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General Design Process
Project Goals & Objectives
- Design Goals & Objectives
2. Basic Research on MAJOR PLATE NO. 1*
3. General Information of the Annual Design Theme
4. National Building Code of the Philippines
5. Batas Pambansa 344 – Accessibility Law
6. Fire Code of the Philippines
I. GENERAL TOWNHOUSE DESIGN INFORMATION

The term town home simply denoted exactly what it was - a home in town. The town home was generally owned by a
peer or member of the aristocracy, as an alternative residence to their country home, to be used when parliament was
in session. The original townhouse units were attached side-by-side in a row creating the illusion of one massive
building. Many have since been converted to tenements or rental apartments. Thanks to its urban roots, the design of
the townhouse remains distinct, being relatively narrow, tall and uniform. This configuration is also known as a "row
house." In recent years, the townhouse has evolved to represent non-uniform units in suburban areas that are designed
to provide the perception of a single-family home in spite of the product's inherent "attachment." Only a small minority
were detached. The units themselves have also grown in size. While the traditional townhouse apartment is defined as a
two bedroom unit with the living room in the front on the lower level, the kitchen in the back, and two bedrooms on the
front and back of the upper level with a single bathroom between, contemporary designs now include three and four
bedrooms, an equal number of bathrooms, and floor plans of great variety. Most modern townhomes also
accommodate a one or two car garage.
Many homeowners who wish to live near urban centers choose townhomes as a balance of affordability and privacy. A
typical single family home is larger and comes with a yard. In large cities these can be rare and expensive. Urban
condominiums are a popular option. But the owner of a condo only truly owns the space from the walls in.
A townhouse typically has a unique front and back entrance, is multiple stories, and has one or two shared walls.
Common in urban areas, townhomes vary widely by city and region. Whole blocks of row-houses are common in densely
populated cities, but townhouses can also be free standing

FIREWALL PROVISIONS (Highlighted and Annotated) FOR ALL RESIDENTIAL CLASSIFICATIONS under P.D. No. 1096, the
1977 NBCP in its 2004 Revised IRR

a. The following rules shall be observed in the determination of the Allowable Maximum Building Footprint (AMBF) for
buildings and related habitable structures. If the stated rules are compared with (1) Rule VIII Table VIII.1.- Reference
Table on Percentage of Site Occupancy and Maximum Allowable Construction Area (MACA); (2) Rule VIII Tables VIII.2.
and VIII.3. (setbacks, yards and courts); or (3) with the applicable stipulations UNDER THIS RULE AND WITH THE
APPLICABLE STIPULATIONS OF THE FIRE CODE, THE MORE STRINGENT BUT APPLICABLE REGULATION OUT OF THE
AFOREMENTIONED RULES SHOULD BE OBSERVED;
b. If without a firewall, the footprint of a proposed building/structure shall be measured horizontally from the property
line to the outermost faces of the exterior walls of the building/structure; Provided, that the distance measured from
the property line shall conform with the applicable stipulations of this Rule and Rule VIII; The resultant area established
at grade level upon which the proposed building/structure may stand shall be the AMBF;
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c. Footprint Based on Firewall Provisions
i. If with a firewall on one (1) side, the footprint of a proposed building/structure shall be measured horizontally from
the property line with a firewall to the outermost faces of the opposite exterior walls of the building/structure;
PROVIDED, THAT THE APPLICABLE STIPULATIONS OF THE FIRE CODE ARE STRICTLY FOLLOWED;
ii. If with a firewall on two (2) sides or on one (1) side and the rear property line, the footprint of a proposed
building/structure shall be measured horizontally from the opposing property lines in case of a firewall on two (2) sides
or from the rear property line with a firewall to the outermost faces of the opposite exterior walls of the
building/structure; PROVIDED, THAT THE APPLICABLE STIPULATIONS OF THE FIRE CODE ARE STRICTLY FOLLOWED;
iii. ABSOLUTELY NO FIREWALLS ARE ALLOWED FOR A LOW DENSITY RESIDENTIAL (R-1) USES OR OCCUPANCIES; an
abutment of up to 3.20 meters from established grade level may however be permitted but SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE
OF SUPPORTING A CARPORT ROOF; PROVIDED FURTHER THAT SUCH ABUTMENT SHALL BE CONSTRUCTED OF
PERFORATED OR DECORATIVE CONCRETE BLOCKS ABOVE 1.50 METERS measured vertically from the established grade
level; such an ABUTMENT SHALL NOT BE LONGER THAN 7.00 METERS OR 50% OF THE SIDE PROPERTY LINE IN TOTAL
LENGTH, WHICHEVER IS SHORTER.
Annotation : If single-DEtached dwellings are missing (or have fully enclosed) their rear yards (or have encroached on
portions of either or both the side yards or either or both the rear and front yard or of all yards or of any part of the road
right-of-way (RROW) or of the mandated legal easement (LE), then there is non-compliance i.e. a violation of the R-1
dwelling concept defined in the NBCP and in HLURB issuances
iv. For medium density residential (R-2) uses or occupancies, a firewall can be erected on a MAXIMUM OF 80% OF THE
TOTAL LENGTH OF A SIDE PROPERTY LINE; provided that ONLY ONE (1) SIDE PROPERTY LINE IS USED FOR A FIREWALL in
the case of a R-2 structure; and PROVIDED FURTHER THAT THE APPLICABLE STIPULATIONS OF THE FIRE CODE ARE
STRICTLY FOLLOWED;

