Islamabad Residential Sectors Zoning (Building Control) Regulation, 1993 


in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 51 of the Capital Development Authority Ordinance 1960 (XXIII of 1960) the Capital Development Authority has been pleased to make the following Regulation, as being expedient:-




1. Short title extend and commencement
1.01 This regulation may be called the Islamabad Residential Sectors Zoning (Building Control) Regulation, 1993.
1.02It extends to all private residential plots in the Islamabad Capital Territory, except those in the Diplomatic Enclave.
1.03 It shall come into force at once.
2. Definitions.
In this regulation and in the subsidiary instructions and communications that may be issued under or in relation thereto, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context.
2.01“ancillary building” means a building subservient to the principal building on the same plot e.g. servant quarters, garages, etc;
2.02“apartment” means a building subservient to the principal building on the same plot e.g. servant quarters, garages, etc;
2.03“attached building” means a building which is joined to another building on one or more sides by a party wall or walls;
2.04“Authority” means the Capital Development Authority established under section 4 of the Capital Development Authority Ordinance, 1960 (XXIII of 1960);
2.05“balcony” means an outside projection from a building overlooking a compound, road or courtyard and projecting in front of a room and not used as a passage;
2.06“bathroom” means a room meant for bathing and designed in a building as such;
2.07“basement” means a structure wholly or partly below natural ground level/approach road level;
2.08“block” means a tract of land bounded by a street/streets, public land etc.
2.09“building” means any structure or enclosure permanently affixed to the land;
2.10“block of flats” means a structure occupied by more than one family and having more than one storey;
2.11“building line” means the line up to which the plinth of a building may lawfully extend after allowing for the mandatory set-backs;
2.12“Building Works” means erection or re-erection of any building or making additions to and alteration in an existing building;
2.13“cornet plot” means a plot situated at the intersection of two vehicular streets;
2.14“detached building” means a building not joined to another building on any side;
2.15“family” means a group of persons related by blood or marriage, and, if not so related, of not more than five persons living together and maintaining a common house – hold;
2.16“flat” means an apartment consisting of to or more habitable rooms with kitchen and bathroom;
2.17“floor area” means (for purpose of determining the floor area ration) the sum of the gross horizontal areas of the floor/floors, including verandahs, 25 percent of the area covered by pergolas but excluding basements, vaults, cellars and chajjas (not exceeding the maximum permissible limits;)
2.18“floor Area Ration” F.A.R) means the floor area of a building or buildings on a plot divided by the area of that plot;
2.19“height of building” shall be taken to be vertical measurement from the front approach road to the highest part of the roof of that building less one half of the difference of levels of the lowest and highest parts of the roof;
2.20“home occupation” means part time use of a part of a residential building or apartment by its resident professionals (for their personal professional use) such as architects, doctors, engineers and lawyers, for consultancy and advisory services provided the residential character of the building is not changed;
2.21“house/bungalow” means a residential building for the use of a single family having at least two habitable rooms with a kitchen and a bath;
2.22“licensed architect” means a person registered with P.C.A.T.P and issued a license by the Authority.
2.23“licensed engineer” means a person registered with P.E.C and issued a license by the Authority;
2.24“mezzanine” means a loft or balcony inside a room with no access to it except from inside such room and its area shall not exceed 1/3rd of the area of the room;
2.25“non-conforming use” means the use of a plot or structure thereon not conforming to the purpose authorized or permitted under this regulation;
2.26“open stair case’ means a stair case of which the roof must be fully open to the sky and of which at least two sides must be fully open and clear of any adjoining walls of any other building;
2.27“owner” means the person to whom a residential plot has been allotted or conveyed by the Authority or the lawful transferee of such plot duly mutated in the record of the Authority;
2.28“parapet” means a dwarf wall, whether plain, perforated or paneled, along the edge of the roof, balcony, verandah or terrace;
2.29“pergola” means a structure of which the roof must be at least 75% open to sky;
2.30“party wall” means a common wall between two adjacent buildings on independent plots;
2.31“plinth” means the portion of the building between the level of the street and the level of the ground floor;
2.32“plot” means a single tract of land located within a block and demarcated by the Authority as such;
2.33“prescribed” means prescribed by this Regulation or instructions issued by the Authority from time to time;
2.34“principal building” means a building in which the principal use is authorized or permitted;
2.35“principal use” means the use of the principal building for which the plot of land is allotted or conveyed to the owner as distinguished from a subordinate or ancillary use;
2.36“public open space” means open spaces including parks, playgrounds, waterways, streets etc.
2.37“semi- detached building” means a building abutting a side of the plot line on one side and having open yards on other sides;
2.38“residential building” means a building authorized for residential occupancy by one or more families;
2.39“residential plot” means a plot allotted exclusively for residential purpose;
2.40“set back (yard)” means a space compulsory required to be left open between the building and the plot line without any obstruction;
2.41“storey” means the space between the floor and the ceiling of a building;
2.42“structural alteration” means any change in the structure of a building i.e. supporting members of a building such as load-bearing walls, columns, beams, slabs etc;
2.43“terraced houses” means contiguous houses constructed on adjacent plots, separated by party walls and having no side set backs (yards);
2.44“use” means the purpose for which a plot or building there on is authorized or permitted under this Regulation;
2.45“verandah” means a part of a building facing a street or an internal or external open space with at least half of the external wall space permanently open to light and air;







