Korea Abolishes the Height and Floor Area Limits on Wood Buildings

By: Tai Jeong

Country Director, Canada Wood Korea

Recently, Korea made a landmark decision. The governmental Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) revised the Korea Design Standard (KDS), and as of November 9, 2020, abolished the total floor area and height limits for wood buildings.

Before the change, Korea Design Standards (KDS) limited the maximum height of wood buildings to 15 meters (at the eave) and 18 meters (at the roof ridge). Additionally, the gross floor area was limited up to 3,000 m2.

The demonstration project was Han-Green: a five-storey, mixed-use building, that incorporated two-hour fire-rated CLT (and other conventional and engineered wood products). The project was completed in 2019 by the Korea Forest Service.

“This change was possible because the Korean government recognized that the development of new high-performance wood products, such as CLT, were demonstrated to be safe both in structural performance and fire safety.”