LDA Building Regulations to Promote High-Rise Buildings

With an estimated population of more than 224 million people, Pakistan is the fifth most populous country in the world. Although the majority (141.96 million i.e. 61 percent) of the population lives in rural areas, it is important to note that, over the past decade, the rural population is in a decline while the urban population is increasing. This rural flight is putting pressure on urban centres, and city administrations are revising construction laws to promote vertical development.

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The News recently reported that the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) recently revised its construction and zoning regulations in favour of high-rise buildings. According to the newspaper excerpt, the new LDA building laws would stimulate the development of high structures in order to halt the city’s horizontal expansion, which poses a direct threat to the future of farming and agricultural land.

The planned new construction legislation in Lahore by LDA (the principal public authority in charge of all planning and development activity in the city) is also intended to benefit the construction sector, particularly small builders, by lowering overall construction costs. The approval for multi-story projects in Lahore will also be simplified and shortened.


Graana.com, Pakistan’s smartest property portal, takes a look at the LDA Buildings and Zone Regulations 2019.


Changes in LDA Bylaws


 Logo of Lahore Development Authority; the authority that oversees Lahore building regulations


The new LDA building laws, according to the article, will make things easier for builders and small contractors to obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Lahore Development Authority for the development of a structure.

The LDA has reportedly set up specific counters for various government departments at its One-Window Cell to ease the process of acquiring a NOC for high-rise construction. This entirely automated system, which also allows applicants to monitor the status of your application online, is among the biggest examples of the LDA turning digital to assist Lahore residents.


Timings for One Window Cell

Saturday to Thursday: 09:00 AM to 01:00 PM

Friday: 09:00 A.M – 12:00 Noon 

(It is closed on Sundays)


Here are a few additional things concerning the city’s new LDA construction guidelines, for both residential and commercial skyscrapers.


LDA Building Regulations and Lahore’s Housing Shortage


Drone shot of Lahore showing how the city bylaws have retarded vertical development


Given the overwhelming demand for housing in Lahore and the scarcity of available land, major steps are being taken to solve the underlying concerns. The LDA has been relaxing its regulations on high-rise constructions in the city in various ways over the last few years.

The vertical rise of the city, together with the construction of sustainable infrastructure, is what the competent authorities should be focused on in order to manage the continually expanding urban population in a sustainable manner. According to a recent development, LDA has suggested a draft based on new building standards, which include “free height” authorisation.

Once adopted, the new ordinances will allow property developers to build multi-storey buildings up to 300 feet tall on 60-foot (or wider) public streets. These regulations will not only support the high-rise culture in Lahore, but will also assist real estate construction and development firms in strengthening their operations, as majority of them propose and promote multi-storey complexes and buildings as their flagship projects.


LDA’s Move Towards Eco-Friendly Construction

Under the updated LDA building requirements, all multi-storey buildings will be required to install treatment plants and rainwater gathering facilities to help store water. Building owners will be urged to install rooftop solar array installations to save electricity.

Only property owners that plant trees surrounding their buildings and dwellings will be issued completion certificates by LDA, to help the city become more environmentally friendly. Rooftop gardening will be encouraged as well.


Aiding the Construction Sector


construction labour working on-site


According to reports, the Metropolitan Corporation Lahore (MCL) has revised its building ordinances to allow the construction sector to benefit from the government’s COVID-19 assistance package.

The minimum height regulation of a multi-storey mixed-use building has been raised from 38 feet to 45 feet. Furthermore, obtaining a NOC for the design, structure, and architectural calculations of an apartment investment in Lahore has become mandatory.

The amendments made by MCL in its Construction Bylaws 2017 for the construction of high-rise buildings in the city are detailed below.


Building Regulations for Residential Buildings
AreaMaximum Height (ft.)
10 marla – 1 kanal48
1 kanal – 2 kanal90
2 kanal – 4 kanal120
4 kanal – 8 kanal200
More than 8 kanal300


Building Regulations for Commercial Buildings
AreaMaximum Height (ft.)
10 marla – 1 kanal50
1 kanal – 2 kanal90
2 kanal – 4 kanal120
4 kanal – 8 kanal200
More than 8 kanal300


Safety Measures

All high-rises buildings in Lahore must have enough firefighting equipment and processes in place, according to the safety clause in the law.


LDA Building Regulations to Improve Parking Issues

According to the updated LDA construction code, parking space for households and buildings with areas of less than 10 marlas is optional. The same will apply to industrial structures. Commercial buildings of less than two kanals are not permitted to use the space in front for parking.

The Lahore Development Authority has also mandated that hospitals provide parking within a 100-metre radius. It will help to minimise the strain and road conditions for residents of nearby buildings.


Promoting Small Businesses

Businesses would be encouraged to establish kiosks at commercial properties in order to boost small enterprises.

Corner businesses will be permitted on the ground floor of apartment complexes. According to the news report, the size of these establishments cannot exceed 450 square feet. These can include grocery stores, butcher shops, and barber shops, to name a few.


LDA Building Regulations for Marquees


Marriage ceremony taking place in a tent to represent the changes in LDA building regulations for marquees


According to the Metropolitan Corporation Lahore’s updated construction ordinances, a marquee can only be built on an area of at least 4 kanal. According to the study, current marquees that do not have a parking space can be approved after making a payment of PKR 350,000 per car.

Furthermore, in accordance with timelines approved by the Lahore Development Body, the authority would now grant construction plan approvals within 30 days.


LDA Building Regulations to Promote Vertical Development

The minimum land size for residential properties has been lowered from four kanal to ten marla. This new LDA construction policy will encourage smaller developers to build more residential buildings.

The maximum height of such residential skyscrapers has also been raised to 120 feet. The previous maximum was set around 80 feet.

The maximum height of structures built on plots of eight kanal or more has been raised to 160 feet. Industrial structures, on the other hand, can be 90 feet tall.

The LDA has also reviewed Lahore’s height zone and height limits. This means that some sites that were previously classified as low height zones are now classified as greater height zones. Certain infrastructure needs must, of course, be addressed.

Depending on the land size and governmental permits, commercial buildings can be built to any height.


Master Plan 2040

According to another local English daily, the authority has organised a ten-member panel to hire a consultant for the LDA Master Plan 2040, led by Chief Metropolitan Planner Syed Nadeem Akhter Zaidi.

Furthermore, LDA is said to have given authority to the Town Administration to designate places for graveyards. Furthermore, the district mosque committee will now provide a no-objection certificate to allocate plots for mosques in specific locations.

To improve openness in the Lahore Development Authority, open tendering for public interest spaces in LDA housing plans would be held.

To read more on the latest developments regarding real estate, visit Graana’s blog.

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