  1. Authorized buildings and uses.

3.01    Only the following types of building/structures can be constructed on residential plots in residential sectors of the I.C.T:-

  1. a)    Residential building including ancillary buildings.
  2. b)    Apartments/flats including ancillary buildings.

3.02    The plots in the I.C.T shall be used only for the purpose for which they are allotted and conveyed. Small temporary building or structure for construction purposes can be constructed for the duration of the  construction of the principal building on the same plot. Such buildings or structures shall be removed immediately after the main structure is constructed and earlier if so directed by the Authority.

3.03    A residential building or apartment may be sued by its residents for “home occupation”  with prior permission of the Authority, provided the residential character of the building/ apartment is not changed and not more than two rooms are  used for the purpose. Furthermore it shall not constitute in any way nuisance to the neighbor in any form as determined by the authority.


  1. Amalgamation and Sub – division of plots.

4.01    No plot shall be amalgamated with an adjoining plot or plots for construction of buildings or for any other purpose whatsoever.

4.02    a)  Only one bifurcation/sub-division of plots will be allowed in respect of plots measuring 1,000 sq. yards and above provided each divided portion of the plot is not less than 500 sq. yards. The sub-division will, however, be allowed on the condition that only one living unit will be permitted to be constructed on each sub-divided portion.


  1. b)    Where plots have been sub-divided, the Zoning and Building Regulations relating to FAR and set backs of the original un-divided plots will be applicable. Thus the  combined FAR of both the living units on the sub-divided portions shall not exceed the total FAR permissible for the un-divided plot.


  1. c)    Plots which about on one road only can also be sub-divided, provided an independent road access is given to the rear sub-divided portion from within the front portion. The area and ownership of this access lane will remain with the rear plot. However, each sub-divided portion should not be less than 500 sq. yards


  1. d)    In old cases where approval on a sub-divided portion has already been given for more than two units, the approval will not be withdrawn. However , for sub-divided portions where the allottees have not so far submitted drawings for approval , the new rules, i.e. permission to construct one unit on each sub-divided portion, will apply.


  1. Ban on non-conforming uses

5.01    No land or building shall be put to a non-conforming use.

5.02    Any building or structure designed or intended for a use not authorized or permitted under this Regulation or conditions of allotment, shall either be removed or converted into a building or structure designed or intended for a use authorized or permitted under this Regulation or conditions of allotment.

5.03    A non-conforming use of a residential building may render the owner and the occupant of the building liable, on first conviction, to pay a fine of Rs. 10000/- and in the case  of failure to discontinue the non-conforming use for a period of three months, the owner or, as the case may be, the occupant shall be liable to be evicted from the building summarily and the allotment/conveyance deed of the plot may also be cancelled.


  1. Construction of buildings.

6.01    No building or structure shall be constructed  or any addition/alteration made thereon except:-


  1. a)     With the prior approval of the Authority, and


  1. b)    In accordance with the building and zoning regulations, or instructions issued by the Authority in this behalf from time to time.

6.02    Any construction started/carried out without prior approval of the  Authority shall be liable to be removed (partly or wholly) at the risk and cost of the owner and or fine as prescribed in schedule “E”


  1. F.A.R. Ground Coverage, Sizes, Heights, Number of storeys, Stair Towers, Type and Nature of development of buildings.

7.01    Except as otherwise prescribed or permitted by the Authority the maximum ground coverage, maximum built-up area (Total FAR) of buildings on a plot, the minimum  set backs from the plot lines, the maximum number of storeys, the maximum heights, the type and nature of development of building and size of stair tower shall be as laid down in Schedule “A” Provided that the authority may in exceptional cases due to site conditions and circumstance, give directions to the owner of  a plot to follow such deviations from the Schedule as the Authority may consider necessary and the owner shall act in accordance with such directions.


7.02    Any excess covered area of building beyond the prescribed limits shall be compounded with charges as per schedules B & E provided it does not fall beyond the relax able limits as given in  item no.


