Design and Construction of Buildings


PROCEDURE FOR OBTAINING LICENCES (for information purposes only):

The Construction Act (OG 153/13, 20/17, 39/19, 125/19) and the Physical Planning Act (OG 153/13, 65/17, 114/18, 39/19, 98/19, 67/23) regulate the design, construction, use and maintenance of buildings and the implementation of administrative and other associated procedures.


The Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Property has developed the ePermit system, allowing for the electronic issuing of all building permits and use permits.


Checking the permitted types of construction or reconstruction can be done by inspecting the relevant urban physical plan. Urban physical plans can be viewed in the Spatial Planning Information System.


Information on the purpose of areas and conditions for implementing physical interventions from urban physical plans on specific land lots are available from competent state offices for physical planning and construction or using the e-Permit system by entering location information.


Conceptual design is a set of mutually compliant designs and documents made by experts from different fields who participate in the design process, depending on the type of the project, providing the basic formal, functional and technical solutions of the project, defining the position of the building on the land plot and determining the basic parameters for construction. It is developed by authorized architectural designers and authorized engineers.
A conceptual design is prepared in case of a project for which location permit is issued. Also, a conceptual solution, as a basis of conceptual design, is a mandatory part of the application for the environmental assessment procedure.
The list of designers is available through the system ePermit, as well as on the web pages of the Croatian Chamber of Architects, Croatian Chamber of Civil Engineers, Croatian Chamber of Mechanical Engineers, Croatian Chamber of Electrical Engineers and the Croatian Chamber of Chartered Geodetic Engineers.


Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is the process of assessing the acceptability of the intended intervention with regard to the environment and determining the necessary environmental protection measures, in order to reduce the impacts to the smallest possible extent and achieve the greatest possible preservation of the quality of the environment. The assessment procedure is carried out in the early stages of project planning, before the issuance of a location permit or other approval for a project for which the issuance of a location permit is not mandatory.
The environmental impact assessment procedure is prescribed in the Environmental Protection Act (OG, 80/13, 153/13, 78/15, 12/18 and 118/18) and in the Regulation on Environmental Impact Assessment (OG, 61/14 and 3/17). The competent body is the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Green Transition. The list in Annex I of the Regulation includes the interventions for which the environmental impact assessment is obligatory. The lists in Annex II and III of the Regulation on Environmental Impact Assessment include the interventions for which screening (assessment of the need for environmental impact assessment) is carried out.
More detailed information (Croatian) is available at the website of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Green Transition.


For most construction projects, location permit is not necessary.
The location permit is issued for the following interventions in the area:
– Exploitation fields of mineral raw materials, construction of mining facilities and plants intended for mining works (for exploitation fields of hydrocarbon, geothermal water for energy purposes, underground storage of gases and permanent disposal of gases in geological structures, location permit is not issued, these interventions are regulated by special law)
-Restoration of inactive exploitation fields of mineral raw materials (e.g. permanent waste disposal etc..), except for basic technical restoration with the aim of preventing the hazard for people, property, nature and environment
-Oil-mining facilities and plants for exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons, geothermal waters for energy purposes, underground storage of gases and permanent disposal of carbon dioxide in geological structures in the exploration area i.e. exploitation field, determined by a special law on exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons and geothermal waters
– The establishment of new military sites and military buildings,
– Projects in the area, which according to special regulations governing construction, are not considered construction projects,
– Stage and/or phased construction of the building,
– Complex intervention in area,
– Construction on land or construction for which the investor has not resolved property relations or for which expropriation is required,
– interventions on maritime property for which concession for the construction of objects or the installation of maritime objects is issued according to the special regulation on concessions, and
– Construction of buildings if the party so requests.
Issuance of a location permit is initiated at the request of the interested party and is to be accompanied by:
– The conceptual design in electronic form,
– Printout of the conceptual design certified by the design engineer,
– Decision on the environmental acceptability of the project, if the project is under special regulations subject to the procedure of environmental impact assessment and/or appropriate assessment of the impact of a project on the ecological network,
– Decision on the assessment of the need for environmental impact assessment if that decision contains protection measures and/or environmental monitoring program, and
– Certificate on validation of the conceptual design, if the project was developed according to foreign regulations.
The application for the issuance of a location permit is submitted to the competent office for construction and physical planning or via the ePermit system.


Before developing the main design, in cases of building construction for which a Location Permit is not required, the investor may request from the administrative authority or the Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets to be informed from which competent public bodies it is necessary to obtain Special conditions – conditions of construction and connection to the grid. The main design for a specific building on a specific location must follow these Special conditions.


The main design is a set of systematically compliant projects incorporating a technical solution for the building and proving the fulfilment of basic requirements for the building and other stipulated and determined requirements and conditions. Depending on the type of building i.e. construction works, the main design consists of the architectural design, construction design, electrical design, and machinery design.
For the purpose of determining the compliance of the main project with special conditions, i.e. special conditions determined by the location permit, a public body designated by a special regulation, at the request of the administrative body, i.e. the Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets, in the process of issuing a building permit, issues a confirmation that the main project was made in accordance with the special conditions, i.e. special conditions determined by the location permit.


