIP toilet A toilet which comprises

  1. a)  a pit into which the excreta fall and from which the liquid fraction seeps into the surrounding ground;
  2. b)  a slab which covers the pit and which has two holes, one for the excreta to fall through and one for the vent pipe;
  3. c)  a superstructure which provides privacy and which prevents light from entering the pit;
  4. d)  a pedestal seat and seat cover;
  5. e)  a vent pipe which removes odour from the pit; and
  6. f)  a fly screen at the top of the vent pipe which prevents flies from entering the pit through the pipe and prevents flies that have entered the pit through the pedestal from leaving through the vent pipe;

“ventilating pipe” means a pipe which leads to the open air at its highest point and which provides ventilation throughout a drainage installation for the purpose of preventing the destruction of water seals, but does not include a discharge pipe;

“vent stack” means a main vertical ventilating pipe of any part of a drainage installation;

“vent valve” means a one-way air valve specifically designed and constructed to be fitted near the crown of the trap serving a waste fixture to protect the water seal of such trap against excessive negative air pressure arising in the fixture discharge pipe;

“vertical” in relation to a discharge pipe or ventilating pipe, means inclined at 45° or more to the horizontal, and in relation to a glass pane means installed at any angle between 60° and 90° to the horizontal, both figures being inclusive;

 

W

Water fitting National Building Regulations Glossary

 

 

 

“waste branch” means a branch discharge pipe which conveys waste water only;

“waste fixture” means a sanitary fixture from which waste water is discharged;

“waste pipe” means a discharge pipe which conveys waste water only;

“waste water” means used water not contaminated by soil water or industrial effluent and shall not include stormwater;

“water fitting” means any component, other than a pipe, of any water installation, through which water passes or in which it is stored;

“water installation” means an installation used or intended to be used for the conveyance or storage of water in any building or on any site on which such building is situated and includes any pipe or any water fitting other than any water meter vested in the local authority;

“water seal” means the water in a trap which acts as a barrier against the flow of any foul air or gas;

“water supply system” means any system of structures, aqueducts, pipes, valves, pumps, meters or other appurtenances relating thereto which are vested in the local authority and are used or intended to be used by it in connection with the supply of water;

“web” The member that joins the top chords and bottom chords to form triangular patterns that give truss action;

“wheelchair-accessible toilet” A toilet designed to include use by wheelchair users;

“wind load” means the force exerted by the action of wind;

“winder” means any tapered tread that has a minimum going of less than 50 mm and which is used in conjunction with non-tapered treads in a single flight;

“wired glass” means annealed glass containing a wire mesh which is completely embedded in the body of the glass during manufacture;

 

Z

Zone of space494 National Building Regulations Glossary

 

 

 

“zone of space” in relation to an opening in an external wall or a portion of such an opening, means a volume of open air outside such opening.

Mar 252013
 

Strategic Planning of Boundary Walls and Fences

Fence Palasaide Steel s Boundary Walls and Fences

A steel palisade fence on the street side boundary.

Boundary walls and fences are one of the most controversial topics facing homeowners. We are constantly contacted by people from all parts of South Africa who want advice – or have some sort of problem – relating to boundary walls and fences – often because neighbours have erected something that is offensive or clearly illegal.

There are laws that relate to boundary walls and fences, but more importantly, you need to check the boundary walls and fences policy followed by your local authority. Ultimately what you can and cannot do is up to them.

Boundary Walls and Fences and the Law

The two most important issues here are the position of boundary walls and fences, and ownership.

Positioning Boundary Walls and Fences

All properties are surveyed and pegged when land is zoned for residential use. But as soon as the land is built on, generally the pegs are removed. This is why it is so important to ensure that boundary walls and fences are correctly positioned in the first place. If there is a dispute between neighbours at any stage (and they could be completely different parties to those who owned the two properties when the wall was built), it may be necessary to get a land surveyor to resurvey the property according to the official diagram that is lodged with the Surveyor General in Pretoria.