Annotation : If single-ATtached i.e. zero lot line dwellings or duplexes are missing (or have fully enclosed) their rear yards
(or have encroached on portions of either or both the rear and front yard and one (1) side yard or of any part of the
RROW or of the mandated LE, then there is non-compliance i.e. an apparent violation of the R-2 dwelling concept
defined in the NBCP and in HLURB issuances.
v. For high-density residential (R-3) uses or occupancies, two (2) types of firewall construction may be permitted:
(a) For a R-3 use or occupancy with a FIREWALL ON TWO (2) SIDES, A FIREWALL CAN BE ERECTED ON A MAXIMUM OF
85% OF THE TOTAL LENGTH OF EACH SIDE PROPERTY LINE; provided that all FIREWALL CONSTRUCTION SHALL NOT
EXCEED 65% OF THE TOTAL PERIMETER OF THE R-3 PROPERTY, i.e., total length of all property lines; provided that
firewalls in R-3 lots shall only be allowed for a maximum two (2) storey component structure; and PROVIDED FURTHER
THAT ALL THE APPLICABLE STIPULATIONS OF THE FIRE CODE ARE STRICTLY FOLLOWED; and
(b) For a R-3 use or occupancy with a FIREWALL ON ONE (1) SIDE PROPERTY LINE AND AT THE REAR PROPERTY LINE, A
FIREWALL CAN BE ERECTED ON A MAXIMUM OF 90% OF THE TOTAL LENGTH OF THE SIDE AND REAR PROPERTY LINES
and up to 100% in case the rear property line is only 4.00 meters wide; PROVIDED THAT ALL FIREWALL CONSTRUCTION
AT THE SIDE PROPERTY LINES SHALL NOT EXCEED 50% OF THE TOTAL PERIMETER OF THE R-3 PROPERTY, i.e., total length
of all property lines; provided that firewalls in R-3 lots shall only be allowed for a maximum two (2) storey structure but
not at the rear property line where the maximum allowed firewall height shall only be 3.20 meters measured vertically
from established grade; and PROVIDED FURTHER THAT ALL THE APPLICABLE STIPULATIONS OF THE FIRE CODE ARE
STRICTLY FOLLOWED.
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Annotation : If rowhouses are missing (or have fully enclosed) their rear yards (or have encroached on portions of either
or both the rear and front yard or of any part of the RROW or of the mandated LE, then there is non-compliance i.e. an
apparent violation of the R-3 dwelling concept defined in the NBCP and in HLURB issuances.
vi. For townhouse residential (R-4) uses or occupancies, FIREWALLS ON THE TWO (2) SIDES OF EACH TOWNHOUSE UNIT
MAY BE PERMITTED; THE R-4 FIREWALL CAN BE ERECTED ON A MAXIMUM OF 85% OF THE TOTAL LENGTH OF EACH SIDE
PROPERTY LINE; PROVIDED THAT ALL FIREWALL CONSTRUCTION SHALL NOT EXCEED 50% OF THE TOTAL PERIMETER OF
EACH R-4 PROPERTY, i.e., total length of all property lines; provided that firewalls in each R-4 use or occupancy shall be
allowed for a maximum three (3) storey structure; and PROVIDED FURTHER THAT ALL THE APPLICABLE STIPULATIONS OF
THE FIRE CODE ARE STRICTLY FOLLOWED;
Annotation : If townhouses are missing (or have fully enclosed) their rear yards (or have encroached on portions of
either or both the rear and front yard or of any part of the RROW or of the mandated LE, then there is non-compliance
i.e. an apparent violation of the R-4 dwelling concept defined in the NBCP and in HLURB issuances.
vii. For residential condominium (R-5) uses or occupancies, two (2) types of firewall construction may be permitted:
(a) For a R-5 use or occupancy with a FIREWALL ON TWO (2) SIDES, A FIREWALL CAN BE ERECTED ON A MAXIMUM OF
