FAQ

Who is an architect in Mauritius?

In Mauritius only those who have been registered by the Professional Architects Council may legally be called “Architect”. The council will ascertain that the person in question has completed the necessary studies and have done a traineeship in an architect’s office before the registration.

Qualified architects from overseas may practice only if they also have been registered with the council and have partnered with a local architect.

Why do you need an architect?

Besides the fact that an architect can help and advise you in your construction, anyone who wants to build something greater than 150 square metres (1614 square feet) in Mauritius needs to have his plans prepared and designed by a registered architect. The only exceptions are governmental projects.

How much would the architect’s services cost you?

The fees of an architect will depend on the scope of the project and on the time he will have to spend on the project. Depending on the nature of the project and the services that will be asked from the architect, the latter’s fees will be calculated in one of the following ways or in a combination of them:
a) a percentage of the project’s value
b) a fee which will be calculated on the time spent on the project
c) a lump sum.

Are other consultants required?

Except for very small buildings, the services of a structural engineer will also be required.

In the bigger projects, the services of some of the folowing consultants will also be needed:
a) Mechanical Engineer
b) Electrical Engineer
c) Quantity Surveyor
d) Fire Protection & Fighting Consultant
e) Landscape Architect
f) Interior Designer or Decorator.

How to obtain a development/building permit?

To obtain the necessary development/building permits, one has to make an application at the municipal or district council of the region where the construction will take place.

Their addresses and phone numbers are given below:

CITY COUNCIL OF PORT LOUIS
Address:
1, Jules Koenig Street
City Hall, Port Louis
Tel: (+230) 405 6600
Fax: (+230) 212 4258

MUNICIPAL COUNCIL OF BEAU BASSIN – ROSE HILL
Address:
Royal Road
Rose Hill,
Tel: (+230) 454 9500
Fax: (+230) 454 9509

MUNICIPAL COUNCIL OF QUATRE BORNES
Address:
St. Jean Avenue
Quatre Bornes
Tel: (+230) 454 8054
Fax : (+230) 454 6209

MUNICIPAL COUNCIL OF VACOAS – PHOENIX
Address:
St. Paul Avenue
Vacoas
Tel: (+230) 696 2975

MUNICIPAL COUNCIL OF CUREPIPE
Address:
Queen Elizabeth II Avenue
Curepipe
Tel: (+230) 6704899 / 6704898
Fax: (+230) 6765054

DISTRICT COUNCIL OF RIVIERE DU REMPART
Address :
B 17 Royal Road
Mapou
Tel: (+230) 266 2095

DISTRICT COUNCIL OF PAMPLEMOUSSES
Address:
Morrison Road
Pamplemousses
Tel: (+230) 243 8300

DISTRICT COUNCIL OF FLACQ
Address:
Plaine De Gersigny
Central Flacq
Tel: (+230) 413 2600
Fax: (+230) 413 3055

DISTRICT COUNCIL OF MOKA
Address :
Quartier Militaire
Tel: (+230) 435 5531

DISTRICT COUNCIL OF BLACK RIVER
Address:
Bambous
Tel: (+230) 401 3100

DISTRICT COUNCIL OF GRAND PORT
Address:
A10 Royal Road
Rose Belle
Tel: (+230) 627 4542

DISTRICT COUNCIL OF SAVANNE
Address:
Lady Barkly Road
Souillac
Tel: (+230) 603 7930
Fax: (+230) 625 5750

Application Forms for Building and Land Use Permits can also be downloaded at:
http://la.govmu.org/downloads/BLP%201.pdf

What are the minimum setbacks from roads and neighbours that have to be respected when constructing a new building?

This depends on the importance of the road as well on the region where the building will be.
Thus the setbacks from roads are as follows:
From Motorways: 15 m
From Types A & B Roads: 6 m.
From Other Roads: 4.5 m.
From Lightly-Trafficked Roads: 3 m.
From Minor Accessed Roads: 1.5 m.

The minimum distance from rear and side boundaries is 90 cm. However if the building is going to be higher than 7.5 m., then a bigger distance of 2m. is required. This becomes 3 m. when the building is above 15 m. high and 5 m. when it is above 25 m.

When the building is to be situated in a coastal zone, then the following criteria will apply:
3 m from side and rear boundaries in “Coastal Frontage A & B”
2 m. from side and rear boundaries within “Coastal Roads C & D and Inland E”.

Moreover, the building has to be at least 30 m, from high-water-marks. In the case of rivers, the setback is 16 m., riverlets 8m. and feeder canals 3 m.

Are there any maximum heights and plot coverages for buildings in Mauritius?

In coastal zones the following heights are applicable:

Ground + 1 for Coastal Frontage A (13m max.)
Ground + 1 + 33% of G for Coastal Frontage B (13m max.)
Ground + 1 + 50% of G within Coastal Road C (13m max)
Ground + 2 within Coastal Road D (15m max.)
Ground + 2 + 50% of Ground floor within Inland (18m max.)

The maximum plot coverage in these zones is as follows:

Within “Coastal Frontage A”: 20%
Within “Coastal Frontage B”: 27.5%
Within “Coastal Road C”: 30%
Within “Coastal Road D and Inland”: 40%

How many parking spaces does one need to provide?

