When it comes to constructing buildings in Cambodia, no matter if it’s residential, commercial, and more, there are specifications that developers need to follow. This is true, whether for the height of the building, type of project to be developed, or even the amount of land that can be used. In general, you have to know about the land use index, buildable areas, and control areas before knowing how tall or large the project you want to establish can be.
Buildable areas within Cambodia are simply zones where it’s possible to construct a building. This can be anything from transportation, residential, tourist, or green zones. On the other hand, control areas are protected zones in the country where nothing can be established to protect the land. Under control areas could be forest, water resources, conservative zones, and more.
To make it easier to follow, here are the buildable areas and control areas classified by the government of Cambodia:
|Water resource zones
|Other areas in line with realistic geographical situation
|Mixed use zones
|Open spaces and green zone
Following that, each buildable area has a specific building to land ratio, determining exactly the space that can be built on its given section. This coincides with the index of maximum land use, which simply tells you how many floors you can build depending on the building. Generally, the ratio of building areas compared to their land areas, including their index of maximum land use for residential, commercial, and other zones are the following:
|Ratio of building to land
|Index of land use
|Detached low-rise (village or semi-village)
|Linked low-rise (flats or attached homes)
|Neighborhood / exclusive commercial zone
|Industrial zone (Light or Mixed)
|Green / open spaces zone
|Public facility and administration zone
Considering the limited areas you can build on, if you plan to develop a new building in an area with an old building, the old one should be factored into the calculation. This is because the old building wouldn’t be demolished, but only added to the equation.
Given the index of maximum land use, it means that buildings can only have a limited number of floors. To make it easier, we have compiled it below:
- Short buildings: 3 floors maximum but ground floor is already included
- Medium buildings: 4 to 11 floors
- High buildings: More than 12 floors
In general, it’s easy to determine how high you can build a building depending on the type of building it is and its allowed ratio of building to land. All you have to do is check the above ratio of building to land and make sure the estimated total square meters of your project follows the ratio and index.
However, there are other matters that should be considered since creating buildings, depending on its type, can exceed the given height above. Other factors to consider in the calculations would be the land’s proximity to land borders, the allowed land size for residential zones, and parking spaces.
Take note though that the land use index calculation, including how high you can build projects in Cambodia, should be calculated first before starting construction. Doing so will make it possible to follow the given limit since exceeding it isn’t allowed, except for some cases.
Is it possible to exceed the land use index limit?
Considering that limitations have been imposed on the maximum area you can build on, generally, you cannot exceed the parameters given. However, during construction, there are certain cases where development can exceed the land use index limit, although this often pertains to how big the project has become rather than the number of floors included in the construction plan.
In these cases, only a few types of projects are allowed to apply for over-limit construction permits directly to the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction (MLMUPC). These developments are as follows:
- Buildings specifically for tourism
- Commercial buildings
- High-rise residential projects
- Multi-functional buildings
An administration fee will be paid by the developer to MLMUPC if they fit the given development above. However, projects that aren’t part of the above, can never apply for over-limit permits since they strictly have to follow the indicated building area and floor.
On another note, for public administration or institution buildings, they are not required to apply for construction permits. Following this, if they exceed the given land use index limit and height requirement, they don’t need to apply for over-limit permits.
If you’re in search of a perfect piece of land to construct your dream home or establish your desired business, let us connect with our team of Cambodia property experts who know the right land measurement and location for your vision!