Residential buildings

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Residential buildings in Washington, DC
Remains of a residential building in Teotihuacán , Mexico, built around 600
Residential building in Čakovec , Croatia, partly under construction

The building law term residential building refers to a building that is primarily used for living . The term residential building is also common in common parlance .

The term

In Germany the term is mainly used in the state building regulations. There, residential buildings are those buildings that are intended exclusively for residential purposes. Usually freelance activities are included, in some cases also comparable commercial uses. It can therefore also be mixed-use buildings as long as the character of residential use is retained.

The Federal Statistical Office compiles numerous statistics on residential buildings and apartments . Accordingly, residential buildings are buildings that at least half of the total usable area are used for residential purposes.

The Energy Saving Ordinance applies to residential buildings in Germany (it does not apply or only partially applies to certain other building types).

The building regulations differentiate between different residential buildings according to their height :

Buildings of low height are buildings in which the floor of no storey with common rooms is on average more than 7 m above the surface of the site. Buildings of medium height are buildings in which the floor of at least one lounge area is on average more than 7 m and not more than 22 m above the surface of the site. High-rise buildings are buildings in which the floor of at least one lounge is more than 22 m above the surface of the site. (State building regulations NRW)

Historically, for example , the term fireplace was used instead of the term residential building in censuses , because there was only a fixed fireplace ( stove ) for the purpose of preparing food in one residential building , while other functional buildings (stables, barns ...) did not accommodate housekeeping and therefore the Fireplace was to be equated with a household ( Hausgesess ) in the sense of the census.


To differentiate between different house types, a differentiation can be made, for example, according to use, building construction or position to neighboring buildings and the type of floor plan . Here are a few examples:

A distinction is also made, depending on whether the business premises are located in the residential building, the single-roof house or, if they stand as a separate building, different building ensembles : Paarhof , Haufenhof . If individual components built together arise wing , traditional forms: Zweiseithof , Dreiseithof , Vierseithof . Such differentiations are not used in modern residential buildings.

Floor plan configurations:

  • Point house: A point house is a building with a floor plan centered around a center point . The term point house is usually used to describe high-rise residential buildings with an internal access core and external residential units.
  • One-room house: Simplest layout of the floor plan
  • In the case of buildings that are built together or merged, one speaks of building wings . A three-wing complex usually surrounds a courtyard of honor, which is usually open to the access side. A four-wing complex, like the rural four-sided courtyard or the monastery cloister, encloses a mostly rectangular, closed inner courtyard.
  • Courtyard house with courtyard : The ancient oriental courtyard house (e.g. the Sumerians ) is one of the earliest representatives of this type of building. The floor plans are often irregular and develop many variants that can be found in the west on the entire Mediterranean coast and in the east throughout Asia up to the Chinese forms, for example the Siheyuan . These designs also include the square , the southern villa: the patio and atrium houses .

Traditional construction methods in an ethnological context:

History of residential building types

Old house in Upper Bavaria

Historical development of house types is given below:


Middle Ages and Modern Times

Pre-industrial townhouse

Developed from the tradition of medieval cities, it combines living and working for craftsmen, merchants and arable citizens under one roof. A uniform appearance and size for the city or district results from the size of the building plots, building regulations and the time of reconstruction after the destruction of entire areas. The townhouses date from the Gothic to Classicism .

Urban tenement

Urban tenement from the industrialization phase in the northern part of Hanover

The tenement house was built at the time when cities experienced enormous population growth in the industrialization phase. The city apartment buildings were created as capital investments and thus optimized for yield. That means: maximum possible development of the property, 4 to 5 full storeys, while circumventing the building regulations, even more. The most extreme form are the tenements . On the other hand, urban tenement houses can also contain upper-class apartments with a living space of 500 m² and more, with a correspondingly representative interior design. The exterior design was typically done in one of the many styles of historicism . The construction method initially followed pre-industrial traditions, e.g. B. Half-timbering, which was soon banned by the building authorities, and building materials from industrialization such as masonry made of standardized bricks , steel girders and concrete prevailed. The floor plans mostly correspond to one of the local types.

Settlement house

Socially motivated large housing estate

In view of the miserable housing conditions of the working class families, there were various approaches by wealthy people to alleviate this need. Typical examples are the settlements of large factories. Private associations also built settlements under social aspects, the Ostheim settlement in Stuttgart being an example . A large number of similar houses, such as terraced houses , semi-detached houses with several apartments or multi-family houses, is typical for this settlement . After the First World War, many housing estates were organized through cooperatives.

Urban villa

Single-family house with high demands on living space, comfort and the need for representation for the upper class of the urban population. The municipal villa was typically built between 1850 and around 1930 and its style clearly reflects the prevailing taste of the time .

Large housing complexes

History of residential building construction

In Central Europe, different phases can be defined in house construction, which differ in construction method and materials used.

The first self-cleaning house was developed by Frances Gabe in 1980 .

See also

Web links

Commons : Houses  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Residential buildings  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: residential building  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Punkthaus  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


  1. Federal Statistical Office, Fachserie 5, Reihe 3, 2011, page 3
  2. ^ Laws, ordinances and tenders for the Kingdom of Hanover: from the period from 1813 to 1839. Sixth Division. Police things, Volume 7. S. 1248. ( online in the Google book search)
  3. Marco Bussagli: What is architecture. Kaiser Verlag, 2003, ISBN 3-7043-9017-8 , p. 42 ff.