If you decide to build a wall or erect a fence on the boundary, you may do so provided it is on your property. And this includes the foundationswhich of course will be wider and longer than the wall itself. The structure will then belong to you. [See minor building work for walls and fences that do not require plans.]

The law also protects the structure from any action that may threaten its stability. For instance your neighbour may not dig down next to your wall on his/her side if this is likely to wash away the earth if and when there are heavy rains. If he/she does some sort of excavation, they will need to erect a retaining wall (which will require plans) or some other structure that provides lateral support to the wall.

Ownership of Boundary Walls and Fences

Often, however, neighbours agree to share the costs of boundary walls and fences, in which case ownership is also shared.

In the absence of proof that a boundary wall is wholly on one or other property, ownership is usually presumed to be shared. Some local authorities state that each side is then owned by the property owner on each side; others say that the wall is owned jointly. If ownership is shared either way, neither owner may do anything to the wall – ie they may not raise it, lower it or break it down – without the other neighbour’s permission. If the structure is damaged in any way, both must share the cost of repair.

There are different laws that apply in agricultural areas (farmland).

Local Authority Boundary Walls and Fences Policies

While every local authority has its own policy for boundary walls and fences, there are many similarities. The information give here is based on the official policy of the City of Cape Town, drawn from a document that was published in 2009.

The official document Boundary Walls and Fences Policy acknowledges the fact that all fences and boundary walls that front onto public streets are “highly visible” and therefore have a direct bearing on the character as well as what they term the “visual amenity of neighbourhoods”.

Driven by an increased need for security, more and more homeowners are tending to install security devices on top of boundary walls and fences in an uncontrolled and haphazard manner. These devices take various forms and include different types of electric fencing, as well as razor wire, barbed wire and various kinds of ugly (though effective) spikes. Because of this, the City of Cape Town devised its policy in 2009, formally identifying which security devices may be utilized – and which should not be permitted.

At this stage, the City of Cape Town’s Building By-laws prohibited the use of certain materials including galvanized iron sheeting and asbestos sheeting (though it should also be noted that no asbestos materials may be used for building anywhere in the country), and barbed wire on street boundaries, but they did not make any provision for controlling security devices. While historically, the Occupational Health and Safety Act controlled the technical aspects of the installation of electric fences, there was no provision in the City’s Scheme Regulations to control the installation of security devices.

Their Boundary Walls and Fences Policy attempts to control the appearance of boundary walls and fences and the installation of security devices on top of walls and fences. They also point out that this policy precedes the formulation of a by-law.

The City of Cape Town’s Legal Mandate

As they state, boundary walls are considered to form part of municipal planning, which is a local authority competency in terms of Part B of Schedule 5 of South Africa’s Constitution. Note that this is why the decisions relating to boundary walls and fences are ultimately left to the local authority to decide.

In Terms of Section 156 of the Constitution, municipalities (or local authorities, including the various Cities – specifically Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban etc.) have the power to make and administer by-laws that will ensure the effective administration of all the various matters they have the right to administer – in this case, policies that relate to boundary walls and fences.

There is no provision made in the National Building Regulations to control the appearance and height of boundary walls. For this reason, control of the appearance and height of boundary walls has become part of municipal planning country-wide.

Rationale and Justification for By-laws Relating to Boundary Walls and Fences

Complaints Relating to Safety

In the absence of a standard policy throughout the city, or relevant by-laws dealing with these matters, The City Council stated that it was receiving complaints from members of the community concerning safety issues surrounding the installation of electric fences in particular. Specifically, concerns related to the safety of children and accidental contact with the live wires.

Complaints had also been received about the use of unsightly materials and the adverse impact that this has on the character and visual amenity of certain areas.

The document noted that the high crime rate was a concern to the community and that the protection of life and property had become a priority in most, if not all neighbourhoods of the City.

