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    Heat pumps: New building regulations allow them on property boundaries


    Heat pumps cause noise, so certain regulations must be adhered to. But this protective measure should now be ended.

    Owners of heat pumps must expect a fine or the heating system will be torn down if it is too close to the property line. (You can find out details in this article here.) The regulations are primarily intended to protect the neighborhood, but also the general public, from possible noise pollution caused by the facility. This protective measure may now no longer apply. A revision of the building regulations is planned.

    In favor of the energy transition

    The building regulations of some countries stipulate that heat pumps do not have to be built with a certain safety and therefore noise protection distance from neighboring properties (at least three meters). The devices can therefore be built directly on the property boundary – the result: the noise nuisance for the neighbors could be significantly greater.

    Residents in Thuringia will also have to expect this in the future. Because the cabinet has a draft to change the building regulations. “The amendment to the building regulations is primarily about renewable energies and about simplification,” said Thuringia’s Construction Minister Susanna Karawanskij (Left) to the German Press Agency (dpa). In order to be able to place the heat pump – including the foundation – directly on the property boundary, it must be a maximum of two meters high and three meters long, according to the draft.

    The draft law still has to be approved by the cabinet in Thuringia and passed by the state parliament. It is therefore not yet valid.

    Distance rule from neighbors no longer applicable?

    Some federal states already waive the distance rule from neighboring properties in their building regulations. Including:

    • Baden-Württemberg
      (No minimum distance if the volume limit of the Technical Instructions for Noise, 35 – 45 dB, is adhered to at night)
    • Bremen
    • Hesse
      (If the heat pump is a maximum of 2 meters high and 3 meters long)
    • North Rhine-Westphalia
    • Rhineland-Palatinate
    • Saarland

    What owners of heat pumps should note, however, is that the distance rule not only protects living well-being. It also serves to ensure adequate ventilation of the heat pump. Inadequate ventilation can, among other things, have a negative impact on the efficiency of the device.

    Changes also in solar systems

    In addition to the distance rule for heat pumps, the distance rule for photovoltaic systems in semi-detached and terraced houses should also be eliminated. The modules could therefore be built directly onto the fire wall in the future. The safety distance of 1.25 meters would therefore no longer apply.

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