Abstract Rapid urban development is achieved in some areas by the application of industrialized construction techniques. This approach creates extensive ‘‘regularised’’ urban areas, which are governed by a small set of building models. This paper describes a scheme for building rooftop extraction from aerial and high resolution satellite imagery that makes use of the characteristics of regularised urban areas. As the scheme is based on a bottom-up approach, emphasis is put on reducing the number of low-level features that should be considered during the polygon rooftop extraction. This is achieved with a set of geometric rules, which are defined based on the geometry of the building model. Experiments with real-world imagery show that this basis provides efficient filtering of the right-angle corners, thus improving the overall extraction performance.