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Chinese Building Code

     Chapter 1
     Chapter 2
     Chapter 3
     Chapter 4

National Building Guidelines

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China Building Code

Chapter one General

Item 101. This building code is to guarantee the quality of residential building’s design and basically make it suitable, safety, clear and economical.

Item 102. This building code is suitable for new-built, rebuilt and expanded residential buildings with thirty stories or less.

Item 103. Country’s corresponding policies and national or local index of residential building’s apartment area should limit residential building design.

Item 104. Residential building design should fit for the requirements of city planning and residential area planning. It should keep harmony with surroundings.

Item 105. Residential building design should mainly consider the recent use and can consider something for the future if possible.

Item 106. The classification of residential building’s stories should fit for the followings:

Low-rise 1-3

Multi-rise 4-6

Middle high 7-9

High-rise 10-30

Item 107. Except for this building code, residential building design should also be limited by China’s current policies and requirements.

Chapter two Indoor design

Section one model design

Item 211. Use basic models to design residential buildings. An apartment should be only for one family and have the bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and store space.

Item 212. The residential building models are classified as small, middle, large ones. Each one has a lower-limit apartment index. 18m2 is for small ones. 30m2 is for middle ones and 45m2 for large ones.

Section two. Bedroom, living room and corridor

Item 221. it is better not to connect each bedroom in one apartment. The bedroom area index is: bedrooms for double persons, 9m2; bedrooms for single person, 5m2. If the bedroom also acts as living room, it should be larger than 12m2.

Item 222. Bedrooms should have daylighting and natural ventilation. When the bedroom is lighted through corridor, it should have good ventilation, safety and privacy.

Item 223. Living rooms should have daylighting and natural ventilation. Its area may not be smaller than 10m2.

Item 224. Corridors could have indirect lighting. Its area may not be smaller than 5m2.

Section three. Kitchen

Item 231. The kitchen’s area should fit for the followings:

If the fuel is pipe gas or liquefied petroleum gas, kitchen’s area should be larger than 3.5 m2.

If the fuel is improved coal, kitchen’s area should be larger than 4 m2.

If the fuel is raw coal, kitchen’s area should be larger than 4.5 m2.

If the fuel is firewood, kitchen’s area should be larger than 5.5 m2.

Item 232. Kitchens should have cooking range, washing pool, chopping board place and fixed built-in closet. If not, there should have enough space for these things.

Item 233. If all equipment is put one side, the clear width of the kitchen should be more than 1.4m. If on both side, the corresponding value should be larger than 1.7m.

Item 234. The kitchen having a small area and poor ventilation much use electricity or pipe gas and set up mechanical smoke exhaust equipment. The cooking range should have fire fight measures and its depth must larger than 0.5m.

Item 235. Kitchens should have outfacing or corridor-facing windows.

Item 236. For the kitchen using firewood or processed coal as fuels, smoke windows and chimney should be set up to avoid smoke to return and mix up.

Item 237. The kitchen should have a pre-exhaust position in the upper part of the cooking range. Kitchens in cold areas should have ventilating duct or other ventilating measures.

Section 4. Bathroom and Toilet

Item 241. Each apartment should have bathroom. The low-limit area indexes for bathrooms or toilets are as followings:

Bathroom with a outside-opened door, 1.8m2

Bathroom with a inside-opened door, 2.0m2

Toilet with a outside-opened door, 1.1m2

Toilet with a inside-opened door, 1.3m2

Item 242. When the washer is put into bathroom, the area should be increased correspondingly while water supply, drain instruments and three-foot plug-ins should be set up as well.

Item 243. It would be better not to put the bathroom or toilet on the bedroom, living room and kitchen. If it is necessary to do that, the drainpipe and the water saver can not be naked indoors. Also it should have assured measures for waterproof, sound-insulation and easy to repair.

Item. 244. The bathroom and toilet without ventilating windows much have ventilating duct. The air inlet and exhaust should be well designed.

Section 5. Area computation

Item 251. Residential building designers should compute the average apartment area and used area factor. They should be computed as followings:

    1. The average apartment area = total building area(m2)/ number of apartments
    2. Used area factor = total used area (m2) / total building area (m2)

Item 252. The used area should be computed in the following way:

    1. The used area indoors includes bedroom, living room, transition, corridor, kitchen, bathroom, toilet, store space and closet.
    2. For the apartment that has more than one story, all the areas of its indoor stairs should be added into the used area.
    3. The chimney, ventilating duct and pipe that are not included in the construction area should be included in the used area.
    4. The thickness of wall’s decoration should be included in the used area.

Section 6. Story height and clear height

Item 261. The residential building’s story height should equal to or less than 2.80m.

Item 262. The clear heights for bedroom and living room should not less than 2.4m. the clear height for some specific area should not less than 2m.

Item 263. If the bedroom has a slope roof, the clear height for half of this bedroom cannot less than 2.1m. It is better for the rest space to have a lowest clear height larger than 1.7m.