  1. Basement, vaults, cellars, etc. 8.0    Basements, vaults, cellars and other structures, wholly or partly below the ground level/approach road level, shall be allowed by the Authority with following conditions:


  1. a)     The basement shall not be exposed more than  5’ – 0” above lowest level of front approach road and 3’ – 0’ from the level of front yard (whichever is less),


  1. b)    The  areas of basement shall not be counted into FAR provided it has access/approach from inside of the ground floor. In case it has exclusive external approach and has no internal access from the ground floor, the area will be counted into total Far, but is shall not exceed 25% of the permissible ground floor coverage.


  1. c)    The national levels of side, rear and front yards (set backs) and other open spaces shall not be raised /lowered down more than 2’ – 0’ from the natural ground level.


  1. d)    In case of  split level designs, the part of house which  has its roof level not more than 5’ –0’ above the lowest level of front  approach road level as defined in condition. No. 8 (a), shall be treated as basement and its area will not be counted into floor area ratio. In case the roof of any floor is more than 5’ – 0’ above the lowest level of the front approach street/road, its area will be counted into ground floor coverage.


  1. e)    In case of abnormal site conditions where the plots are considerable higher than the front approach road, car porch and stair hall shall be allowed at maximum 2’ – 0’  above the road  level; remaining part can also be allowed by the authority as  basement at road level provided the basement is not exposed more than 3’ –0’  from the front yard. However in all such cases  no deviation will be allowed  from the approved plans. Natural ground level and road level shall be given on proposed plans by the Architects in such cases.


  1. f)    In all cases the building should look like two stored and the total height of building from the front approach road shall not be more  than 30’ – 0’


  1. g)    External walls below natural ground level/yard level of the basements shall be minimum 9 (inch) thick R.C.C walls adequately water proofed and structurally sound and stable against earth pressures, etc.


  1. h)    Clear height of the basement shall not be less than 8’ – 6’ and more than 10’ – 6’ , unless site conditions force for extra heights. However, if the basement is used for habitable purpose, the rules for respective space uses will be applied.


  1. i)    For detached houses 100% area under the permissible ground floor coverage will be allowed for construction of basement.


  1. j)    For  terraced houses basement under the plinth area will  be allowed provided the adjacent plots are vacant or basements already stand constructed on adjacent houses. In case only ground floor stand constructed on adjacent plot, a minimum  distance of 5’ – 0’ shall be left from the property line of the adjacent  plot while constructing the basement. In all such cases, foundations of external walls shall be designed and constructed cantilevered.


(k)    All necessary precautionary measures shall be taken during construction of basement for safety of adjacent structures. In case of damage to the adjacent property, the owner of the plot and supervising engineer/architect shall be jointly and severally responsible for such damages. CDA in no way shall be held responsible for such damages.


(l)    If services, such as bath and kitchen etc, are provided in the basement, the owner must provide mechanical disposal from the basement to the upper level in all cases (irrespective of levels of CDA mains), so that there is no possibility of back flow in case of corkage of the sewer lines. CDA will not be responsible for the consequences in any case. Separate arrangements shall be made for the disposal of storm water drainage to the CDA mains from the basement.


(m)    In no case the basement will be allowed in the minimum prescribed set backs. Only a bridge of maximum 12′ – 0″ width shall be allowed to land the building with approach road provided the front/side yard of plot is in natural depression. The space under the bridge shall not be used for any habitable purpose in any case.


(n)    In all basements, minimum one emergency exit of size 3 ft: x 3 ft: shall be provided with outside opening.


  1. Distance between the buildings.

When two separate buildings on a same plot are located parallel to each other the minimum distance between the buildings shall be as under;

(a)        Buildings overlapping each other upto 12′-0″ ——-6′-0″. (relaxable upto 8′-0″ with fine as prescribed in Schedule “E”).

(b)        Buildings overlapping each other more than 12’ – 0” ——– 10” – 0” (relax able upto 8’ – 0” with fine as prescribed in Schedule “E”.


  1. Servant rooms/Servant quarters.

Minimum one servant room with a bathroom (w.c and shower shall be provided in each house on plots measuring 501 sq yards and above.


  1. Structures on roofs.

Only the following structures of permanent nature may be constructed on roofs provided they are designed and built to the satisfaction of the Authority:-

(a)        Chimneys, air conditioning and other ducts, vents and wind catchers.


(b)        Water tanks suitably designed or not visible from the road.


(c)        Radio and television installations.


(d)        Parapet walls of 3 feet high. In case of accessible roof, the provision of railing/parapet wall would be compulsory.


(e)        Stair tower as given in the schedule ‘B’.


(f)         Lift rooms. skylights, etc.


(g)        Other structure which the Authority may, by general or specific order, permit.


