Building and Environmental Regulations on Koh Samui

For those interested in building their own holiday villa on Koh Samui or investors looking at developing properties, it is very important to consider the environmental and building regulations on Koh Samui at the initial design stage. Building regulations on Koh Samui govern the height and area of buildings allowed in relation to distance from the beach with further environmental regulations governing design factors based on both height above sea level and the sloping of the land upon which the building sits.

Building Regulations on Koh Samui

Building and environmental regulations on Koh Samui are there to protect the beauty and longevity of the island from over-zealous development.

Before starting construction, a building permit must be applied for at the local land office. The permit will be issued if building and environmental regulations are adhered to.

Additional building regulations are brought into effect from time to time and so it is important to check for new regulations or talk with your architect/design team before applying for your building permit.

Building Regulations on Koh Samui

The basic Koh Samui building regulations, shown below, are based on distance from the beach. The exact position where is beach begins, of course, is open to interpretation and it is local authorities that make this decision.

Within 10 Meters from the Beach

No buildings are allowed.

Between 10 and 50 Meters from the Beach

Only buildings with 1 floor are allowed with a maximum height (including the roof) of 6 meters. Each stucture must have a maximum floor area of 75 square meters. The roof structure should be peaked and not flat.

Between 50 and 200 Meters from the Beach

Structures must be no more than 2,000 square meters with the maximum height, including the roof structure, not exceeding 12 meters. The roof structure should be peaked and not flat.

More than 200 Meters from the Beach

Each building must have a maximum height of 12 meters including the roof structure. The roof structure should be peaked and not flat.

Building Regulations on Koh Samui

Beach villas on Koh Samui abide by building regulations by building several small pavilions each with a floor space of less than 75 square meters.

Environmental Regulations on Koh Samui

Environmental regulations on Koh Samui are based on both height above sea level and also on the sloping of the land upon which the structure will sit. These regulations control what is allowed in terms of minimum area of land, maximum floor area, water drainage system, architectural design and roof design among other factors.

Height above sea level

Less than 80 Meters Above Sea Level

No additional regulations. However property developments with more than 10 units require to have suitable water and waste treatment systems. An additional regulation, subject to hotels only, is that 50% of the land must be green (unbuilt on).

Between 80 and 140 Meters Above Sea Level

The building must be a single home of maximum height (including roof) 6 meters with land area a minimum of 400 square meters and suitable water drainage system. 50% of the land must be green (unbuilt on), the roof should cover at least 80% of the built area and match surroundings with the architectural design based on traditional Thai, tropical or local aesthetics.

More than 140 Meters Above Sea Level

Same regulations as for height between 80 and 140 sqm (above) with structures being no more than 90 square meters in area.

There are building regulaiotns on Koh Samui based on height above sea level

Koh Samui offers fantastic tropical sea views but recent additions to building regulations on Koh Samui have stopped all construction at elevations of more than 140m above sea level.

Sloping of land

Less than 35 Degree Slope

No additional regulations.

Between 35 and 50 Degree Slope

The building must be a single home with land area a minimum of 480 square meters. Structures can be no larger than 80 square meters, 75% of the land must be green (unbuilt on) and 50% of this green land must have be planted with trees native to Koh Samui.

More than 50 Degree Slope

No building is permitted.