Building regulations for housing quality in Europe

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientific


    The public responsibility for guaranteeing a minimum quality for houses is regulated in national sets of technical building regulations. Most West-European countries call their regulations `performance based¿ and the goals and major subjects are quite similar. A more detailed look at the formulation and content of the sets of requirements, however shows quite fundamental differences. Research into the differences in formulations is a first and important step towards better mutual understanding of national sets of building regulations which is essential to start a discussion of the possibilities of further harmonisation of the systems of the various countries. This paper presents the results and conclusions of a comparative study of the building regulations in Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. The systems and formulations of the requirements and the contents of some subjects of requirements for houses have been compared in detail: stairways and ramps, fire safety, noise, daylight, accessibility and dimensions of habitable space and habitable room. We concluded that the broad spectrum of different systems forms a major barrier for further harmonisation of building regulations in Europe and even so a barrier for the realisation of an internal European Market. This project has been built upon the work that has been carried out in the ENHR-working group on Housing Quality which was active in nineties, led by Professor Valerie Karn.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Title of host publicationENHR conference 2006: Housing in an expanding Europe. Theory, policy, implementation and participation
    EditorsB Cernic Mali,
    Place of PublicationLjubljana, Slovenia
    PublisherUrban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Publication series

    PublisherUrban planning institute of the republic of Slovenia


    • Conf.proc. > 3 pag

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