75% OF THE TOTAL LENGTH OF EACH SIDE PROPERTY LINE; PROVIDED THAT ALL FIREWALL CONSTRUCTION AT THE SIDE
PROPERTY LINES SHALL NOT EXCEED 50% OF THE TOTAL PERIMETER OF THE R-5 PROPERTY, i.e., total length of all
property lines; provided that side firewalls in R-5 uses or occupancies SHALL ONLY BE ALLOWED FOR A MAXIMUM EIGHT
(8) STOREY COMPONENT STRUCTURE, i.e., the PODIUM; and PROVIDED FURTHER THAT ALL THE APPLICABLE
STIPULATIONS OF THE FIRE CODE ARE STRICTLY FOLLOWED; and
Annotation : The 8 storeys represent a full 24.0 meter (m) tall podium component (which may contain above-grade
parking facilities). If a deck roof is introduced, a 1.0 meter tall masonry parapet wall or a metal railing or a combination
thereof i.e. at a maximum total height of 1.0 m above the finished floor of the deck level, could be added but that this
parapet wall shall NOT be mounted atop the firewall BUT instead set back at a distance of 0.75 m from the abutted
property line.
(b) For a R-5 use or occupancy with a FIREWALL ON ONE (1) SIDE AND AT THE REAR PROPERTY LINE, A FIREWALL CAN BE
ERECTED ON A MAXIMUM OF 65% OF THE TOTAL LENGTH OF THE SIDE PROPERTY LINE AND ON A MAXIMUM OF 50%
OF THE TOTAL LENGTH OF THE REAR PROPERTY LINE; PROVIDED THAT ALL FIREWALL CONSTRUCTION SHALL NOT
EXCEED 60% OF THE TOTAL PERIMETER OF THE R-5 PROPERTY, i.e., total length of all property lines; provided that the
side firewalls in R-5 uses or occupancies SHALL ONLY BE ALLOWED FOR A MAXIMUM EIGHT (8) STOREY COMPONENT
STRUCTURE AND THAT AT THE REAR PROPERTY LINE, THE MAXIMUM ALLOWED FIREWALL HEIGHT SHALL ONLY BE 14.00
METERS measured vertically from established grade; and PROVIDED FURTHER THAT ALL THE APPLICABLE STIPULATIONS
OF THE FIRE CODE ARE STRICTLY FOLLOWED.
Annotation : The 14.0 m represents a 4.67 storey podium component (which may contain above-grade parking facilities.
If a deck roof is introduced, a 1.0 meter tall masonry parapet wall or a metal railing or a combination thereof i.e. at a
maximum total height of 1.0 m above the finished floor of the deck level, could be added but that this parapet wall shall
NOT be mounted atop the firewall BUT instead set back at a distance of 0.75 m from the abutted property line.
Additionally, if residential condominium buildings are missing (or have fully enclosed) their rear yards (or have
encroached on portions of either or both the rear and front yard or of any part of the RROW or of the mandated LE, then
there is non-compliance i.e. an apparent violation of the R-5 dwelling concept defined in the NBCP and possibly in
HLURB issuances as well.
viii. ALL EXISTING OPENINGS ON ALL FIREWALLS SHALL BE SEALED COMPLETELY TO MAINTAIN THE FIRE INTEGRITY OF
ADJOINING BUILDINGS/STRUCTURES.
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ix. The provision of a FULLY FUNCTIONAL SPRINKLER SYSTEM AND THE INSTALLATION OF OTHER FIRE-RETARDANT OR
FIRE SUPPRESSION DEVICES in the case of commercial, institutional and industrial buildings/structures MAY ALLOW
FIREWALL CONSTRUCTION FOR UP TO 70% OF THE TOTAL PERIMETER OF THE PROPERTY LINES PROVIDED THAT THE
PRESCRIBED SETBACKS, YARDS AND COURTS FRONTING THE ROAD RIGHT-OF-WAY (RROW) ARE FIRST FULLY COMPLIED
WITH; AND PROVIDED FURTHER THAT ALL THE APPLICABLE STIPULATIONS OF THE FIRE CODE, particularly on the
NUMBER, TYPE AND LOCATIONS OF FIRE EXITS ARE STRICTLY FOLLOWED.

