Cyprus Real Estate

Construction Standards in Cyprus: Compliance with European Regulations

  • 07.07.2023

Investing in property abroad can be a wise choice if you consider gaining an asset from the investment. Ensuring personal safety and safeguarding your investment are the key points directly affecting your investment decision. 

Construction in Cyprus: What are the Rules?

The captivating skyline of Limassol's city center immediately grabs your attention. Limassol maintains lower building heights, unlike other city centers, due to traditional restrictions imposed across the island. This allows for an unobstructed view of the entire skyline.

Building heights in Limassol's city center are limited to 5 floors, while the limit is four floors in the suburbs. Similar regulations apply in Paphos, with four feet allowed in the center and 3 in residential areas. However, high-rise construction is permitted in Nicosia, Larnaca, and the southern coast. Furthermore, European regulations prohibit the construction of basements in any building in Cyprus. The distance between building corners is strictly regulated, ensuring that neighboring buildings receive adequate natural sunlight. Additionally, buildings can be constructed near the sea but with specific distance guidelines. 

Two important documents govern the building regulations in Cyprus:

  • The Town and Country Planning Law (TCP) is a global standard that regulates development in Cyprus, governing everything from architectural project standards to the number of smoke detectors in residential complexes.
  • The Cyprus Building Code (CBC) is a list of technical specifications. It establishes construction and safety regulations, fire resistance, and energy efficiency.

Eurocodes - safety parameters

Since Cyprus joined the European Union in 2004, European regulations, known as Eurocodes, have been integrated with local laws. Eurocodes provide technical safety parameters that buildings must meet, ensuring durability, safety, and fire resistance. 

However, Eurocodes are not universally applied across all EU member states, as they serve as recommendations rather than rigid rules. Construction companies utilize Eurocodes to adhere to safety requirements. Construction companies use Eurocodes to meet safety requirements while adhering to national standards. Currently, only 38% of Eurocodes have been implemented across the EU.

In Cyprus, the Standardization Organization has successfully aligned construction regulations with European standards, resulting in safer, environmentally friendly, and energy-efficient properties. Notably, noise insulation for homeowners has also significantly improved.

Technology and construction requirements

In Cyprus, all new real estate projects must follow the TCP general standard for architecture, including:

  • Traditional Mediterranean style.
  • Use of wood, natural stone, and glass for finishing.
  • Height restrictions are based on regions.
  • Light-colored exterior walls.
  • Structural requirements are extensive and detailed in the CBC standard, including:
  • The framework of natural stone or reinforced concrete.
  • External walls made of brick 25 cm thick or two bricks with insulation laid in between.
  • Thermal and acoustic insulation of walls and roof: a thick layer of pressed polystyrene of at least 5 cm.
  • Plastic pipes with electrical wiring are placed under the floor and filled with foam concrete.
  • Energy network wires with a thickness of 2.5 mm.
  • Isolation of all metal interior elements, including window frames; and
  • Susceptible emergency power cut-off sensors for fire safety.


The Cyprus government prioritizes renewable energy sources and aims to reduce oil and gas imports. Solar energy plays a significant role, with Cyprus leading the European Union in generating 9.2% of its total energy from solar power.

Enhancing Safety in Cyprus Construction: Focus on Eurocodes & National Standards

Considering the rising prevalence of natural disasters, Cyprus's construction rules emphasize safety concerns. As a member of the European Union, Cyprus has adopted the Eurocodes, complemented by national application standards specific to the country. 

The key point of these standards is to enhance the safety measures implemented in new housing construction, considering the pivotal roles that services and real estate sectors hold in Cyprus' Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Cyprus strives to raise overall safety standards in its construction operations by aligning with European and national requirements.

Cyprus: Top-ranked for Safety in the European Union

Cyprus has experienced a remarkable ascent in safety rankings over the past decade, advancing from the 30th to the 5th safest country globally. Within the European Union, Cyprus is the top-ranked country in terms of safety across various domains, including protection against natural disasters, road and transportation safety, the quality of the healthcare system, resilience to terrorism threats, and a low crime rate.

Seismic Protection in Cyprus

Cyprus, located in a seismically active zone, experiences an average of 27 yearly earthquakes with a magnitude below 4. While strong earthquakes rarely reach the shores of Cyprus, the country has implemented anti-seismic construction standards regulated by the Cyprus Building Code (CBC) and section 8 of the Eurocodes, prioritizing stability and durability.

Key points of the anti-seismic construction standards in Cyprus include:

  • Stability: Buildings must withstand maximum earthquake forces.
  • Durability: Buildings should maintain their stability properties over time.
  • No-collapse Requirement: Buildings must meet a minimum lifespan of 475 years without collapsing.
  • Damage Limitation Requirement: Buildings should protect against economic damage from earthquakes for at least 95 years.
  • Regular Inspections: Comprehensive assessments are required every 50 years, with revisions every ten years.
  • Anti-seismic Designs: Depending on the seismic activity zone, three designs are available.
  • Tempered Stone Masonry: Recommended for wall construction.
  • Deep Foundation: A deep foundation, with reinforced rods or concrete blocks, strengthens the entire structure.

Although the risk of earthquakes in Cyprus is relatively low, the government closely monitors construction companies to ensure compliance with European seismic protection standards.

Tropical cyclones protection in Cyprus

Mediterranean tropical cyclones are rare phenomena to earthquakes and are classified as the lowest category for the region. These cyclones primarily bring gusty cold winds and heavy rainfall.

Although a Corsica storm caused beach flooding and car damage in 2011, no significant harm to buildings or people was reported.

The government uses the following measures to protect against cyclones in Cyprus:

Height restrictions make buildings more resistant to windstorms and prolonged rainfall;

The deep foundation supports protect against erosion and reinforce the structure.

Modernized water drainage systems near each residence.

Tsunami Safety in Cyprus

Due to its seismic activity, the Mediterranean Sea frequently generates large surges that can reach coastal states. The last significant tsunami to strike Cyprus was 70 years ago. Since then, the Republic has been a member of the UN NEAMTWS organization committee for disaster relief.

Protection against tsunamis is less complex than earthquake protection for the following reasons:

The coastline is a narrow hazard zone with modern warning systems.

Modern warning systems. Alerts are transmitted through loudspeakers, radio, and text messages. 

The higher, the safer. Homes 30 meters above sea level are safe.

Government departments consider all these factors when determining where and in which regions residential buildings can be constructed. Additional decisions depend on the distance from the sea and the permitted building height. When issuing building permits, experts examine whether the architectural design of the future structure meets local safety requirements.

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