Ts.Tulga: 354 buildings in UB are not earthquake resistant

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Ts.Tulga, Chief Architect of Ulaanbaatar and Head of the Department of Urban Construction and Development, informed on March 17 about the evaluation of the earthquake resistance capacity of buildings in Ulaanbaatar and the measures to be implemented in the future.

He said, “There are 29,000 buildings in the city of Ulaanbaatar. Of these, 19,000 buildings were built before 2002 and 10,000 after. The city of Ulaanbaatar is located on an active earthquake zone. Recently, the Geophysical Research Institute concluded that there is a risk situation on the seismic faults around the city. Since 2010, the Department of Urban Development has assessed the earthquake resistance of buildings in Ulaanbaatar and made following the recommendations and regulations of the National Security Council of Mongolia. From 2010 to 2023, a total of 944 buildings were assessed for earthquake resistance. For public housing and public buildings built before 2002, certain funds have been allocated in the state budget for the assessment. A total of 1,844 residential and public buildings were built before 2002 and 1,320 of them are residential.

Ts.Tulga reported, “524 public buildings were assessed for earthquake resistance. Of these, it was concluded that 354 buildings cannot withstand earthquakes and 98 buildings need to be strengthened. Most of the buildings built before 2002 are brick and panel buildings. As for the brick buildings, they were built in 1950 and 1960, so they are not considered earthquake-resistant due to their durability and quality of time. The chief inspector of professional inspection has issued a decision prohibiting the use of buildings that are not earthquake resistant. After this decision, by the order of the Governor of Ulaanbaatar, projects are being implemented to demolish the building and rebuild it.”

He also continued, “However, buildings that have been judged to need strengthening are a pressing issue. There was a need to create standards and regulations in the legal environment to strengthen the building. Currently, there are few reinforced buildings. JICA will implement the project and strengthen the first 10 buildings. Buildings that have been certified as earthquake resistant are being certified. Buildings constructed after 2002 should be considered resistant because the quality of materials, design, and construction are earthquake-resistant under earthquake norms. However, when the building is built, it should be checked whether there are no technical errors and whether it is built according to the design. There is a need for inspection in some buildings. According to the Law on State Inspection, the construction contractor and designer must conduct the mid-term inspection by the former professional inspection body. When the state commission accepts the building for use, it will look back to see if the documents and blueprints have been properly reviewed and accepted.”

“We don’t know when a disaster like an earthquake in Turkey will happen. It is important to prepare for such a disaster. People, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and people who are building and constructing buildings should pay attention to the quality of materials, construction, and design and everyone needs to understand what is necessary,” he highlighted, adding that a conference on “Construction Quality, Safety, and Standards” will be held on March 21 regarding the current situation of construction quality, safety, and standards in Ulaanbaatar.

Dashmaa D