Item 264. Kitchen’s clear height can not be lower than 2.2m. Bathroom, toilet and store space’s clear height can not be lower than 2m.

Item 265. For the squat-type toilet or bathroom, The distance from the position where person squats to the upper water-saver can not be less than 1.9m.

Section 7. Balcony

Item 272. The design for balcony railing should prevent the children from climbing. The clearance among the vertical rods of the railing should not be more than 0.11 m. At the sector for setting the flowerpot, the measures to prevent dropping should be adopted.

Item 273. For the low rise (1-3 stories) and multi-rise (4-6 stories) buildings, the height of the balcony railing should not be less than 1.05 m; for the mid-high rise (7-9), high rise (10-30) buildings, and the buildings in the cold area, the balcony might use the board.

Item 274. When the balcony is set for the mid-high rise or high rise buildings, or when the balcony is set above the entrance and exit, the drainage should be organized.

Item 275. The equipment for drying clothes should be installed. For the balcony at the top floor, the rain cover should be installed. When the balcony connects the units, the dividing board should be installed.

Section 8. Corridor, store space and indoor stairs

Item 281. It is better that the clear width of the corridor to bedroom or living room is larger than 1m, the corresponding value to auxiliary rooms is larger than 0.8m. The size of turning corridor should be suitable for moving furniture.

Item 282. Each apartment should have store space. The clear height of hung closet can not be less than 0.35m. It is better that the clear depth of the closet is larger than 0.45m. For closets near to out wall, bathroom or toilet, the measures of moisture-proof and condensation-proof should be used inside.

Item 283. The stair clear width for indoor stairs can not be less than 0.75m when one side of the stairs is empty, can not be less than 0.9m when walls are on both sides.

Item 284. Indoor stairs’ forward width can not be less than 0.33m. Its height can not be less than 0.20m. The clear width of fan-shape stairs at 0.25m from inside can not be less than 0.22m.

Section 9. Door and Window

Item 291. The protection measures should be used for the outside window when the distance from windowsill surface to the floor is less than 0.8m, except for the room has balcony.

Item 292. It is better that protection measures are used for the outside windows of first floor, balcony windows, corridor-facing windows when their height are less than 2m.

Item 293. Corridor-facing windows should avoid visual disturbance. Open-to-corridor windows can not impede transportation.

Item 294. Doors should be inside opened. It is better to adopt protection measures in construction for doors.

Item 295. The minimum sizes for doorways indoors should conform to the followings:


Width of the doorway (m)

Height of the doorway (m)

Building’s outdoor



Apartment’s outdoor



Living room’ door



Bedroom’s door



Kitchen’s door



Bathroom’ door



Balcony’s door



Note: When the bathroom or toilet uses steel-door or ? , its doorway’ width can be 0.5m.


Chapter 3 Public Sectors

3.1 Stairs and Elevators

3.1.1 The natural lighting and ventilation should be set among the stairs. However, when they are limited by the plane layout, the artificial lighting, ventilation and smoke evacuation should be used.

3.1.2 The clear width of the flight should not be less than 1.10 m. For the unit building with no more than 6 stories, the clear width of the flight with railing setting on one side should not be less than 1 m.


3.1.3 The width of the stair step should not be less than 0.25 m; the height of the stair step should not be more than 0.18 m; and the height of the handrail should not be less than 0.5 m.

3.1.4 The clear width of the stair landing should not be less than the clear width of the stair, and should not be less than 1.10 m. The vertical height from the bottom margin of the landing structure to the pedestrian passageway should not be less than 2 m.

3.1.5 The clearance among the vertical rods of the stair railing should not be more than 0.11 m. When the width of (?) is more than 0.2 m, some measures that can prevent the children from climbing must be adopted.

3.1.6 When the building has more than 7 stories, or the height, which is from the door floor of the residents living at the highest level to the first floor, is more than 16 m, the elevators should be installed.


3.1.7 For the high-rise building, which has more than 12 stories, there should be more than 2 elevators.

3.1.8 For the building with a tower or corridor style, the installment of the elevators might be centralized. For the building with a unit style, if there is only one elevator for each unit, the units should be connected at some floors.

3.1.9 The depth of the elevator lobby should not be less than the depth of the largest elevator car among all of the installed elevators.

3.2 Corridor, Entrance and Exit

3.2.1 The height of the railing for the side corridor, inner courtyard and (?) should not be less than 1.05 m, and no less than 1.10 m for the mid-high or high-rise building. The design for the railing should prevent the children from climbing. The clearance among the vertical rods should be less than 0.11 m.

3.2.2 For the high-rise building, the side corridor used as the main passageway might be sealed, and the open-shoulder window fan or the ventilation and smoke evacuation should be used.

3.2.3 For the building in the cold area, the storm porch cold or the out-opening door preserving heat should be installed, and at the entrance or exit facing to the north, west directions, the out-opening door or other cold proof facilities should be used.

