construction permits in kenya approved

Cost of Construction Permits In Kenya – Nairobi Building Approval Fees

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Trying to figure out how construction permits in Kenya work? Or perhaps wondering how much you stand to pay while you submit your building approval application form? 

The Bad News About Construction Permits in Kenya

Well, here’s the thing. Urban planning and development control in Kenya is a devolved function. That means you won’t find a centralized system for awarding building permits in Kenya. 

Instead, you’ll be required to submit your construction permit application to local planning councils and various statutory bodies. Architectural plans, structural plans, and renovation applications are approved by county planning departments, while NEMA and NCA handle EIA reports and construction site compliance respectively. 

Although that’s an understandable approach, it makes the whole building approval process in Kenya a bit too cumbersome for both construction professionals and developers. 

We can only hope that the government will soon take a cue from countries like Singapore, and develop a one-stop-shop for construction permits in Kenya. This alone would remarkably enhance the ease of doing business in the country. 

The Good News About Construction Permits in Kenya

On a brighter note, though, at least the costs of building permits in Kenya have gone down of late. 

In the county of Nairobi, for instance, building plan approval costs have dropped by almost 50% since 2013. The same applies to NCA’s building permit fees, while NEMA has completely abolished its EIA report evaluation charges. 

Read along to discover more about all that, as well as the rest of the construction permits in Kenya. And since we can’t cover the building approval processes across all the counties in one article, we are publishing a series of them- starting with Nairobi County. 

Building Approval Costs In Nairobi 

building plan approval nairobi

Now, for starters, please note that the County government of Nairobi calculates the construction costs of the developments based on the following rates: 

Nairobi County Construction Costs Schedule (For Determining Building Permit Fees)

Residential Units

Low-rise low cost flats with up to 5 storeys: Kshs  21,000 per square metre. 

High-rise low cost flats with more than 6 storeys: Kshs 24,000 per square metre.

Low rise luxurious flats with up to 5 storeys: Kshs 30,000 per square metre. 

High rise luxurious flats with more than 5 storeys: Kshs 33,000 per square metre. 

Low class single units (simple bungalows and maisonettes): Kshs 24,000 per square metre. 

Luxurious single units (high class bungalows and maisonettes):  Kshs 30,000 per square metre.

Office Developments

Low rise office blocks (up to 4 levels): Kshs 24,000 per square metre.

High rise office blocks (more than 4 levels, complete with elevators): Kshs 30,000 per square metre. 

Commercial Developments

Shopping malls: Kshs 30,000 per square metre. 

Small scale shopping outlets: Kshs 23,000 per square metre. 

Industrial Developments

Warehouses: Kshs 21,000 per square metre. 

Factories: Kshs 23,000 per square metre. 

Sports Developments

Sports pitches: Kshs 13,000 per square metre. 

Health facilities (gym, spa, sauna, etc): Kshs 38,000 per square metre. 

Sports theatres with double volume spaces: Kshs 35,000 per square metre. 

Sports stadiums Kshs 27,000 per square metre. 

Basic sports arenas: Kshs 22,000 per square metre. 

Health Developments

Dispensaries: Kshs 20,000 per square metre. 

Basic clinics: Kshs 18,000 per square metre. 

Clinics in urban zones: Kshs 24,000 per square metre. 

Large scale referral hospitals: Kshs 27,000 per square metre. 

Hotel Developments

Tented camps: Kshs 25,000 per square metre.

Game lodges: Kshs 32,000 per square metre.

Low rise units in urban zones (with up to 5 storeys): Kshs 24,000 per square metre.

High rise units in urban zones (complete with elevators): Kshs 30,000 per square metre.

Education Developments

Nursery schools: Kshs 21,000 per square metre.

Primary schools: Kshs 24,000 per square metre.

Secondary schools: Kshs 27,000 per square metre.

Universities and colleges: Kshs 30,000 per square metre.

Student hostels: Kshs 25,000 per square metre.

Social Developments

Community social centres: Kshs 27,000 per square metre.

Social clubs: Kshs 24,000 per square metre.

Worship areas with standard height: Kshs 28,000 per square metre.

Worship areas with double volume: Kshs 32,000 per square metre.

A word of caution though- these are just basic building rates from the County Government of Nairobi. You can only use them to determine the cost of construction permits in Kenya. Otherwise, you might want to check out our detailed Construction Costs in Kenya guide for more accurate cost estimates of your building projects. 

Breakdown of The Costs of Construction Permits In Nairobi

construction permit costs in Kenya and Nairobi

Building Plan Approval Fees

0.5% of the total construction costs (based on the building rates above)

Fees for Renewing Previously Approved Building Plans

10% of the charges levied during the initial submission of the architectural and structural plans. 

Charges For Amending / Altering / Changing Approved Building Plans

0.1% of the total construction costs. 

Site Construction Board and Hoarding Permit Application Fees

Kshs 30,000 for building sites in; Roysambu, Thome, Marurui, Kitisuru, Gigigiri, Runda Ridgeways, Garden Estate, Karen, Langata, South B & C, Villa Franca, Tassia, Embakasi Village, Kariobangi Light Industry, Mathare North Light Industry, Ruaraka Light Industry, Embakasi Light Industry, Industrial Area, Muthaiga, Lavington, Kyuna, Loresho, Upper Spring Valley, Kilimani, Kileleshwa, Westlands, Woodley, Parklands, City Park, Eastleigh, Pumwani, California, Ziwani Starehe, Ngara, CBD, and Upperhill. 

Kshs 15,000 for construction projects in; Kasarani, Njiru, Clayworks, Mwiki, Ruai, Embakasi, Kahawa West, Githurai, Zimmerman, Baba Dogo, Ruaraka, Ngumba Estate, Dagorretti, Kibera, Oldd Eastlands – NCC Estates, Donholm, Buruburu, Komorock, Kayole, Mathare, Huruma, Dandora, and Kariobangi. 

