Building Law & Legal Definition


Building is defined as “any structure intended for shelter, housing, or enclosure of persons, animals, or chattels." Greene County v. N. Shore Resort, 238 Ga. App. 236, 237 (Ga. Ct. App. 1999)

Building means any structure that has roof and walls especially a permanent structure. It can be any structure that is designed or intended for support, enclosure, shelter or protection of person, animals or property having a permanent roof that is supported by columns or walls.

In law the term building has varied meanings according to the context in which it is used. For the purposes of some criminal statues such as burglary and arson, the term building may include things such as motor vehicles and watercraft.

Example of some state statutes defining the term Building.

NY CLS Penal § 140.00

"Building," in addition to its ordinary meaning, includes any structure, vehicle or watercraft used for overnight lodging of persons, or used by persons for carrying on business therein, or used as an elementary or secondary school, or an inclosed motor truck, or an inclosed motor truck trailer. Where a building consists of two or more units separately secured or occupied, each unit shall be deemed both a separate building in itself and a part of the main building.

Cal Lab Code § 7250

As used in this article "building" means any multifloor structural steel framed building more than two stories high in the course of construction. California Health and Safety Code defines Permanent Building and residential Building as follows

Cal Health & Saf Code § 18214.5

"Permanent building" means any permanent structure, other than factory-built housing, under the control and ownership of the mobile home park owner or operator which is not on a lot.

Cal Health & Saf Code § 17960.1 "Residential building" means a one-to-four family detached structure not exceeding three stories in height.