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What permits are required for high-rise buildings?

If a high-rise building is to be built, you need a lot of patience as a builder. Before the initial clear-out, there are plenty of ‘positive opinions’ from a variety of government agencies. In addition, the neighbours must declare their consent in writing, without which the building inspectorate does not even begin to examine the construction project.

The example of the Commerzbank Tower shows just how long such an administrative path can last. The building application was submitted with no less than 17 bulging files. This process began in December 1992 and the first partial building permit didn’t arrive until exactly one year later. The final building permit took another year, so the project was officially confirmed in December 1994. For a construction project of this size, this went quite fast. The exhibition tower shows that things can go differently. At the fair tower, the final building permit actually came just before the arrival of the users.

The Approval Process

The following chronology shows how many authorities and offices are involved before a new building project can actually go ahead.

Building Inspection Authority
The Building Inspection Authority checks the planning application, grants the building permit and is responsible for the acceptance of the construction project.

Office of Test Statistics
This Inspectorate is a subdivision of the building inspection authority and checks whether the high-rise building conforms to static requirements (ie whether it remains stationary).

Office for municipal overall development and city planning
This office checks whether there is a current development plan for the property already submitted. If this is not available, this is set up and becomes legally binding.

Planning Department
The planning committee oversees the planning coordination while the building is not completed.

Development Office
The development office checks whether proper access, accessibility and sewerage are covered. It also assigns the house numbers and calculates, if necessary, a parking space fee.

Street Building Department
The road construction authority decides on the use of road space during the construction phase. Transport should be uninterrupted as much as possible.

Lower environmental protection agency
This authority shall examine whether all the interests relating to nature conservation are ensured.

Lower water protection authority at the environmental office
The water protection authority checks whether water protection concerns have been taken into account.

Office for Environmental Protection and the Energy Office of the Environmental Department
These authorities shall check whether the construction project as a whole is environmentally sound.

Department Preventive fire protection of the fire department
This department ensures that the planned building complies with fire safety regulations.

State Office for Occupational Safety and Safety
This office ensures safety at work throughout the construction project.

City Sanitation Office
The city authority wants to know details about the arrangement of the refuse containers and checks the disposal strategy.

City Drainage Office
The City Drainage Office checks how the building is connected to the sewage network.

Public Utility Companies
The Public Utility Companies will check how the sufficient supply of energy is ensured.

City Health Office
The city health office checks the preparation area of ​​food in any existing canteens and kitchens.

State Veterinary Office
The state veterinary office is responsible for hygienic checks, for example, how meat is processed in the canteen.

Office of Public Order
The Office of Public Order examines the impact of the construction project on traffic and decides which traffic lights, traffic signs, etc. must be installed.

Federal Bureau for Flight Safety at the Regional Council Darmstadt
The Bundesamt für Flugsicherung has to ensure that the radar detection system at Frankfurt Airport is functioning properly and does not interfere. In the case of high buildings, there is always the risk that air traffic controllers will see an aircraft twice on the radar as a result of reflections. Therefore, the client must prove that the façades do not reflect but absorb. In addition, the Federal Office assigns the lighting (signal lights on the façade or on the roof).

State Office of Criminal Investigations
The State Office of Criminal Investigations (Landeskriminalamt) examines security checks for buildings of ‘special kind and use’ such as bank buildings or consulates and points out weaknesses.

Light Railway Construction Office
The Light Railway Construction Office (Stadtbahn-Bauamt) examines the effects of the construction project on railway installations.

State Office for Immission Control and Radiation Protection
This office checks whether there might be any adverse effects on the surrounding high-rise buildings.

Deutsche Telekom
Deutsche Telekom investigates whether radio waves are affected by the high-temperature tower.

Police and Antenna Operators
The police, as well as the antenna operators, must be informed when the height of the building affects radio shading.

Office for Housing
The Housing Office examines a building project for residential use.

Department for Monument Preservation
The Department for Monument Preservation reviews the building project for the protection of monuments.

Die Baustelle der EZB in Frankfurt im Jahre 2011

For each new high-rise building, an extensive permit process must be completed

In Frankfurt sind viele Hochhäuser gleichzeitig im Bau

Everywhere in Frankfurt construction is continuous, whether in the banking district or in other districts of the city

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