Modular Housing Encouraged via Floor Area Ratio Incentive
Housing demand in Seoul has been continuously rising due to the growing concentration of population in metropolitan area and the insufficient land supply for housing. To meet the demand, the Seoul government announced a plan to supply 2.5 million new homes to stabilize the housing market.
However, this ambitious target comes with costs. Urban construction projects often negatively impact the environment through demolition, construction waste, noise, dust, and vibration, resulting in civil complaints. Therefore, the Korean government backs the offsite construction such as modular homes with various policies and regulations.
For example, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MoLIT) announced a new policy to apply a 15% Floor Area Ratio (FAR) increase (referring to the ratio of total built-up floor area to total site area) to those homes built with the modular method. This means the developers can build more units if they choose offsite construction.
In line with this trend, the Korean wooden construction industry held a policy forum on July 7th at the National Assembly Hall, together with other organizations to discuss and review the opportunities and challenges for the industry.
Song Seok-jun, member of congress said at the forum, “In order to create a wooden housing that supports the global environment and healthy living, it is necessary to form favorable policies so that conditions are created that can achieve great development not only in the wooden housing industry but also in the overall housing industry.”
Kyung-ho Lee, chairman of the Korea Business Council for Sustainable Development, pointed out, “In particular, shortening the construction cycle in modern architecture is leading to cost reduction in the entire sector. If the same building is made of wood and steel, respectively, the weight of the building frame is lessened, so the cost of foundation construction can be greatly reduced. Above all, the most attractive thing is that it is an eco-friendly and renewable. It is no exaggeration to say that wood holds the key to improving productivity for future construction.”