Site Construction Board and Hoarding License (1200×2000 mm) Charges

Kshs 10,000 per month / Kshs 120,000 per year for construction sites in Nairobi CBD. 

Kshs 6,000 per month / Kshs 36,000 per year for building sites in other areas. 

Renewal Costs For Site Construction Board and Hoarding Permit

Kshs 25,000 for building sites in; Roysambu, Thome, Marurui, Kitisuru, Gigigiri, Runda Ridgeways, Garden Estate, Karen, Langata, South B & C, Villa Franca, Tassia, Embakasi Village, Kariobangi Light Industry, Mathare North Light Industry, Ruaraka Light Industry, Embakasi Light Industry, Industrial Area, Muthaiga, Lavington, Kyuna, Loresho, Upper Spring Valley, Kilimani, Kileleshwa, Westlands, Woodley, Parklands, City Park, Eastleigh, Pumwani, California, Ziwani Starehe, Ngara, CBD, and Upperhill. 

Kshs 10,000 for construction projects in; Kasarani, Njiru, Clayworks, Mwiki, Ruai, Embakasi, Kahawa West, Githurai, Zimmerman, Baba Dogo, Ruaraka, Ngumba Estate, Dagorretti, Kibera, Old Eastlands – NCC Estates, Donholm, Buruburu, Komorock, Kayole, Mathare, Huruma, Dandora, and Kariobangi. 

Illegal Development Regularization Penalty

(Plinth Area Fee X 2) + Kshs 200,000 for construction developments in; Roysambu, Thome, Marurui, Kitisuru, Gigigiri, Runda Ridgeways, Garden Estate, Karen, Langata, South B & C, Villa Franca, Tassia, Embakasi Village, Kariobangi Light Industry, Mathare North Light Industry, Ruaraka Light Industry, Embakasi Light Industry, Industrial Area, Muthaiga, Lavington, Kyuna, Loresho, Upper Spring Valley, Kilimani, Kileleshwa, Westlands, Woodley, Parklands, City Park, Eastleigh, Pumwani, California, Ziwani Starehe, Ngara, CBD, and Upperhill. 

(Plinth Area Fee X 2) + Kshs 100,000 for building developments in Kasarani, Njiru, Clayworks, Mwiki, Ruai, Embakasi, Kahawa West, Githurai, Zimmerman, Baba Dogo, Ruaraka, Ngumba Estate, Dagorretti, Kibera, Old Eastlands – NCC Estates, Donholm, Buruburu, Komorock, Kayole, Mathare, Huruma, Dandora, and Kariobangi. 

Other Related Building Permit Costs In Nairobi

Search and Certification of Approved Building Plans: Kshs 2,000 per page. 

Evaluation of NEMA EIA Reports: Free of charge.

National Construction Authority (NCA) Building Permit Costs: 0.5% of the total construction costs for all developments that stretch beyond Kshs 5 million in value. 

Change of Use Application Fees In Nairobi

Kshs 60,000 for developments in Dagorretti, Kibera, Mathare, Huruma, Dandora, and Kariobangi.

Kshs 80,000 for developments in Kasarani, Njiru, Clayworks, Mwiki, Ruai, Embakasi, Kahawa West, Githurai, Zimmerman, Baba Dogo, Ruaraka, Ngumba Estate, Old Eastlands – NCC Estates, Donholm, Buruburu, Komorock, and Kayole.

Kshs 120,000 for developments in Roysambu, Thome, Marurui, Kitisuru, Gigigiri, Runda Ridgeways, Garden Estate, Karen, Langata, South B & C, Villa Franca, Tassia, Embakasi Village, Kariobangi Light Industry, Mathare North Light Industry, Ruaraka Light Industry, Embakasi Light Industry, Industrial Area, Muthaiga, Lavington, Kyuna, Loresho, Upper Spring Valley, Kilimani, Kileleshwa, Westlands, Woodley, Parklands, City Park, Eastleigh, Pumwani, California, Ziwani Starehe, Ngara, CBD, and Upperhill.

Extension of Use Application Costs In Nairobi 

Kshs 60,000 for developments in Dagorretti, Kibera, Mathare, Huruma, Dandora, and Kariobangi.

Kshs 60,000 for developments in Kasarani, Njiru, Clayworks, Mwiki, Ruai, Embakasi, Kahawa West, Githurai, Zimmerman, Baba Dogo, Ruaraka, Ngumba Estate, Old Eastlands – NCC Estates, Donholm, Buruburu, Komorock, and Kayole.

Kshs 80,000 for developments in Roysambu, Thome, Marurui, Kitisuru, Gigigiri, Runda Ridgeways, Garden Estate, Karen, Langata, South B & C, Villa Franca, Tassia, Embakasi Village, Kariobangi Light Industry, Mathare North Light Industry, Ruaraka Light Industry, Embakasi Light Industry, Industrial Area, Muthaiga, Lavington, Kyuna, Loresho, Upper Spring Valley, Kilimani, Kileleshwa, Westlands, Woodley, Parklands, City Park, Eastleigh, Pumwani, California, Ziwani Starehe, Ngara, CBD, and Upperhill.

Over To You 

And there you have it. A comprehensive breakdown of the construction permit fees in Nairobi. You can now go ahead and calculate your total building approval costs by combining all the charges that apply to your development project.

For any queries on the entire process of obtaining construction permits in Kenya, as well as guidance on managing your building project, feel free to contact us. Our architects and construction management professionals are experts in not only statutory approvals- but also contract administration, cost planning and control, material testing, tendering management, plus site supervision. 


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