Clearance area

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In German building regulations, the area in front of structures that - with a few exceptions - must be kept free from development is referred to as the distance area - in some federal states also distance area ( e.g. Saxony-Anhalt) . In some regions of Germany and Austria, the necessary border distance is also referred to as Bauwich .

The main reasons for clearance areas are sufficient lighting , ventilation, fire protection and the social distance between neighboring buildings .


The term "building distance" describes the minimum distance between two buildings. The term “boundary distance” defines how close a building can be built to the property boundary. The distance is measured horizontally. The erection of structures on spaced areas close to or without a distance to the property boundary is also known as border development.

Legal issues

In Germany, building regulations are the legislative competence of the federal states. All states have issued their own state building regulations, so that the regulations vary from state to state. Both in the model building regulations (MBO) and in most of the state building regulations, the spacing areas are regulated in Section 6.

Basically buildings are on the building plot to arrange that the clearances are only on this. In addition, spacing areas may extend to adjacent public roads, paths and green spaces, but only up to the middle in the case of public areas that can be built on on both sides. Clearance areas not only have to be observed when building a new building, but also when changing it. Compliance with the regulations must be proven in the approval planning .

For example, in the case of a building that is initially under protection and in which the spacing areas are not adhered to, a structural change or even the sole change in use can lead to the loss of protection. In some federal states (e.g. Brandenburg), an adaptation of the spacing area law to the shift in construction activity to the existing building stock has resulted in violations of the current spacing area regulation in legally erected buildings, even if they are changed.

If the neighbor signs a so-called clearance area acceptance declaration or clearance building load , these areas may also fall on the neighboring property. The transfer of spacing areas to a plot of land is noted in the building load register and may reduce the value of the plot of land, as this limits its usability.

The spacer surfaces are formed from the folded outer walls of a building, the depth of the spacer surface being reduced by a certain factor. The model building regulations are based on the wall height H. To this height H, the height of roof surfaces up to a slope of 70 ° is added to a third, with a slope of more than 70 ° in full. According to the sample building regulations, the depth of the spacing area is:

Building area Distance area according to MBO Minimum distance
Core areas, residential and mixed areas 0.4 H. 3 m
Commercial and industrial areas 0.2 H. 3 m

The individual federal states deviate from the proposals of the MBO both in the way in which the wall height H is determined and in the factoring. In residential and mixed areas in North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, a clearance area of ​​0.4 H, in core areas 0.4 H, in commercial and industrial areas 0.2 H must be observed. The factor 0.4 applies to public transport, green and water areas (0.25 in core, commercial and industrial areas). Over a length of 16 m, half of the required spacing area is sufficient as depth compared to two property boundaries (this rule does not apply in core, commercial and industrial areas). This reduction, also known as the “narrow side privilege”, was no longer applicable with the amendment of the model building regulations in 2002 in many federal states, but not in Baden-Württemberg , Bavaria , Bremen , Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein . In all federal states, a minimum distance must be maintained, usually three meters.

Certain (mostly smaller) structures, such as garages or garden tool sheds, may be erected in most federal states in spaced areas and without any distance from the property line. They have no spacing surfaces themselves.

Individual evidence

  1. Hessian Building Regulations § 6. Accessed in June 2020 .
  2. MBO version 2002. In: Website of the conference of building ministers. Retrieved September 5, 2019 .
  3. State building regulations 2nd part - The property and its development (§§ 4–10) §5 spacing areas
  4. §6 Abs. 5 BauO NRW - Laws and ordinances | State law NRW. Retrieved May 15, 2020 .
  5. On the narrow side privilege in Schleswig-Holstein see: Martin Suttkus : Bauordnungsrecht. In: Hans-Joachim Schmalz , Wolfgang Ewer , Albert von Mutius , Edzard Schmidt-Jortzig (eds.): Constitutional and administrative law for Schleswig-Holstein. Nomos-Verlags-Gesellschaft, Baden-Baden 2002, ISBN 3-7890-7786-0 , p. 433, No. 50.
  6. §6 MBO