Room Height Requirements Thumbnail

This Monday Tech Talk will take a look at Room Height Requirements. From a design point of view, ceiling height is all about how the proportions of a given room are created. This include, how light will be used and most importantly, how the space is intended to function. However from a compliance and legal stance, according to the Building Regulations of South Africa, certain rooms do require certain room heights.

Homes and other buildings have to be able to accommodate people standing up! Very few people are taller than 1,8 m. So room heights generally are set at between 2,1 m and 2,4 m. This doesn’t, however, prevent designers making ceilings higher than this, even though it does increase building costs.

The minimum dimension allowed is measured from the top of the finished floor to either:

  1. the underside of the ceiling.
  2. the underside of the roof covering (if there isn’t a ceiling).
  3. the underside of any structural element (member) that is below the ceiling or roof. Is larger than 30% of the plan area of the room. In addition, if there is a structural element projecting below ceiling or roof covering level, the height of the projection may not be less than 2,1 m.

The National Building Regulations (NBR) are not prescriptive when it comes to the size of rooms and buildings. However, it is vital that the size of any room or space is fit for the purpose for which it was intended.

In the case of a really small house the floor area of the entire building must be able to accommodate a “habitable” room as well as a separate room with toilet facilities. This is more for sanitary reasons than for comfort, and it makes perfect sense.

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