FIRE CODE

SINGLE AND TWO FAMILY DWELLINGS

A. General
This Section covers detached single and two family dwellings as specified
in Section 10.2.12.1 of this IRR. Where the occupancy is so limited, the only
requirements applicable are those in this Section.
B. Means of Escape Requirements
1. Number, Type and Access to Means of Escape

a. In any dwelling of more than two (2) rooms, every room used for sleeping, living or dining purposes shall have at least
two (2) means of escape at least one (1) of which shall be a door or stairway providing a means of unobstructed travel to
the outside of the building at street or ground level. No room or space shall be occupied for living or sleeping purposes
which is accessible only by a ladder, folding stairs or through a trap door.
b. Every sleeping room shall have at least one (1) outside window. Such window could be opened from the inside,
without the use of tools, keys or special effort or knowledge to provide a clear opening of not less than five hundred
sixty millimeters (560 mm) in width and eight hundred millimeters (800 mm) in height. The bottom of the opening shall
be not more than one hundred twenty two centimeters (122 cm) above the floor, except if the room has two (2) doors
providing separate ways of escape or has a door leading directly outside of the building.
c. No required path of travel to the outside from any room shall be through another room or apartment not under the
immediate control of the occupant of the first room or his family, not through a bathroom or other space subject to
locking.
d. No exit access from sleeping rooms to outside shall be less than ninety centimeters (90 cm) wide.
2. Doors
a. No doors in the path of travel providing means of escape shall be less than seventy centimeters (70 cm) of clear width.
b. Every closet door latch shall be such that children can open the door from inside the closet.
c. Every bathroom door lock shall be designed to permit the opening of the locked door from the outside in an
emergency.
3. Stairs
The width, risers, and treads of every stair shall comply at least with the minimum requirements for stairs, as described
in Section 10.2.5.4 of this IRR.
C. Interior Finish
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Interior finish of occupied spaces of new buildings shall be Class A, B or C as defined in Section 10.2.6.3 of this IRR and in
existing buildings the interior finish shall be Class A, B, C or D.
D. Building Service Equipment
No heating equipment such as stove or combustion heater shall be so located as to block escape in case of fire arising
from malfunctioning
RULE 10. FIRE SAFETY MEASURES
CHAPTER 1. COVERAGE
This Rule covers the Fire Safety Measure for Buildings, Structures and Facilities, Hazardous Materials and Wastes,
Hazardous Operations and Processes and Miscellaneous Hazardous Premises and/or conditions, that by its very nature
or relation to life, property and environment poses threat or danger.
CHAPTER 2. FIRE SAFETY IN BUILDINGS, STRUCTURES AND FACILITIES
DIVISION 1. SCOPE
A. This Chapter deals with life safety from fire and like emergencies in buildings, structures and facilities. It covers
construction, protection and occupancy features to minimize danger to life from fire, smoke, vapor and fumes before
buildings are vacated. It also discusses procedures and guidelines in fire drills required for all types of occupancies to
prevent panic in times of emergencies. It specifies the number, size, and arrangement of means of egress sufficient to
permit prompt and safe escape of occupants from buildings, or structures or facilities in case of fire or other conditions
dangerous to life and property.
B. Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to prohibit a better type of design, building construction, more exits, or
otherwise safer conditions than the requirements specified in this Chapter.
DIVISION 2. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
A. Every building or structure, new or old, designed for human occupancy shall be provided with exits sufficient to
permit the fast and safe escape of occupants in case of fire or other emergency. The design of exits and other fire safety
construction shall be such that reliance for safety to life in case of fire or other emergency will not depend solely on any
single fire safety construction. Additional safeguards shall be provided for life safety in case any single safeguard is
ineffective due to some human or mechanical failure.
