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Building Approvals Required Before Erecting Any Building

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Now that we assume, you have the drawing done by an architectural firm, quantities done by a quantity surveyor, electrical work done by an electrical-mechanical firm , and you want to hit the ground, and start your project but you are wondering what next for you?


Today we are going to look at what approvals are required, of course you have heard about county approvals?.

Every county in Kenya, is mandated to collect application fees and building approval fees from anybody who wants to put up a structure within its environ. That particular fee is broken down to various parts,

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  1. BUILDING APPROVAL FEE
    This fee is normally charged proportionate to the area of the structure you are putting up. For example, if you are putting up a school with a 10,000 sq meters you pay much more money than one who is putting up a home with 200 sq metres.
  2. STANDARD APPLICATION FEE
    This fee varies from County to County. Together with application fee you also pay for sign board, a sign board is a board that you are required to erect by law, that shows who your architect is, your contractor and who all the service providers are.
  3. INSPECTION FEE
    It’s foreseen that county inspectorate team will pass by your site, within the course of your construction to come and confirm that you actually putting up what they approved 😥.
  4. OCCUPATION CERTIFICATE FEE
    Occupation certificate is a document that you are given by county officials after you have completed your project, and this is to confirm that you have obeyed the building plan they gave you, and you have done a habitable building which is structurally sound. Nowadays the fee for this is paid at the beginning. The process of paying this fee is that you get an architect who will get the estimates from the county on your behalf digitally. In Nairobi for example, the estimates are in form of an invoice, where an architect scans your plan, and upload it to the website of Nairobi City Council, after a week or so, the invoice is generated and emailed to the architect. Your architect will ask you to pay and give him/her the receipt. The receipt is then uploaded again to the City Councils’ website. The drawings will go through various departments within City Council for them to make comments. N/B Only Use registered Architects because registration and practicing certificate number is required to access City Councils website.

But What Do You Require For Your Drawings To Be Approved?

  1. You need to pay the fees we have discussed above, which we can term as building approval fees.
  2. Survey plan. Normally this is acquired from Surveyors of Kenya offices or County Survey Office in your county.
  3. Current rates receipt if your property is on leasehold land.
    According to Architect Association of Kenya, these process will take about 1 to two months.
    You need to know that in Kenya, it is illegal to build any building without these approvals from your county government.

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