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Draft amendments to Building Act proposed following quake

Draft amendments to Building Act proposed following quake

Amendments to Building Act gain momentum

Draft amendments to the Building Act that would require participation of third-party expertise in different phrases of the construction of a building above a certain size will be submitted to the Executive Yuan for approval before making its way to the Legislature, Construction and Planning Agency (CPA) Director-General Hsu Wen-lung said on Wednesday.

The CPA has planned an amendment to Article 34 to require participation of a third-party professional body to assist the supervisory authorities in reviewing the design and structure of a building plan, Hsu said.

Amendments to Articles 56 and Article 70 were also drafted to require participation of third-party expertise in assisting authorities in inspecting the construction process of a building, a process to decide whether the construction can be continued, and in assessing whether the building is built according to its original design before the issuance of a service permit, respectively, Hsu added.

The draft amendments to the Building Act were initiated by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) amid public concern over building safety following the crumble of Weiguan Jinlong building in the Feb. 6 earthquake that left 116 people dead.

Shoddy construction and dubious change of design were suspected as the cause of the building collapse.

The purpose of the amendments is to draw third-party professionalism in the review and site inspection processes to assure building design and construction quality, the MOI said.