B. Every building or structure shall be designed, constructed, equipped, maintained and operated to avoid danger to the
lives and ensure safety of its occupants from fire, smoke, vapor and fumes, during the period of escape from the building
or structure.

C. Every building or structure shall be provided with exits of kind, number, location and capacity appropriate to the
individual building or structure, with due regard to the character of the occupancy, the number of persons exposed, the
fire protection available and the height and type of construction of the building or structure, to afford all occupants
convenient facilities for escape.
D. Every exit of buildings or structures shall be arranged and maintained to provide free and unobstructed egress from
all parts thereof at all times. No lock or fastening device that would prevent escape from the inside of any building shall
be installed except in mental, penal, or correctional institutions where personnel are continually on duty and effective
provisions are made to evacuate occupants in case of fire or other emergencies.
E. Every exit shall be clearly visible. The route to the exit shall be conspicuously marked in such a manner that every
occupant of a building or structure will readily know the direction of escape. Each route of escape, in its entirety, shall be
so arranged or marked that the way to a place of safety outside is unmistakable. Any doorway not constituting an exit
shall be marked to minimize its possible confusion as an exit. Likewise, passage constituting a way to reach an exit shall
be marked to minimize confusion.
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F. All means of egress shall be provided with adequate and reliable illumination.
G. Fire alarm systems or devices shall be provided in every building or structure of such size, arrangement, or occupancy,
to provide adequate warning to occupants.
H. Every building or structure, section, or area thereof of such size, occupancy and arrangement such that the
reasonable safety of a number of occupants may be endangered by the blocking of any single means of egress due to
fire or smoke, shall have at least two means of egress remote from each other, so arranged as to minimize any
possibility that both may be blocked by any one fire or other emergency conditions.
I. Every vertical way of exit and other vertical openings between floors of a building shall be suitably enclosed or
protected to afford reasonable safety of occupants while using exits and to prevent spread of fire, smoke, or fumes
through vertical openings from floor to floor before occupants have entered exits.
J. Required Fire Safety Programs/Measures
1. In addition to the requirements, lessees or occupants of buildings, structures or facilities shall observe all pertinent
fire safety measures;
2. All occupants or lessees of buildings, structures or facilities shall organize themselves and develop and implement fire
safety programs to include among others, fire prevention in the premises, notification of the BFP on the existence of a
fire, evacuation of persons and initial firefighting. The building owner shall take the initiative of formulating the fire
safety program for his building and of organizing the occupants to implement the programs.
3. In buildings, leased to and used by one or several companies or persons, the management of each company or each
person shall be responsible for fire safety measures within the leased or occupied areas. The building owner shall be
responsible for the common areas in the building such as the means of egress, utilities and building service equipment
or systems.
4. In building structures or facilities, such as condominium and the like, where some units of the building are not yet
sold, the provisions of paragraph “J” sub-para "3" above shall apply. When all condominium units have been sold,
responsibility for fire safety measures in the common areas such as the means of egress, utilities, building
equipment/system and the building as a whole, shall devolve jointly upon all individual unit owners or occupants.
K. Compliance with this Chapter shall not be construed as eliminating or reducing the necessity from complying with the
other provisions for safety of persons using a structure under normal occupancy conditions. Also, no provision of the
Fire Code of the Philippines and this IRR shall be construed as requiring or permitting any condition that might be
hazardous under normal occupancy condition