According to regulations in Mauritius, parking has to be provided as per the following standards:

(a) Cinemas/Theatres/Concert, Assembly and Wedding Halls: 1 Parking for every 4 m2 of public space area
(b) Hotels and Guest Houses with Dining Areas: 1 parking for every 3 Bedrooms plus 1 additional slot for each 30 m2 of dining space and 1 parking for every 15 m2 of conference or function space.
(c) Offices: 1 Parking for each 60 m2 .
(d) Shops: 1 Parking for every 30 m2 (with a minimum of 1 per shop)
(e) Supermarkets: 1 Parking per 18 m2 of gross floor area
(f) Restaurants/Cafeteria/Eating Houses: 1 Parking for every 8 m2 of dining area
(g) Bars: 1 Space for every 6 m2 of drinking area
(h) Discotheques/Nightclubs: 1 Slot for every 8 m2 of public floor area
(i) Banks: 1 parking for each 75 m2 of office area and 1 slot for every 25 m2 of customers’ area

What are the fees to be paid when a permit is issued?

When a Building and Land Use permit has been approved, a fee which depends on the size of the construction has to be paid to the respective Local Authority before the permit is delivered.

Presently, it is as follows:
– For Buildings not more than 250 m2, Rs. 10.00 per square metre
– For Buildings with a floor area of more than 250 m2 but less than 501 m2, Rs. 20.00 per square metre
– For Buildings greater than 500 m2, Rs. 50.00 per square metre

What documents are needed when applying for the permit?

Besides filling in the application form, the applicant will have to submit the following documents:
a) at least 3 copies of the architectural and structural plans
b) a copy of his national identity card
c) a copy of the land deed
d) clearances from the CEB (Central Electricity Board), CWA (Central Water Authority) and WWMA (Wastewater Management Authority).

Depending on the scope of the project, further documents and clearances may be required e.g.:
– EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) Report
– Report from the Traffic Management and Road Safety Unit (TMRSU)
– Approval from the Road Development Authority (RDA)
– Clearance from the Government Fire Services etc.

More details concerning the requirements for a building permit can also be obtained at the following site:
http://www.govmu.org

Or by contacting:

Mauritius Association of Architects
St. Jean Avenue.
Quatre Bornes
Mauritius
Facebook

Professional Architects Council
4th. Floor, Discovery House
St. Jean Avenue.
Quatre Bornes
Mauritius

What units are used in the construction industry?

In Mauritius, many Clients still think in terms of feet and inches,
Land surveyors and Notaries talk of Toises and Arpents,
Architects and Engineers design in millimetres,
Builders use 6″ Blocks, 12 mm. steel rods, stones available on site…
How they manage to complete the building satisfactorily is the Mauritian Miracle.

Mauritian Units
sq. m sq. ft
1 sq. m 1 10.76
1 sq. toise 3.80 40.89
1 sq. perche 42.21 454.18
1 arpent 4220.87 45416.56
1 acre 4046.86 43544.21

 

How high are the construction costs in Mauritius?

A lot depends on the location, size and finishings of the building.

A “normal” modest house could cost between Rs.10,000 to Rs.20,000 per square metre. But if one wants to use only very high quality material like marble, stainless steel, a lot of glass and high class fittings, the costs could easily jump to above Rs. 50,000 per square metre.

According to surveys and calculations made by the Central Statistical Office in Mauritius, the breakdown of the construction costs for an average house in Mauritius is as follows:

Labour 32.8%

Plant Hire 4.0%

Transport 4.5%

Materials 58.7%

 

Foreigners buying property in Mauritius – What are IRS, RES and PDS?

To allow non-Mauritian citizens to buy property in Mauritius, its government launched The Integrated Resorts Scheme (IRS) and later the Real Estate Scheme (RES) which give them the opportunity to do this within certain rules and guidelines.

Thus properties which are offered for sale under the IRS should have a minimum legal price of US $ 500,000 whereby the acquirer of an IRS property is automatically granted a residence permit.

On the other hand, a residential property bought within a RES development does not have to comply with a minimum price. However, the buyer does not get permanent residency when acquiring a property under that scheme. They can nevertheless apply for residency under one of these four existing conditions: as an investor, as a professional, as a self-employed, or as a retired non-citizen.

Although these two schemes still exist, they were replaced by a newer one, the Property Development Scheme (PDS). This new scheme allows the development of a mix of residences for sale to non-citizens, citizens and members of the Mauritian Diaspora.

Under the PDS scheme a non-citizen is eligible for a residence permit upon the purchase of a villa only when he has invested more than USD 500,000 or its equivalent in any freely convertible foreign currency.

More information is available at the Board of Investment site http://www.investmauritius.com/schemes/pds.aspx

 

VEFA – How to buy “Off-Plan”?

In most of the above schemes, the buyer usually has to buy “off-plan”i.e. a property is being bought when it has not been constructed yet. The best way to be on the safe side is to do it through a VEFA-Contract.

VEFA means “Vente en l’état future d’achèvement” and it is governed by the French Civil Code. The buyer is thus protected by the rules laid down by the said Code. Among others, the promoter is bound to provide for a GFA (Garantie financière d’achèvement), meaning that a guarantee has to be given to ensure that the construction will be completed even in case of failures from the promoter’s side (a bankruptcy e.g.). This guarantee will have to be provided by the promoter or a third-party like a bank.

On the other hand, the buyer will have to follow a schedule of payments which starts upon signing the purchase agreement and ends on the date the keys to the property are handed over.

 

What are Smart cities in Mauritius?

According to the Board of Investment of Mauritius

“The Smart City Scheme is an ambitious economic development programme aimed at consolidating the Mauritian international business and financial hub by creating ideal conditions for working, living and spurring investment through the development of smart cities across the island.”

More details are available at:

http://www.investmauritius.com/investment-opportunities/smart-cities.aspx

Other Useful Links:

African Union of Architects

Commonwealth Association of Architects

Union Internationale des Architectes