A building permit is required to start the (re)construction of a building. The building permit application is submitted by the investor and is to be sent to the competent construction and physical planning office in the place where the (re)construction of the building is planned. The application can also be submitted electronically via the ePermit system.
The building permit application for which a location permit is not issued according to special law is to be accompanied by:
• The main project in electronic form,
• A printout of the main project certified by the design engineer and chief design engineer if a number of design engineers participated in the design process, in electronic form, and signed using an electronic signature,
• Printout of the Energy Performance Certificate for the building certified by the design engineer and main design engineer if several designers participated in its preparation,
• A written report on an audit of the main project (if an audit is stipulated),
• Certificate on the main design validation (if the project was drafted according to foreign regulations),
• Proof of legal interest in issuing a building permit,
• Proof that the applicant may be an investor (concession, consent or other act stipulated by special regulations), if it is a building for which special law prescribes who the investor may be,
• Proof that the owner of the construction lot has fulfilled the duty of transferring a part of the land lot to the ownership of a local self-government unit, i.e., has fulfilled its duty to enter into an agreement on establishing service of transit and/or passage, as stipulated by special law governing physical planning, if such a duty exists.
The following documents can serve as a proof of legal interest for issuing the building permit:
• Land register excerpt indicating that the investor is owner or holder of rights to build on the respective building lot or building,
• Pre-contract, contract, or a conditional contract pursuant to which the investor has acquired or shall acquire the ownership right or building right,
• The decision of the competent authority based on which the investor acquired ownership rights or building rights,
• A partnership agreement concluded with the property owner, with the goal of joint construction,
• Written approval from the landowner or the owner of the existing construction work, and consent from the body responsible for state property management for real estate managed by the Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets pursuant to Article 71 of the State Property Management Act (OG 52/18),
• Written consent from the fiduciary owner given to the previous property owner who is the investor.
The building permit ceases to be valid if the investor does not begin construction within three years from the starting date of permit validity.
Validity of the building permit is extended at the request of the investor once for the next three years if conditions for implementing interventions in the area defined in the physical plan, i.e., location permit as the basis for issuing the building permit, have not changed.


The commencement or continuation of construction must be reported in writing to the competent construction and physical planning office no later than eight days before commencing or continuing construction. This can also be done via the ePermit system. Prior to commencing construction, the investor is obliged to ensure the staking out of the building as well as fencing and designating the construction site with a notice board.


The Construction Act stipulates that the building must, in terms of its external appearance and arrangement of the construction lot, be completed within:

  • Ten years (Group 1 buildings – buildings covered by the National Physical Development Plan),
  • Seven years (buildings for Groups 2.a and 2.b – buildings for which special conditions have been determined),
  • Five years (buildings for Groups 3.a and 3.b – buildings for which no special conditions have been determined, residential buildings with a gross floor area (GFA) less than 400 m2 and agricultural buildings where the gross floor area is less than 600 m2).

Before issuing the use permit, the investor or the owner of the building is obliged to obtain an energy certificate for the building, unless otherwise stipulated in the Construction Act.


The (re)constructed building can be put to use or commissioned, and an official approval given for it to perform activities as stipulated by special law, only after the use permit has been issued for the respective building or facility. The application for the use permit is submitted by the investor, i.e., the owner of the building or facility, to the competent body for administrative affairs covering construction or via the ePermit system.

The application for issuing the use permit shall be accompanied by the following:

  • A copy of the building permit, i.e., a copy of the main design for the building to be built or works to be performed without a building permit based on the main design,
  • Data on entities participating in the construction process,
  • A written statement on works and conditions for building maintenance,
  • Final construction report from the supervising engineer,
  • Statement from a chartered geodetic engineer that the building is located on the building lot, i.e., within the scope of the project in accordance with the building permit or main design,
  • A geodetic project of the derived state of the building or surveying study and/or any other act determined by special regulations on the basis of which the buildings and other building in the cadastre or cadastre of the infrastructure and the land register are recorded, i.e. the way of using the plot with the data on the broken points of the building, the building particle i.e. the scope of the project in the space presented in GML format in electronic form,
  • Proof that the plot was formed in the cadastre, if it is a building which has the scope of intervention area determined in the location permit, within which plot is formed in parcelling, except for the issuing of the temporary use permit,
  • Building energy certificate, if an application is submitted for a building that must meet energy efficiency requirements.

The Ministry, i.e., the competent administrative body, is obliged to perform a technical inspection of the building within thirty or fifteen days from the day of receiving a valid application for the issuance of a use permit. Technical inspection is performed to determine whether the constructed building complies with the building permit, i.e., the main design.

For more information, please contact the Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Property of the Republic of Croatia:

Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Property
Ulica Republike Austrije 20
10 000 Zagreb
Phone: +385 1 3782 444