12        Set backs, (Compulsory open spaces).

12.0     Minimum compulsory open space shall be left around the buildings as set back as per schedule “A”, and no building or structure shall be allowed in set backs except:-


12.01   Bay windows

(a)    Bay window projecting upto 25% in width of the set back would be allowed subject to a maximum projection upto 2′-6″. The area of bay windows shall be counted into F.A.R.

(b)    Not more than two bay windows shall be allowed in any set back.


12.02   Open stairs.

Open stairs in set back (spiral or straight) would be allowed provided:

(a)    These fall in the rear set backs having a width of 10′-0″ and above, and in side set backs facing towards road/open space in case of corner plots.


(b)    The width of spiral stairs shall not be less than 5′-0″ and not more than 6′-0″ and in the case of straight stairs, not more than 3′-3″ and not less than 2′-9″ (including railing).


(c )    These stairs are provided for servant room located at first floor.


(d)    In no case, open stairs in the set back shall be used as main stairs for approach to first floor.


(e)    A suitable visual  barrier of a height not more than 6’-0” shall be provided alongside the stairs and in front of servant rooms for the privacy of neighboring houses.


12.03      Pergolas.Pergolas of reasonable size, as approved on the plans,  would be allowed, but its size shall not exceed:

For terraced houses:                 60 sft.

For detached houses:                120 sft.

25% area of the pergolas shall count towards FAR.


12.04      Other structures. Decorative walls and landscape elements not higher than compound wall and as approved on the building plan.


12.05  Roof/ chajja projections.a) Projections as under will be allowed in the set backs:


Floor Maximum permissible width of projections Excess area over and above permissible limits relax able with fine
Ground floor3’ – 0”4’ – 0” (width)
First floor5’ – 0”5’ – 6”
Stair towers2’ – 0”3’ – 0”
  1. b) The projections upto above mentioned limits will not count towards Far.c) In no case the projection shall cover more than half of the width of set back at any floor.d) Projection exceeding relax able limits in set backs will be dismantled.


12.06  Porches.Porches shall be allowed in residential buildings with following conditions:


  1. a)      The total number of car porches, allowed on a plot, shall correspond to the number of
    living units permissible on the plot.


  1. b)    Maximum area of car porches:


  Maximum prescribed set back Maximum covered area Relaxable with fine
i) Single porch
Detached housesUpto 10′ – 0″ More than 10′-0″

200 Sq.ft

300 Sq.ft

250 Sq. ft.

350 Sq.ft

Terraced houses5′ to 10′180 Sq. ft (total) (80 Sft in set backExcess area will be counted into FAR
ii) Combined Double Porach (in set back)upto 10′-0″ More than 10′-0″

300 sq.ft

400 Sq.ft

350 sq.ft

450 sq.ft.

iii)  Two disconnected porches in same set back shall be allowed in corner plots (towards corner side)  provided the minimum distance between the two porches is 10’ – 0”. The total area of porches in same set back shall not exceed:
upto 10′300 sq.ft350 sq.ft
More than 10′400 sq.ft450 sq.ft
  1. iv)      The area of porch within  the above mentioned permissible limits shall not count towards FAR.


  1. v)       Minimum width of car porch shall be 9’-0”.


  1. vi)      Roofs of car porches shall not be used as terraces, but there will be no restriction on height of porches.


vii)      Projections etc. shall be counted into Ares of porch and the length or width of the porch shall not exceed 26’-0” for single porch and 30’-0” for double porch, including projections, in detached houses.


viii)     Roof of porch in the set back can be of pergola type, however, there shall be no relaxation in area of porch due to the type of roof.


  1. ix)      The porches shall remain open at least from one side in terraced houses and two sides in detached houses and shall not be converted into garages.


  1. x)       Entry level at gate shall not be more than 1’-6” above the road level.


  1. xi)      Drainage from the roof of the porch shall be from within the plot.


12.07      Relaxations in set backs.


  1. a)            The set backs of sides facing towards open spaces other than roads, street, lanes, mullahs etc., of a plot may be relaxed upto 50 per cent provided Far is not exceeded.


  1. b)            The set backs of a plot of irregular shape, odd dimensions etc., may be fixed to give suitable allowance in permissible coverage.


  1. c)           In addition to above following relaxations would be allowed in set backs in all cases.


  Sides Rear & Front
Without fine0 to 5%0 to 10%
With fine5 to 10%10 to 20%

However for terraced houses where set backs are 8’ – 0” or less a relaxation upto 10% only would be allowed with fine.


  1. d)            Any excess construction in set backs beyond the above  limits will be demolished.


12.08      Balconies.

Balconies as approved on the plans  may project upto 3’-0” width in set backs which are 10’-0”  and more and the distance between the buildings on the two adjacent plots is 15’ – 0’ or more.


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