Boundary Walls and Fences Explained

A Definition of Boundary Walls and Fences

For the purposes of managing and assessing proposals in terms of their “new” policy, the City defined a boundary wall or fence as “any wall, fence or enclosing structure erected on or next to a property boundary and any other structures (including but not limited to security devices, for example spikes, electric fencing, barbed or razor wire) affixed to or on top of it.”

Specifications for Boundary Walls and Fences

There is now a list of specifications for boundary fences and walls that are:

  • located on street boundaries,
  • located on boundaries of public open space,
  • and lateral boundaries.

These must comply with the following requirements:

  • Solid boundary walls may not be any higher than shall 1.8 m on street boundaries, and no higher than 2,1 m on lateral boundaries.
  • Palisade-type fences may not be higher than 2.1 m on either street or lateral boundaries.
  • Fences may not be higher than 2,1 m on street boundaries.

[Note:  The National Building Regulations state that walls and fences to a maximum height of 1,8 m are regarded as “minor building work” and do not require plans. So whilst the City of Cape Town allows walls and fences to be a maximum of 2,1 m, unless they rule otherwise, plans will be required.]

  • The District Manager has the right to relax these height requirements at his/her discretion.
  • At least 40% of the surface area of any street boundary walls, including gates, if these are provided, must be visually permeable – ie you need to be able to see through close to half of the wall and gate.
  • Boundary walls and fences must be measured from the existing level of the ground that abuts the wall or fence. If the level of the ground on opposite sides of the fence or wall are not equal, the height should be measured from the higher of the two sides. If soil is retained by a boundary wall, the maximum permitted height of the retained soil is 2,1 m. This should be measured from the natural ground level in front of the wall. A balustrade wall not exceeding 1 m in height is permitted above the level of the retained soil.

[Note: Plans are required for retaining walls.]

  • Where two intersecting street boundaries of any property enclose an angle of less than 135 degrees, the maximum permitted boundary wall height above street level within 4, 5 m of the intersection of the boundaries is 1 m.
  • Electrified fencing and other forms of security fencing must also comply with these requirements.

Important Provisions of the NBR
and Building Standards Act

The provisions of Section 4 of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act, No 103 of 1977 (ie the legislation), are applicable which means that prior written authority must be obtained from the City when erecting a boundary wall or fence. More specifically, Section 4 of the Act relates to: “Approval by local authorities of applications in respect of erection of buildings”, and states that people must:

  1. get written approval from the local authority after plans and specifications have been submitted to the local authority
  2. submit all applications in writing on the form supplied by the local authority
  3. supply the name and address of the person applying for permission to build together with the necessary plans, specifications etc. required by the National Building Regulations and Building Standards
  4. be aware that anyone who contravenes the Act will be guilty of an offense and liable (if convicted) to pay a maximum fine of R100 per day for every day spent erecting and building illegally.

The Building Control Officer has indicated that the provisions of Section 13 of Act 103 dealing with work of a minor nature are also applicable.

Note that this is not a reference to the section in the Act that refers to minor building work

Section 13 of the Act relates to “Exemption of buildings from national building regulations and authorization for erection”, and it states that any building control officer may exempt property owners from the need to submit plans or authorize erection of a building in accordance with specific conditions and directions.

Note that the City of Cape Town has seen fit to draw attention to this section in terms of walls and fences (not only buildings as such).

Sources

Boundary Walls and Fences Policy. City of Cape Town, Directorate: Strategy & Planning; Department of Planning & Building Development Management; Development Policy & Processes Branch. January 2009.

Reader’s Digest Family Guide to The Law in South Africa. The Reader’s Digest Association South Africa (Pty) Ltd. Cape Town. 1986.

Nov 222011
 

A Review Based on Personal Experience

Owner Building Covers X4 s Pros and Cons of Owner BuildingHaving just finished totally updating the ever-popular title, The Complete Book of Owner Building in South Africa I am left wondering whether owner building is a good idea or not. We’ve completed the exercise three times, and not once made any money, or in fact even got our money back on any of the projects. So why would it be a good idea for you? You might perhaps see it as a challenge? Or maybe it is an opportunity for you to prove you can do it better than me.  Maybe you’d do it just because you can! If you get it right, you could save yourself a lot of money and end up with your dream house.