BATAS PAMBANSA BLG. 344


AN ACT TO ENHANCE THE MOBILITY OF DISABLED PERSONS
BY REQUIRING CERTAIN BUILDINGS, INSTITUTIONS, ESTABLISHMENTS AND PUBLIC
UTILITIES TO INSTALL FACILITIES AND OTHER DEVICES.

Be it enacted by the Batasang Pambansa in session assembled

SECTION 1. In order to promote the realization of the rights of disabled persons to participate fully in the social
life and the development of the societies in which they live and the enjoyment of the opportunities available to
other citizens, no license or permit for the construction, repair or renovation of public and private buildings for
public use. Educational institutions, airports, sports and recreation centers and complexes, shopping centers or
establishments, public parking places, work-places, public utilities, shall be granted or issued unless the owner
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or operator thereof shall install and incorporate in such building, establishment, institution or public utility, such
architectural facilities or structural features as shall reasonably enhance the mobility of disabled persons such as
sidewalks, ramps, railings and the like. If feasible, all such existing buildings, institutions, establishments, or
public utilities to be constructed or established for which licenses or permits had already been issued may
comply with the requirements of this law: Provided, further, That in case of government buildings, street and
highways, the Ministry of Public Works and Highways shall see to it that the same shall be provided with
architectural facilities or structural features for disabled persons. In the case of the parking place of any of the
above institutions, buildings, or establishment, or public utilities, the owner or operator shall reserve sufficient
and suitable space for the use of disabled persons.

SECTION 2. In case of public conveyance, devices such as the prominent display of posters or stickers shall be
used to generate public awareness of the rights of the disabled and foster understanding of their special needs.
Special bus stops shall be designed for disabled persons. Discriminating against disabled persons in the carriage
or transportation of passengers is hereby declared unlawful.

SECTION 3. The Minister of Public Works and Highways and the Minister of Transportation and
Communication, in coordination with the National Commission Concerning Disabled Persons, shall prepare the
necessary rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this Act.

SECTION 4. Any person violating any provision of this Act or of the rules and regulations promulgated
hereunder shall, upon conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction, suffer the penalty of imprisonment of not
less than one month but not more than one year or a fine of P2,000 to P5,000 or both, at the discretion of the
court: Provided, That in the case of corporations, partnerships, cooperatives or associations, the president,
manager or administrator, or the person who has charge of the construction, repair or renovation of the
buildings, space or utilities shall be criminally responsible for any violation of this Act and/or rules and
regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.

SECTION 5. All laws, executive and administrative orders, rules and regulations inconsistent with the
foregoing provisions are hereby repealed or amended accordingly.

SECTION 6.This Act shall take effect upon its approval.


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