3.2.4 When the entrance and exit of the building are under the balcony or the side corridor, some safety measures should be adopted.

3.2.5 At the entrance and exit of the building, the remarkable sign should be set up; the mailbox should be installed for every household; and for the high-rise building, the duty room might be installed.

3.3 Garbage Chute

3.3.1 For the building with more than 4 stories, the garbage chute should be installed.

3.3.2 The garbage chute should not be arranged close to the bedroom and living room. If we had to do so, some measures, such as damp prevention, dust prevention and sound insulation should be adopted.

3.3.3 The material used for the garbage chute should resist corrosion, prevent damp, be non-combustible, and the inner surface must be smooth. The projection or the pipeline is not allowed beneath the garbage door at the top floor.

3.3.4 The material used for the garbage hopper might be corrosion resisting. The hopper door should be tightly closed automatically. The garbage exit might be installed for every floor. For the high-rise building, the trash closet might be installed.

3.3.5 On the top of the garbage chute, the exhaust pipe should extend to the outdoors. At the bottom, the sealed garbage can or closet should be installed. At the bottom of the high-rise building, the garbage room should be installed.

3.4 Basement and Semi-basement

3.4.1 The residence should not be installed in the basement. When it is installed in the semi-basement, some measures, such as lighting, ventilation, damp prevention, and drainage must be adopted.

3.4.2 When the basement and semi-basement are used for the storage room, bicycle garage, and equipment room, the clear height should not be less than 2 m.

3.4.3 For the basement and semi-basement, some measures, such as water prevention, damp prevention, and ventilation, might be adopted. For the light shaft, the facilities, which can prevent the rainwater entering and can drain the water, should be installed.

3.5 Public Annex

3.5.1 In the residential building, it is forbidden to install a store, workshop, and warehouse that keep and use the chemical material which are inflammable and explosive. Furthermore, the store and workshop that make noise and vibration, and pollute the environment are not allowed.

3.5.2 In the residential building, the equipment room, such as boiler room, transformer room, should not be installed. However, if it is limited by the plane layout, the regulations for fire prevention and other related discipline should be satisfied.

3.5.3 In the residential building, when installing a restaurant or a dining room, the chimney in the kitchen should be higher than the residential floor. Furthermore the indoor air conditioner, refrigerator, and processing machine should adopt the damp and noise elimination methods.

3.5.4 The entrance and exit for the residence and public annex should be separated.

Chapter 4 Indoor Environment and Building Equipment

4.1 Indoor Environment

      1. For every residential unit, there should be at least one bedroom or living room that can obtain the sunshine. Exceptions due to the environmental limitations can be allowed.
      2. The ratio of the window to floor means that the window area of the room, which can obtain the sunshine directly, is divided by the floor area of the same room. The minimum ratios of window to floor should not be less than the values that are provided in Figure 4.1.2.

The Room Type

The Ratio of the Window to Floor

Bedroom, living room, and kitchen


Lavatory, bathroom and entrance hall




4.1.3 The residence should have good natural ventilation. In the areas of cold, warm, and hot weather, if the residence faces to only one direction, the artificial ventilation must be used.

4.1.4 The elevator hoistway might not be installed close to the bedroom or living room; the elevator machine room might be installed neither above the bedroom and living room, nor close to them. However, if it had be installed due to the plane layout, some measures, such as sound insulation and shock absorption, should be adopted.

4.1.5 In the areas of cold, warm, and hot weather, if the residence faces to the west, the sunshade method might be used for the exterior windows of the bedroom and living room.

4.2 Building Equipment

4.2.1 For the residence, the water supply and drainage system should be installed indoors.

4.2.2 In the areas of cold and cool weather, the central heating system should be adopted by the mid-high and high-rise buildings. The central heating system might be adopted by the low-rise building.

4.2.3 If the residence uses the coal or firewood as the main fuels for dispersed heating purpose, the chimney should be installed. If one chimney is used by several residents at the same floor or different floors, the measure that prevents smoke from leaking must be adopted.

4.2.4 There should be 2 sockets in the living room and bedroom individually, and one socket in the kitchen, bathroom, and entrance hall individually. The three-hole socket with single-phase must be used.

4.2.5 For the mid-high and high-rise buildings, the television cable should be buried in advance, and the junction box should also be pre-buried at every floor.

4.2.6 The television system using public antenna should be installed for the buildings, which have screening impacts on the television signal, have complex reflexive waves, or are hid by the higher buildings.

4.2.7 The electric meter and water meter should be installed for every unit. When using the coal gas, the gas meter should be installed.

Note: 1 When it is very strict, and no exception,

"must" and "forbid" are used.

2 When it is strict, and usually need to do so,

"should" and "should not" are used.

3 When it is suggested, and please do so if possible,

"might" and "might not" are used.

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Last modified on December 12, 2000 by
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