Now if you’re wondering why this would persuade you to buy the new version of the book (which will, I believe be available from Random House Struik sometime during 2012 … hopefully before the world ends), the one thing these building exercises did teach us was what not to do! With this knowledge, we have put together a title which hopefully will help you achieve your dreams. We have also discussed every aspect of construction in relation to the local national building regulations. And there are lots of good ideas and beautiful photographs of other people’s construction projects and finished homes and gardens.

Our First Owner Building Challenge

One’s first experience of anything is always special in one way or another. We had managed to buy two tiny seaside plots with a small inheritance, and decided to build on one and then sell it to be able to build something on the second – for ourselves, rather than resale. The first project, we thought, would pay for the second.

The idea is a good one, but firstly you need sufficient money to achieve Plan 1; and then you need to be sure that you will make money on it within your time frame. In reality, even many full-time property developers have to wait a while before they make money on developments. And they usually have multiple units to sell, so they make money back progressively, over time.

We had a minimal budget. We spent more than our budget. Then we needed to sell quickly.

A downturn in the property market hit us hard, especially since this building venture was in a relatively remote spot that was, at best, an up-and-coming holiday spot. The fact that 10 years down the line the area began to blossom, was irrelevant in the scale of things. It was too late.


PringleBayHse s Pros and Cons of Owner Building

Our little beach house

The house was basic, but sweet. We couldn’t afford decorative finishes, or even basic appliances (like a fridge and stove), so that we could at least make use of it – or rent it out and recoup some money.

We had to sell, and were becoming desperate. After an unsuccessful auction, a qualified professional in the building industry bought the property for a song. We didn’t get enough out of the project to build on the second plot, and eventually lost that too.

Going… going… GONE!

Our Second Owner Building Challenge

This time we did it correctly, or so we thought. Certainly it was as right as we could have done it, but because we were owner-building, the buck stopped with us. We had nobody else to blame for errors, even if we didn’t make them ourselves.

We bought the plot, secured the finance to build using a solid quantification and costing programme, and then got down to work.

So what went wrong? Two major factors worked against us.

  1. The so-called professional who helped to survey the site didn’t pick up that we were building on a slope. The property looked flat enough, and we weren’t advised to formally assess the slope.
  2. Nobody realised that our neighbour’s soakaway drained way into our property, until after our foundations had been dug – not even the municipal health inspector.

That was enough to destroy a half decent budget. Not only was the slope considerably more substantial than everybody seemed to think, but we had to move the entire build forward to avoid the health hazard of the illegal soakaway (or French drain) behind us. It didn’t occur to us that we might have a claim against our neighbour.

So we went ahead and built the house which, I have to admit, while spacious and full of architectural features (for example, we only used doors and windows scavenged from demolition sites) had a few other follies. The most expensive of these was a long – admittedly very handsome – passage leading from a glorious front door we had rescued from some huge wonderful building we never knew.


MeadowLnEnt s Pros and Cons of Owner Building

Our fabulous folly in the form of a three-metre wide passage and ultra-high ceiling. The front door, complete with windows was rescued from a demolition site. The unusual wall sconces were a gift from artist and metal sculptor, Carrol Boyes. The floor was ordinary SA pine floorboards, painted with PVA and sealed.

The slope also cost us, because the foundation wall at the back of the house ended up over 2 m (or 6½ ft) high. Then there was the fill which had to be transported to site to fill the void.

Apart from the obvious additional costs, the major impact of the follies and mistakes (be they ours or other people’s) was that we weren’t able to finish the build according to schedule. We didn’t particularly care, but the bank insisted we finish. Bank managers visited the site and introduced their own tough tactics.

