BUILDING REGULATIONS AND MINIMUM - Leading Construction and Building Group

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Plumbing specifications and regulations are probably the most complex and certainly contain volumes of information. Under this section we have included regulations of a general nature. The SABS 0400 – 1990 document is comprehensive and a copy is essential for those who require more detail on specifications and building regulations. It is wise to always check specifications with local authorities before designing and certainly before construction. Some regulations vary from authority to authority.

Extract from a bank’s minimum requirements

Gutters and downpipes
Gutters, downpipes and rainwater goods shall comply with SABS specifications and fixed in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.

All rainwater to be discharged away from the walls below the DPC level.

Where gutters and downpipes are omitted, a concrete apron of at least 1 metre wide (this is to be approved on site) must be cast around the buildings to discharge water away from the buildings.

Valleys, box gutters and soakers shall be of an approved material, size and design and fixed in accordance with the SABS specifications.

Flashing shall be an approved and of durable material and fixed in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.

Water supply
The water supply system shall be in accordance with the Local Authority requirements.

At least one stand pipe shall be erected in a suitable position and all materials and fittings used shall comply with SABS 509.

Where water is not available from the local authority, water from a borehole for domestic use must meet with the necessary health requirements.

Borehole water for domestic use shall provide a yield of at least 1500 litres per hour. A valid test certificate of the water yield must be furnished.

All drainage work to buildings shall be carried out by a registered plumber and drains shall be accurately laid to lines and gradients shown on the drainage drawings as approved by the local authority.

All drains shall be tested and passed in accordance with the National Building Regulations and the deemed-to-satisfy rules of part of SABS 0400, before the property may be occupied and the drains put into use.

Stormwater drainage and seepage water control
Stormwater shall be discharged away from the buildings by means of precast concrete stormwater channels, surface or underground drains.

Adequate precautions shall be taken to drain surface and seepage water away from buildings.

The necessary precautions are also to be taken to prevent flooding and damage of buildings in terms of the local authority and the bank’s requirements.

The bank reserves the right to call for stormwater drainage plans designed by a professional engineer and such work is to be carried out in strict accordance with the professional engineer’s specifications.

Septic and conservancy tanks
Septic and conservancy tanks shall be designed and constructed in accordance with deemed-to-satisfy rules of part P of SABS 0400.

French drains and soakage pits
Any french drain to be used on a site to receive effluent shall be designed and constructed in accordance with deemed-to-satisfy rules of part P of SABS 0400.

Drainage clearance certificate
The bank may request that a drainage clearance certificate be furnished for any type of drain.

Extract from SABS 0400-1990
Plumbing installation drawings and particulars
Where such details on more than one floor of any building are identical, they may be indicated on the drawings of one such floor only; provided that where such details are so indicated, the drawings of other floors concerned shall be suitably annotated to indicate where such details may be found.

Any drawing of a fire installation shall contain as many plans, sections and elevations as may be necessary to show, where relevant, the following:
  • the location and size of any existing or proposed communication pipe serving or intending to serve any building or site;
  • the location of any pipe, the size of such pipe and the material of which it is manufactured;
  • the location and capacity of any storage tank;
  • the location of any overflow;
  • the location of any pump; and
  • the pressure for which the installation has been designed.

Any drawing of a drainage installation shall contain as many plans, sections and elevations as may be necessary to show, where relevant, the following:
  • the location, size and gradient of any drain and any connection point to such drain, in relation to a datum established on the site and the level of the ground relative thereto;
  • the location of any point of access to the interior of the drain;
  • the location of any trapped gully;
  • the location and details of any septic tank, conservancy tank, private sewage treatment plant or sewage pump;
  • the location of any percolation test hole excavated on the site and of any french drain;
  • the location and arrangement of any sanitary fixture served by the drainage installation;
  • the location and size of any soil pipe, waste pipe and ventilating pipe or device;

Control of plumber and plumbing work
No person shall perform the trade of plumbing as contemplated in government notice no. r1875 of 31 august 1979 unless he is a trained plumber or works under the adequate control of a trained plumber or approved competent person.

Where any person who is not a trained plumber has been practicing the trade of plumbing and was required in terms of any local authority by-law to register with it before so practicing in its area of jurisdiction, he may, if he is registered, continue in its area or the area of any other local authority if such registration is acceptable to such other local authority.

No local authority shall, for the purposes of these regulations, register any person to practice the trade of plumbing after the coming into operation of the Act.

Any person not being a trained plumber or not being a person contemplated in subregulation (2), who practices the trade of plumbing shall be guilty of an offence.

Any trained plumber who causes or permits any person who is not a trained plumber or not a person contemplated in subregulation (2), to practice the trade of plumbing without adequately controlling the work done by such person, shall be guilty of an offence.

Sanitary facilities
No owner or person shall commence or continue the erection or demolition of any building unless approved sanitary facilities for all personnel employed on or in connection with such work have been provided or are available on the site or, with the permission of the local authority, at some other place; provided that where such facilities have not been so provided the local authority may order the cessation of such work until the required facilities have been provided, and, should such order not be complied with, the local authority may install such facilities and recover the costs of such installation from the owner of the site.

Any owner or person who contravenes any provision of this regulation, or fails to comply with an order served on him in terms thereof, shall be guilty of an offence.

Sanitary facilities shall be so sited as not to be offensive and shall at all times be maintained in a clean and hygienic condition, and shall, unless they are of a permanent nature, be removed by such owner or person immediately until such building work has been completed.

Sanitary facilities shall be provided at the rate of not less than one sanitary facility for every thirty (or part of that number) of the personnel concerned.

Provision of sanitary fixtures
The number of sanitary fixtures to be provided in any building shall be based on the population for which such building is designed, provided that:
  • where any particular occupancy, separate sanitary facilities are provided for each sex, the number of sanitary fixtures installed for them shall be based on the population of that particular sex for which such facilities are intended, and if the number of persons of each sex cannot be determined it shall be assumed that they are in equal proportions;
  • where fixtures are to be situated in separate groups, the numbers of fixtures in any group shall be based on the calculation of that portion of the total population for which the group is intended;
  • any building for which the population cannot be determined shall, where such building contains one or more habitable rooms, be provided with at least 1 wc pan and 1 washbasin.

The minimum number of sanitary fittings to be provided in any building shall:
  • be situated in places which are convenient of access; and
  • where necessary shall be designated for the use of males or females or both; provided that any room containing fixtures designated for the use of both sexes shall be capable of being locked from inside.

Stormwater disposal
Any means of stormwater disposal on any site shall include:
  • In the case of any building on such site, roof valleys and gutters and downpipes or, where gutters and downpipes have not been provided, other means of ensuring that stormwater from any roof is controlled and will flow away from such building; and
  • Any surface stormwater drains, channels or below- ground stormwater drains that may be necessary to convey stormwater away from such site or from one part to another part of such site.

Access to Stormwater drains
On any stormwater drain ready means of access shall be installed at such intervals that no part of such drain, measured along the line of such drain, is more than 40m from such means of access.

Connection to stormwater sewer
Where any stormwater sewer is available in any street or servitude abutting any site to be provided with stormwater drainage, the owner of such site shall, if so required by the local authority, at his own cost, install one or more stormwater drains to be connected by the local authority to such stormwater sewer.

Use of street surface drainage system
Where the local authority considers the capacity of any street surface drainage system to be adequate to accept the discharge of stormwater from any site, it may permit such stormwater to be so discharged; provided that the owner of such site shall, where so required by the local authority, at his own cost provide one or more conduits to convey such stormwater to such street drainage system.


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