Wooden Architectural Policy Forum Held at the National Assembly to Advocate the Revision of the Housing Act

By: Tai Jeong

Country Director, Canada Wood Korea

The Wooden Architectural Policy Forum was held on July 7, 2022 at the South Korea’s National Assembly, a key step in the revision of the House Act to reinstitute wood use in party floor applications for Korean multi-family housing. In Korea’s political system, legislative power is exclusively vested in the National Assembly and the policy forum was a key platform to bring together influencers and stakeholders to discuss and debate existing and future policies and feed into the work program for action.

The forum under the title “Carbon Neutrality 2050 and Vitalization of Wood Buildings” was hosted jointly by the Honorable Seog-jun Song, a National Assembly member and Vice Chair of MOLIT (Land, Infrastructure and Transport Committee, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT), Korea Forest Service (KFS), and attended by over 150 industry stakeholders. The purpose of the forum was to “explore the building science of floor impact sound regulation and investigate the feasibility of, and take action on, legislative change to allow non-concrete construction for floor applications in low-rise multi-family buildings in Korea.”

As introduced in a previous blog story, the current version of the housing act introduced in 2013 prohibits wood structural floors in horizontally separated multi-unit dwellings  due to soundproofing concerns. Since then, Canada Wood Korea has partnered with the Korean Society for Wood Science and Technology to carry out research and testing to support replacing the tire drop ‘Bang’ machine with an ‘Impact Ball’, an alternative heavy impact acoustic test that allows lighter wood-frame floor assemblies to meet performance requirements for impact sound mitigation. Based on test results, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MoLIT) recently proposed a revision to the Presidential Decree on the Housing Construction Standards that adopts the globally accepted Impact Ball method for heavy impact acoustic testing in place of the ‘Bang’ Machine. MoLIT expects the amended Decree to come into effect in August 2022.

*The Wooden Architectural Policy Forum was set up as a committee under the Architectural Policy Association of Korea in 2019 and Canada Wood Korea has been an active member of the Forum from the start.