NOW HERE IS A BIG LESSON YOU CAN LEARN FROM

When you owner-build you will negotiate draws with your bank. If they release 100% and you haven’t finished the house, you have a problem. This is what happened to us, and the bully-bank (totally within their legal rights) forced us to take another loan to finish ceilings and other things that we believed we could temporarily live without – including the lounge floor. The house was huge and large enough to temporarily board up the lounge. But the bank wanted everything complete, IMMEDIATELY, if not sooner.

Could we have said no? In retrospect probably yes. But they forced us to take a personal loan that we couldn’t afford to repay. Certainly today the relatively new Consumer Protection Act would have precluded them from doing this.

So we did put in some ceilings, including a glorious kitchen ceiling that incorporated a steel pressed section from a Victorian building that had been demolished in Claremont (Cape Town). Eventually the house was sold … and then sold again … I’m not sure how many times. Some years ago, when the house was on the market and there was an open-day show house, we discovered that a later owner had carefully removed the fill, and created an extraordinary double-storey home.

We wished we’d been able to buy it back again.

Our Third Owner Building Challenge

Now we knew it all! What could possibly go wrong?

In an endeavour to avoid potential problems, we employed an architectural designer to draw the plans, and a full-time builder to do the build. What we had “forgotten” was that the builder – at that stage also a friend – was the so-called professional whose advice led us to believe we had previously been building on a virtually “flat” plot. So retrospectively, we had only ourselves to blame.

But if the NHBRC had been in existence at that time, we would have been saved a great deal of heartache. Since we had to raise a bond to build, the contractor would have not have been acceptable to the bank unless he was a paid-up member of the NHBRC.

So what did go wrong?

In a nutshell, we were ripped off by a bogus builder. Sure this is what he did full time, but his reputation was so bad that when we later tried to sell the house, property agents wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole.

BergnDalHse s Pros and Cons of Owner BuildingIn the interim we’d had to call in a consultant to arbitrate (at considerable expense), because the workmanship was so bad. For example:

  • The wall on one side of the house was a brick course higher than the other, so the roof wasn’t quite level.
  • The walls inside the house that should have been bagged with plaster and been vaguely and unevenly smeared with a very weak mix. When we complained the builder set to work with a box of Polyfilla, in an attempt to even the surface.
  • Nails had been left protruding from exposed beams.
  • The brick-paved driveway was lifting and falling to pieces.
  • Worst of all, he had run out of money and wasn’t able to complete the build.

Eventually we did sell, and were able to repay the bond to the bank. But that was the end of it.

So would I ever owner-build again? And if I did, how would I do it differently?

I might, but only if I had the money to pay good sub-contractors and proven artisans that I could really trust to do a good job. And I would be sure to take every bit of my own advice given in The Complete Book of Owner Building seriously!

But for now I’m content to rent.

Nov 152011
 

Walls Support the Roof and other Loads

Walls Pix594 Walls

It is vital that walls are strong, stable, waterproof and fireproof. The way that the roof is affixed to the wall is also very important.

The fundamental structure of a house is formed by its external walls, which must support the roof and take any other load that is built above. The section of the National Building Regulations that deals with walls is SANS 10400-K  and it has several parts, each dealing with building walls, and the elements of how both internal and external walls should be correctly constructed.

Changes to the Legislation

Like much of SANS 10400, PArt K: Walls has changed quite substantially, both in terms of the legislation and the section that deals with The application of the National Building Regulations, which is the document prepared by the SABS and published separately to the legislation.

(NOTE: Previously SABS 0400, which became SANS 10400, was published by the SABS in its entirety, with the legislation and a Code of Practice which took the form of “deemed-to-satisfy requirements”. When the legislation changed on May 30, 2008, this was gazetted. The SABS then progressively updated its guidelines and published them over a period of years, as a series of individual documents. These are available from offices of the SABS and from the Bureau’s webstore, HERE. The new version of Part K was published on 29-03-2011 and it costs R147 excluding VAT.)

This article deals primarily with the changes to the legislation, and how it applies to building walls, rather than the South African National Standards.

