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Facts About GCR, FAR and Height of House

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Everyone has to follow the construction code while building a house. The concerned municipality formulates and implements its own criteria for the construction of the building. In case you don’t follow the required criteria, it is impossible to get the map pass or a building completion certificate.


While constructing the house, you should follow the proper criteria of Ground coverage ratio (GCR), floor area ratio (FAR) and height of the house. There are also various rules and regulations that an architect has to follow before designing the house. Let’s talk about what GCR, FAR and overall height are.

Ground Coverage Ratio (GCR)

GCR is the percentage of space left on your land to build a house. Generally, when building a house, GCR should be left at least 30%. Only 70 % of the area is suitable for building a house. However, in core urban areas, you can use up to 80% of total land. Also, in some places, you cannot build houses on more than 60% of the land. This is because GCR is determined differently depending on the place and land area.

In the area like New Road, Asan, Indrachowk and Thamel, you can get 100 percent land coverage. This is when you have to demolish an old house and build a new one. However, if you are planning to construct a new house in those areas, you have to leave 20 percent of the vacant land.

The GCR of a commercial or residential building also varies. When building a residential house on eight acres of land, you can use up to 70 percent of the land. However, if you have more than eight acres of land, you can only use 60 percent of the land.

Floor Area Ratio (FAR)

Floor area ratio is the measurement of a building’s floor area in relation to the size of the lot/parcel that the building is located on. It also varies from place to place. In most municipalities, the FAR has been fixed at 1.75. Depending on the place in Kathmandu, it has been fixed at 2.5, 3.5 and 4.5.

For example, if you are building a house in an area of ​​one thousand square feet, FAR will be 2.5. This means you can build a house of 1000 × 2.5 = 2500 square feet on the land. That is, a two-storey house of one thousand feet and a half-storey of five hundred feet can be made into a two and a half-storey house.

Overall Height

You can’t build a house as high as you want on your land. In Kathmandu, you can build a house up to 17 meters.  Other municipalities also have their own criteria. If you are planning to build higher than 17 m, you have to follow different criteria. The criteria can differ from the percentage of space you should leave to the design of the house.

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