Consultative meeting held on building quality, safety and standards
- By Misheel Lkhasuren -
- Mar 27,2023
Ninety eight percent of the territory of Ulaanbaatar belongs to the active earthquake zone, and from 1995 to 2009, more than 600 strong earthquakes were recorded. It has been estimated that in the case of an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.6 to 7.6 in the capital city, the probability of collapse of buildings in six central districts and the amount of damage is 22 to 48 percent, and 81 percent in residential areas. Therefore, in the context of earthquake disaster prevention and reduction of possible risks, a consultative meeting on building quality, safety, and standards was organized on the current situation.
Mayor of Ulaanbaatar D.Sumiyabazar said at the opening, “It was determined that there are six earthquake cracks in the vicinity of Ulaanbaatar city and one in the city center. Therefore, it is a high probability of a threat affecting national security. As of today, there are a total of 335,105 buildings in Ulaanbaatar. Whether the quality of these buildings meets the standards is doubtful. In 2021 and 2022, 75.2 percent of the total complaints submitted by citizens to the local administrative organizations of the capital city were about monitoring the quality and safety of buildings and violating of building norms, reviewing the purpose of buildings, and suspending construction work. Laws, regulations, and norms are still being violated at all stages. Therefore, this meeting is being organized to ensure the participation of all parties in discussing these issues and finding solutions.”
More than 220 representatives of more than 70 organizations, including construction industry academics, engineers, designers, construction material manufacturers, professional associations, enterprises, organizations, Condominium Associations, project units, and related government organizations participated in the meeting.
The conclusion was made in three context: legal reforms, improving accountability by inspections, and arrangement.
In the context of legal reforms:
• To update standards, norms, rules and regulations in accordance with international standards, starting with laws aimed at ensuring the quality, safety and standards of construction
• To improve the duties, responsibilities and supervision of construction material importers and suppliers. To import only involved in a guarantee of conformity products across the state border
• To improve the integrated system of government control at all stages to ensure construction safety and quality
• To carry out compulsory demolition of newly built buildings that cannot be put into use, to prevent people from investing in residential buildings, to create regulations to protect the interests of the public
• To suspend violating the law, delaying the work, using public positions to create advantages for others, causing a conflict of personal interests and being fired without taking legal responsibility, and impose compensated responsibility even if fired
• To clarify the participants and their responsibilities in the strengthening and fastening of structures and to create a legal framework
• To create arrangements to require the comprehensive plan of social buildings such as schools and kindergartens from the construction client
• To establish a system of supply of inventory from a licensed material supplier enterprise tested by a building material sample laboratory
In the context of improving accountability by inspections:
• To impose responsibility to government officials, construction clients and contractors, and citizens who issued permits and inspected at all stages of construction that were determined as non-resistant to earthquake from randomly selected buildings built after 2002
• To take measures until the demolition of the building that started construction work without a permit in the capital city, and to suspend further construction work without a permit
• To conduct joint research and conclusions on buildings that were added floors while being in use, changed the basic structure, demolished the bearing walls, are non-resistant to earthquakes, and violated fire safety requirements, and to impose responsibility to legal entities that violate laws and regulations
• To establish a united system to constantly monitor the quality and safety of imported and domestically produced building materials used in the main structure of buildings and auxiliary materials that are being sold on the market, and to verify the origin
• To improve internal control and increase the responsibility of construction contractors and clients
In the context of arrangement:
• To expand the network of soil accelerometer stations in Ulaanbaatar city and increase the number of stations for recording earthquakes in the vicinity of the city
• To initiate a detailed survey of earthquake focus
• To establish a laboratory for determining the hygiene of building materials;
• To integrate information on buildings and to create a united database to provide real information to the public
• To obtain opinions and consensus from the local areas and districts when granting permits to start and continue construction work, and receiving to commission
• To regularly organize training for design and construction companies
• To organize advertisements about laws, norms, rules, and standards to the public through the media and social networks on a wide range
Based on the conclusions of the consultative meeting, the participants emphasized the importance of developing a detailed work plan for future implementation, and responsible cooperation of government organizations, professional associations, academics, and citizens.