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Relaxation of Residential Building Heights in the Downtown Core, Orchard and Rochor (Part) Planning Areas within Central Area

  Published: 05 June 2006
Circular No : URA/PB/2006/13-CUDD
Fax : 6220 3201


Who Should Know:
Architects, engineers, developers and building owners

Effective Date:
With effect from 5 June 2006


This circular is to inform developers, building owners and qualified persons on the relaxation of the storey height controls for residential buildings within parts of the Downtown Core, Orchard and Rochor Planning Areas. The relaxation is to allow for more flexibility in the design of residential developments


  1. Within the Central Area, residential developments located within commercial and mixed-use areas, are subject to urban design (UD) storey height controls, as shown in the Master Plan 2003 Special & Detailed Controls Plan - Building Height Plan.

  2. Developments are additionally subject to development control floor-to-floor height controls. For a typical floor, these are 3.6m for residential developments and 5.0m for commercial and hotel developments.

  3. As a result of the combined controls, residential developments in commercial and mixed-use areas are generally lower in height than those of adjacent commercial and hotel developments.

Details of Relaxation


  1. URA is pleased to announce that residential developments within parts of the Downtown Core, Orchard and Rochor Planning Areas, which are predominantly commercial or mixed use in nature, are allowed to be built up to the maximum allowable building height1 for commercial and hotel developments (see Appendix 1).

  2. The revised residential building height controls are applicable to:

  1. Residential developments; and
  2. Residential blocks within mixed-use developments (on sites zoned White, Commercial, Hotel, Commercial & Residential and Residential with Commercial at 1st storey only).
  1. For example, within a 20-storey height zone, a residential development will be allowed to be built up to 100.0m – i.e. 20 x 5.0 (to the top of the floor slab above the highest floor), regardless of the number of storeys (as shown in Appendix 2). This translates to 28 storeys (based on a average floor-to-floor height of 3.6m) to 33 storeys (based on a average floor-to-floor height of 3.0m).

  2. All developments will continue to be subject to the maximum allowable GPR under the Master Plan 2003. The current development controls on maximum floor-to-floor heights for residential buildings will also apply.
  3. To encourage more dynamic roof designs to the crown of buildings, articulation of the roof top are allowed beyond the top of the highest floor, but not exceeding the technical height control of the area.
  4. Please note that the relaxation is not applicable to the following:
    1. Developments within Conservation Areas;
    2. Developments within Special Detailed Control Areas, including those guided by street block plans and envelope controls; and
    3. Developments within height control of 6 storeys or less.
  5. Commercial and hotel developments will continue to be subject to the maximum storey height control under the Building Height Plan.

  6. I would appreciate it if you could convey the contents of this circular to the relevant members of your organisation. If you or your members have any queries concerning this circular, please do not hesitate to call Architect Angela Low at Tel: 63293503 (email: Angela_Low@ura.gov.sg) or our DCD Customer Service Hotline at Tel: 6223 4811. For your information, the past circulars to the professional institutes are available from our website http://www.ura.gov.sg.

Thank You.


1    Maximum Allowable Building Height for commercial and hotel developments is based on the maximum floor-to-floor height of 5.0m for every floor multiplied by the maximum allowable storey height. It refers to the building height to the top of the floor slab of the highest floor of the building, excluding roof articulation, rooftop M&E services, and roof screening, except for developments in areas subject to Absolute Building Height Controls.

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