Structural Strength and Stability of Building Walls

Part K1 of the regulations states that, “Any wall shall be designed and constructed to safely sustain any actions which can reasonably be expected to occur and in such a manner that any local damage (including cracking) or deformation do not compromise the opening and closing of doors and windows or the weather tightness of the wall and in the case of any structural wall, be capable of safely transferring such actions to the foundations supporting such wall.”

This has been substantially expanded. Previously the legislation simply said the walls should be capable of safely sustaining any loads to which they would be likely to be subjected. It also said that structural walls should be capable of safely transferring such loads to the foundation supporting a structural wall.

There are various walling materials available, made primarily from clay and cement-based products. You will need to decide which is the best material for your particular purposes. Walls can also be built with stone or timber, but each material has its own set of methods to satisfy the requirements.

Solid brick walls normally consist of two brick skins that are joined together and strengthened with brickforce or brick reinforcing and/or wall-ties (a mild steel wire laid between some of the courses to add strength). The interior and exterior surfaces are normally plastered but may be fairfaced (facebrick). Concrete block walls are a more economic option and are often used for garages and outbuildings.

Water Penetration of Walls

Whatever materials you choose to use when you build, the method used for building walls must comply with Part K2 of the regulations. Primarily they must be built to prevent water penetrating into any part of the building. All cavity walls must be well drained by means of weep holes above a damp-proof course. All cement bricks and blocks are relatively porous and should be plastered or rendered on both sides for thorough waterproofing.

Basements and semi-basements are also referred to in the “new” legislation, and any room below ground must be adequately waterproofed.

The legislation reads: “Where a building includes a basement or semi-basement, the local authority may, if it considers that conditions on the site on which the building is to be erected necessitate integrated designs for the penetration of water into such basement or semi-basement applicable to all construction elements or components thereof, require the submission of such designs for approval. Construction shall be in accordance with the requirements of the approved design.”

In recent years, a variety of alternative construction methods have been developed, most notably in the sphere of cheaper housing. These include the building of walls with insulated fibrecement panels; with fibreglass panels; creating the basic structure with shuttered no-fines concrete; using polystyrene sprayed onto a basic framework; or piling up sausage-shaped bags of sand and cement. If you want to use any altrernative method it would be best to contact your local authority planning division, or building inspector, for guidance.

Roof Fixing

Part K3 deals with the way in which the roof of any building is attached to the wall and states that this must be done securely and safely and must be able to withstand any natural forces such as high winds or rain and hail. Specifically, it states:

“Where any roof truss, rafter or beam is supported by any wall, provision shall be made to fix such truss, rafter or beam to such wall in a secure manner that will ensure than any actions to which the roof may normally be subjected will be transmitted to such wall.”

While this clause of the legislation is basically the same as it was previously – one word has changed with forces deleted and actions replacing it – there are substantial amendments to the so-called “deemed-to-satisfy requirements” published in SANS 10400, Part K Walls. Similarly there are many changes – more so in the form of additions – to SANS 10400, Part L Roofs.

The Ways Walls Behave in Fire

Part K4 deals with Behaviour in Fire, and state simple that, “Any wall shall have combustibility and fire resistance characteristics appropriate to the location and use of such wall”.

Brick, block and stone walls are generally accepted as fire resistant. Timber frame with timber or fibrecement cladding need to be certified, and you should check with the supplier regarding these rules for their type of walling, before you decide which material you are going to use for building walls.

Deemed-to-Satisfy Requirements

Part K5 of the legislation states that Parts K1 to K4 will have been deemed to be satisfied “where the structural strength and stability of any wall, the prevention of water penetration into or through such wall, the fixing of any roof to such wall, and the behavior in a fire of such wall” complies with the relevant part of SANS 10400. This standard, “Establishes deemed-to-satisfy solutions for rain penetration and damp-proofing and contains simple design and construction provisions for masonry walls in single-storey and double-storey buildings and framed buildings that do not exceed four storeys; masonry balustrade walls and masonry free-standing boundary, garden and retaining walls.”