Vertical Growth through relaxed Building Byelaws – A step towards Sustainable Development

Keeping in view the insatiable demand for housing in Lahore against the lack of availability of land, serious measures are now being taken to address the pertaining issues. When it comes to high-rise developments in the city, the LDA has been easing its regulations in different ways for the past few years. The city’s vertical growth paired with the development of sustainable infrastructure is what the concerned authorities should be focusing on to sustainably manage the constantly increasing urban population.

According to a recent news report, the LDA has proposed a draft based on the new building regulations that contain ‘free height’ authorization. Once implemented, the new bylaws would allow the property developers to construct multistory buildings as high as 300 feet on 60-feet or wider roads across the city. These regulations will not only promote the high-rise culture in Lahore but also help real estate construction and development companies to strengthen their businesses as most of them are proposing and promoting multistory complexes and structures as their flagship projects.

The Metropolitan Corporation Lahore (MCL) has reportedly amended its building bylaws to help the construction sector benefit from the government’s COVID-19 relief package. According to sources, the minimum height of a multi-story mixed-use building has been increased to 45 feet from 38 feet. Moreover, it has become compulsory to obtain a NOC for design, structure and architectural calculations of an apartment project in Lahore. Here is a complete breakdown of the changes made by Metropolitan Corporation Lahore in its Building Bylaws 2017 for the construction of high-rises in the city.

For Residential Buildings
These are the amended height limits for mixed-use and residential high-rises.

Property Type Area Size Maximum Height Limit
Apartment Buildings 10 marla to 1 kanal 48 feet
Apartment Buildings 1 kanal and 2 kanal 90 feet
Apartment Buildings 2 kanal and 4 kanal 120 feet
Apartment Buildings 4 kanal to 8 kanal 200 feet
Apartment Buildings More than 8 kanal 300 feet

For Commercial Buildings  
Let’s take a look at the amended height limits for commercial high-rises in the city.

Property Type Area Size Maximum Height Limit
Commercial Buildings 10 marla to 1 kanal 50 feet
Commercial Buildings 1 kanal to 2 kanal 90 feet
Commercial Buildings 2 kanal and 4 kanal 120 feet
Commercial Buildings 4 kanal to 8 kanal 200 feet
Commercial Buildings More than 8 kanal 300 feet

For Mosques
As per the amended building bylaws of Metropolitan Corporation Lahore, a marque can only be set up on an area of minimum 4 kanal. Existing marques that don’t have a parking facility can be regularized after paying a penalty of PKR 350,000 per car, as per the report. Moreover, the authority will now issue building plan approvals within a 30-day time period in accordance with the timeframe approved by the Lahore Development Authority.
Lahore Development Authority, more commonly known by its abbreviation, LDA, recently amended its building and zoning regulations in favour of high-rises and multi-storey buildings. The new construction laws in Lahore proposed by the LDA are also expected to positively impact the construction industry, particularly small builders, by reducing the overall construction cost. The approval process for multi-storey buildings in Lahore will also become simpler and more time-efficient.
Let’s take a look at what we know so far about the recently implemented LDA Buildings and Zone Regulations 2019.
Salient Features of LDA’s Buildings and Zone Regulations 2019
LDA One Window Cell helps streamline the approval process. As per the report, the new LDA building regulations will make it easier for developers and small builders to obtain a no-objection certification (NOC) from the Lahore Development Authority for the construction of a building. The LDA has reportedly established special counters for different government agencies at its One-Window Cell to further streamline the process of obtaining a NOC for the construction of high-rises. This fully automated operation, which also enables applicants to check the status of their application online, is one of the most prominent examples of the LDA going digital to help the citizens of Lahore. One Window Cell Timings: 09:00 AM to 01:00 PM | Friday 09:00 A.M – 12:00 Noon (closed on Sundays)
Here are a few more important things we have learned about the new LDA construction bylaws for residential and commercial skyscrapers in the city.

Eco-Friendly Measures
Under the new LDA building regulations, it will be mandatory for all multi-storey buildings to have water treatment and rainwater harvesting plants to help conserve water. Building owners will also be encouraged to install rooftop solar panel systems for energy conservation. The LDA will only issue completion certificates to property owners who plant trees around their buildings and houses. This will be done in a bid to make the city more environment-friendly. Similarly, rooftop gardens will be also encouraged.

Parking Spaces
The report claims that the new LDA regulation for construction will make parking optional for residents and small builders of 10 Marla plots sizes. The same applies to industrial buildings as well. Commercial buildings of plot size not less than two kanal cannot use the spaces in front for parking purposes. The Lahore Development Authority has also incorporated provisions for hospitals to provide parking space within a 100-metre radius. This will also help reduce the load and traffic congestion for people living in the surrounding buildings.

Promoting Small Businesses
In a bid to encourage small businesses, business owners will be encouraged to set up kiosks at commercial buildings. Apartment buildings will also be allowed to house corner shops on the ground floor. As the news report suggests, the area of these shops cannot exceed 450 sq. ft. Moreover, they can only be used as grocery stores, butchers, and barber shops, among a few others.

Building Height Regulation
The allowed plot size for apartment buildings has been reduced from a minimum of four kanal to 10 Marla. This new LDA building regulation will encourage small builders to construct more residential towers. The height limit for such residential towers has also been increased to 120 feet. Previously, the limit was set at 80 feet. The height of buildings constructed on the plot size of eight kanal and above has been increased to 160 feet. Industrial buildings, on the other hand, can be as tall as 90 feet.
Note: This blog is written by a Town Planner after getting knowledge from current bye laws given by LMC’s and LDA. It will be updated as more details about the LDA Buildings and Zone Regulations 2019 are released.


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