Lebanese Construction Law N. 646

on October 18, 2014

Present LBL (Law 646) dates from 2004. The implementation decree was issued in 2005, and slightly modified in 2007. LBL 646 adopts a prescriptive approach.  It is mainly concerned with micro urban set up and internal space dimensioning.

Article 1: Compulsory license

The construction, restoration and renovation of all types of buildings is subject to obtaining prior authorization which is given on the basis of certain legislative texts and in accordance with the consent of the competent departments that are responsible for these issues and a detection by a technician.

The request for a prior construction license and maps must be signed by the engineer in charge in accordance with the regulations of practicing the profession in the order of engineers and architects, and must be registered in one of the engineers’ syndicates in Beirut or Tripoli.

The prior construction license is for all the buildings even the ones that are related to the public administrations, enterprises and municipalities except the buildings that are related to the military which are defined by a decision from the Council of Ministers and should abide to a set of substantive laws and regulations.

The license is given based on the detection by the technical administration:

  • The head of the executive authority in the municipality were the building will be constructed
  • The governor or deputy governor if the building is constructed outside the municipal scale.

Article 2:  Works that are excluded from the license

The license can be replaced by a written request signed by the site engineer and certified within one of the engineer’s syndicates either in Tripoli or Beirut and the works that are covered are as below:

  • Outside maintenance (painting …)
  • Building of fences
  • All restoration works in buildings or parts of buildings that are legally available or which have been settled
  • Cladding
  • Supporting walls and acts of destruction.
  • The settlement of the land in light of construction permits
  • Internal changes within the housing unit which do not affect the structural elements and the common sections that  do not affect legally on the residential unit

Technical Requirements for construction:

Building envelope:

The building envelope is the size by which a building should stay within. It consists of surfaces and vertical and oblique lines with no possibility of exceeding the maximum height specified in the area where the property is located.

The envelope and methods of applying it are determined by a decree upon the suggestion of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, after consulting with the Supreme Council of Urban Planning.

Limits of buildings:
While retaining the imposed limits which can be forced later on in accordance to certain decrees in the ministry of council, the buildings should be constructed accordingly:

Next to main road, Secondary or local road:

 The distance of the building should be according to the distance that is imposed by its own decree.

Next to an inner road:

The distance between the building and the road should be no less than 4.50 m if the width of the road is less than 6 m and 3m in unregulated areas.

Next to a train track:

The building should be 3m away from the borders of a rail property.

Next to winter water drains:

Behind a line that is 4.50m away from the water stream

Next to rivers:

Behind a line that is 10 m away from the boundaries of the river

Away from the limits of another public property:

Behind a line that is 3m away at least in areas that are outside the boundaries of Beirut and 2m in areas inside Beirut

Surface investment rate and the public investment factor:

The surface investment rate is the ratio between the horizontal projected area of the building and the area of the property. The overall investment factor is the ratio between the construction area of the entire floors in the investment and the area of the property. 


To read the whole construction law, click on the link below: