Building permit

Planning permission for container systems: the most important facts

Building law in Germany, which is regulated at federal state level, makes no difference whether you apply for planning permission for a house made of containers or another small building. The purpose of use is more decisive for planning permission. In addition, there are other criteria that can vary greatly from region to region and are not interpreted in the same way everywhere.

Typical factors that influence the planning application for container buildings

  • Intended installation time
  • Size
  • Land on which it is drawn up (development and land use plan)
  • Visual appearance
  • Distances to property boundaries and neighbours
  • Possible restrictions due to nature and water conservation
  • Safety aspects such as fire and noise protection
  • Technical equipment of the building such as heating and hot water supply

Temporary structures - installation of containers for a short time only

Flying constructions are §76 Model Building Regulation structures that are "suitable and intended to be repeatedly erected and dismantled at different locations". Typical flying buildings are, for example, circus tents and carousels at fairgrounds. No building permit is required for these, but a construction licence.

The construction licence is issued by TÜV, for example, before the system is put into use for the first time. However, the systems must comply with local building regulations, particularly with regard to stability.

Sometimes containers can also be flying structuresif, for example, they are used for a limited period of time - a maximum of three to six months. It is important that they are then dismantled and reassembled at a different location. This is the case, for example, with exhibition stands or event containers.

Containers that are used for major events - for example Residential- or Sanitary containers - can also be categorised as temporary structures, as this type of Container only be used in one place for a very short time.

Building regulations

To obtain planning permission for a residential containerauthorisations must be obtained for technical equipment and construction-related designs. This applies in particular to

  • Insulation and energy efficiency
  • External connections such as gas, electricity and/or district heating
  • Heating and hot water system
  • Wastewater disposal and sewerage
  • Load capacity of the property
  • Foundations

In principle, the building authorities want to ensure that the Residential containers pose no risk to the residents, the neighbourhood or the environment and can be used as "residential buildings".

With regard to the heating and hot water system, the district chimney sweep or authorised technical experts may be involved in the approval process, depending on the fuel and exhaust gas development. In most cases, a static calculation for the foundations and the container system is required, which is confirmed by the local building expert and/or structural engineer.

Insulation, energy efficiency and the energy pass for residential buildings are currently (2016) only required for Living space from 50 square metres prescribed. However, to counteract high heating costs in the long term, insulation, cold and heat protection should always be planned in line with existing regulations.

Building law does not recognise customary law

Building law does not recognise toleration or customary law. A residential container set up without planning permission is always at risk of being ordered to be removed. The decision to evict is at the sole discretion of the building supervisory authority. Therefore, if in doubt, please always enquire in advance with the responsible local authority as to whether the planned container installation is permitted.

For containers of all kinds, whether workshops and snack containers as well as for Sanitary containers must fulfil additional requirements with regard to fire protection, occupational safety and hygiene, among other things. Almost without exception, their installation requires authorisation and is only possible if certain conditions are met.

The most important steps to apply for a building permit

Before purchasing your Office containerswhat is permitted and customary in the region under planning law. There are always prescribed procedures and authorisations. One Preliminary building enquiry with the responsible municipality or building authority is often useful here.

The application for the installation of a container can only be submitted by a Authorised draftsman provide. These generally include architects, civil engineers and master carpenters. Here too, however, there are differences between countries.

For the application, you will need three copies (for the building supervisory authority, building owner and municipality)

  • the completed Application form itself
  • one cadastral site planas well as an extract from the property register at a scale of 1:1000
  • one or more Construction drawings at a scale of 1:100 or 1:50
  • Calculations among other things, the built-up area, the enclosed space, the floor area and, if applicable, the number of storeys
  • one Building description of the planned project
  • Technical verifications to the Stability (statics), to the Thermal insulation and, if necessary, for sound insulation and fire protection

Once the building application has been approved, nothing stands in the way of the production and delivery of the containers. Get in touch with usWe will be happy to advise you on all open questions and look forward to accompanying you in the realisation of your building project.

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