Title: Concerns Rise Over Quality and Cost of New Apartment Buildings
Recently, there has been a growing concern across the country regarding the construction of large-scale new apartment buildings, as incidents of building collapses continue to occur one after another.
Safety Issues and Construction Problems
While some areas experience problems from the design stage, others face issues arising from deviations during construction or the absence of reinforcing bars. These discrepancies result in deteriorating concrete quality, posing a collapse risk. Additionally, in certain regions, heavy rain has led to flooding, further highlighting the safety concerns surrounding new apartment buildings.
Construction Cost Negotiations and Government Measures
In reconstruction and redevelopment project areas, where construction is imminent, reducing construction costs is often prioritized during negotiation processes. However, the government’s response to this matter, which at times involves ordering construction companies to suspend business, raises questions about the efficacy of such measures in addressing the underlying issues.
Connection Between Construction Costs and Substandard Construction
The recent increase in construction costs is believed to be linked to concerns over substandard construction by builders. Inflation, as well as rising raw material prices due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, has significantly impacted the construction industry.
Delays and Challenges Faced in Construction
Long-standing challenges, such as rising production costs, have led construction companies to hesitate in proceeding with construction projects, let alone completing them as originally planned and within the budget. For instance, in a business district in Seoul, construction was halted, causing delays in the move-in schedule due to uncoordinated construction costs with the cooperative operating the project. The unexpected increase in construction costs has made it challenging to coordinate and improve business feasibility.
The Impact of Cost-saving Measures on Construction Quality
One cannot compromise on construction quality solely to reduce costs. Imposing business suspensions or fines on construction companies in order to warn or prevent future accidents raises doubts regarding their effectiveness. Moreover, examination of previous cases reveals that construction companies often find legal remedies to continue operations despite temporary business suspensions. This suggests that the impact of such measures may, in fact, be negligible.
Weighing Safety Measures against the Impact on Construction Projects
While the government’s measures aimed at enhancing the safety of future apartment residents are commendable, the repercussions on union members in ongoing and planned reconstruction and redevelopment projects must also be taken into account. Further business suspensions could potentially exacerbate existing damage in areas where construction is already underway or scheduled, resulting in additional delays and cost increases for the project, ultimately affecting the members who had initially agreed to the project.
The Need for Clear Principles and Ethical Practices
It is crucial to establish and adhere to clear principles to avoid unreasonable business practices or tactics solely motivated by profit. As awareness continues to grow, society should strive to naturally exclude such practices, rather than waiting for major accidents or extensive government interventions.
As concerns over the quality and cost of new apartment buildings escalate, it is imperative to strike a balance between safety considerations and the impact on ongoing construction projects. Efforts should be made to ensure that maximum benefits are achieved through ethical and transparent practices, fostering a society where compromised standards and profit-driven approaches have no place. Hyejin Choi, Senior Attorney at Law Firm Centre.
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Recently, as new apartment building collapses occur one after the other, concerns about large-scale new apartment building are increasing across the country.
There are some areas where there are problems from the design stage, but if the construction is different from what was designed or if reinforcing bars are missing, the quality of the concrete deteriorates and there is a risk of collapse, and in some places, floods because. for heavy rain, safety issues are the biggest problem.
In reconstruction and redevelopment project areas that are about to start construction, the construction cost must be reduced in the construction cost negotiation process. As a countermeasure, the government sometimes orders construction companies to suspend business, but is suspending business the best countermeasure?
Concerns about substandard construction by builders cannot be unrelated to the recent rise in construction costs. Not only inflation compared to just two years ago, but also raw material prices rising due to the war between Russia and Ukraine, which has a significant ripple effect on the construction business.
In particular, as this situation has been for a long time, the production cost has also increased, and the construction company is not willing to proceed with the construction, let alone complete it with the construction cost and expected in the past.
In one business district in Seoul, the construction company stopped construction and the move-in schedule was delayed when the construction cost was not coordinated with the cooperative operating the project. In a situation where the increase in construction costs beyond expectations has become an inevitable reality, it is not easy to coordinate because the project executor has to prevent the increase in construction costs as much as possible to improve business feasibility .
In the end, I wonder if the rebar is missing or if the cost-saving construction method leads to poor construction.
It is impossible to do bad construction work even if the construction cost goes down. In order to warn the construction company or prevent future accidents, business suspension or fines are imposed, but it is very doubtful whether they are effective or not.
Moreover, if you look at the cases where a business suspension has been issued against construction companies so far, construction companies continue to build somehow through legal responses. There is a specific construction period in the contract, and if the deadline is not met, the contractor has no choice but to respond.
In other words, when a temporary suspension of business order is issued to a construction company, it applies to the court for a temporary injunction to stop the execution of the order, and asks to suspend the order of temporary suspension of business until the full scale. legal proceedings have ended, impact can be seen as negligible.
It can be said that this measure by the government is the best measure for the safety of people who will move to the apartments built in the future. However, it is a matter of reconsidering how much damage is being caused to union members in rebuilding and redevelopment areas where construction is immediately underway or planned to be underway.
In particular, if the construction company continues to suspend business, further damage may occur in business areas that are already under construction or ahead of construction, as the move-in schedule has been delayed to to that extent, or there is a delay in the start or completion timetable.
If the project is delayed, the cost of the project may increase in the process, and the increase in the cost of the project is borne by the members who fully agree to the project.
Several years ago, there was a redevelopment site where the construction company blocked the occupation and exercised a lien if the higher construction cost was not paid before moving in.
Some union members pay for the building cost by crying and eating mustard to move in, unable to decide if the building cost is appropriate. The project has been delayed for several years and I was wondering if there was any progress, but suddenly I had to bear the burden of unexpected construction costs due to the sudden increase in raw material prices.
Members of the reconstruction and redevelopment areas are most welcome when project costs are reduced and construction proceeds quickly, but when construction proceeds quickly and results in building insolvency, it is unfortunate that it can only be achieved through a security exchange.
It would be great if maximum benefit could be obtained with so little effort, but clear principles must be followed. Although our awareness is gradually increasing, I hope that a society where unreasonable business progress or tricks for huge profits will be naturally excluded, rather than following principles only when there is a major accident or strong government measures.
Hyejin Choi Senior Attorney, Law Firm Centre
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