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German Federal Building Code (Baugesetzbuch)

The Federal Building Code (Baugesetzbuch – BauGB) is the most important legal source for German urban development law. It is divided into four chapters and contains, in particular, provisions on general and special urban development law.

The Federal Building Code was amended to improve readability. The amended version was promulgated on 10 November 2017 in the Federal Law Gazette (Federal Law Gazette I p. 3634) and contains formal regulatory reforms and is intended to simplify application of the law for parties concerned.

The new Federal Building Code can be found in the corresponding issue of the Federal Law Gazette, issue 72, where it may be downloaded for private use (access free of charge for the public).

Note: The pdf document (undersigned with "Bundesanzeiger") is a service made available by www.bundesanzeiger.de. It only offers a reading version and is not valid to be used for any other purposes. The document can be purchased from the Federal Gazette (Bundesanzeiger).

Note: The PDF document and the text version are a service of juris GmbH (Legal Information System for the Federal Republic of Germany).

The content of the Federal Building Code was most recently considerably amended by the act implementing Directive 2014/52/EU in urban development law and on strengthening new coexistence in cities of 4 May 2017 (Federal Law Gazette. I p. 1057) which entered into force on 13 May 2017.

Further minor amendments were made by the following acts: 

  • Act amending the Environmental Appeals Act and other provisions in transposition of European and international law of 29 May 2017 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 1298); the amendments entered into force on 2 June 2017.
  • Act to further improve preventive flood control and simplify flood protection procedures, also known as Flood Control Act II (Hochwasserschutzgesetz II) of 30 June 2017 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 2193); most of the amendments in the Federal Law Gazette entered into force of 6 July 2017 (otherwise see Article 5 of the Flood Control Act II).
  • Act on modernising legislation on environmental impact assessments of 20 July 2017 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 2808). These amendments have been in force since 29 July 2017.

New format of Federal Building Code

The Federal Building Code in the version promulgated on 3 November 2017 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 3634).

Chapter one on general urban development law is divided as follows 

  • Part one: Development planning
  • Part two: Safeguarding the development planning
  • Part three: Control of land use for building or other purposes, compensation
  • Part four: Land reallocation
  • Part five: Expropriation
  • Part six: Provision of Infrastructure
  • Part seven: Nature conservation measures

Chapter two on special urban development law is divided as follows 

  • Part one: Urban redevelopment measures
  • Part two: Urban development measures
  • Part three: Urban restructuring
  • Part four: The social city
  • Part five: Private initiatives
  • Part six: Preservation statute and urban development enforcement orders
  • Part seven: The social plan and hardship allowance
  • Part eight: Tenancies and leases
  • Part nine: Urban development measures in connection with measures for the improvement of the agrarian structure

Chapter three on other provisions is divided as follows 

  • Part one: Valuation
  • Part two: General provisions; administrative responsibilities; administrative procedures; planning safeguards
  • Part three: Proceedings before the chambers (Senates) for building-land matters

Chapter four is divided as follows 

  • Part one: Transitional provisions
  • Part two: Concluding provisions

Background to the Federal Building Code

The Federal Building Code entered into force on 1 July 1987 and in one law combined urban development law, which up to then was regulated by the German government with the Federal Building Act of 1960 and the Urban Development Assistance Act of 1971. The Federal Building Code has been revised many times since then.


Last update: 10.11.2017
Further information

Urban development law