Building collapse and loss of life due to poor construction are not uncommon in China. Since the 1990s, when urban development began in earnest, the stance of “build as cheaply as possible and as quickly as possible” has become common, and the construction practice of ignoring the original design and prioritizing cost reduction has taken root. This is the background of the stigma of the ‘tofu engineering republic토토사이트‘, which means that a seemingly normal building collapses without power ‘like tofu’. The core causes of the ‘apartment scandal with missing steel bars’ such as Korea Land and Housing Corporation ( LH
) , which threw shockwaves at Korean society, which was proud of being a construction powerhouse, are also compressed into ‘construction different from design’ and ‘unreasonable cost reduction’. In other words, it is resembling China, which was ignored as a ‘developmental country’. Whenever a building collapse accident occurs in China, public opinion turns to ‘punishment of the person involved’. Those responsible were even sentenced to life imprisonment. However, the ‘tofu process’ continues because structural reforms are not accompanied. This means that the measures that focus on punishing those responsible, such as disbanding the construction cartel, have clear limits.
In June 2009, a 13-story apartment building in Shanghai, China, which was about to be completed, collapsed, killing one manager. It was a disaster that occurred while ignoring the initial design drawings and trying to build an underground parking lot arbitrarily during the construction process. In April last year, a residential-commercial complex collapsed in Changsha, Hunan Province, killing 54 people. The building was designed to be 5 stories tall, but the disaster occurred when the owner enlarged it to 8 stories without permission.
An official from the construction industry in Beijing said on the 2nd, “In advanced countries, it is impossible to unilaterally change the building plan without consultation with the designer during the construction process. Explained. China’s bad practices spread to Korea.
The Great Sichuan Earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0 that occurred in May 2008 was both a natural disaster and a man-made disaster. While the school buildings built in the 1970s were intact, all 7,000 school buildings built after the 2000s collapsed, killing 5,300 students alone. The blueprints said to put more than 4 rebars per column, but in many cases there were no rebars. Structures connecting steel bars and cement were also cheap products. It was the same for LH apartments
that saved rebar for cost reduction . An official from the Beijing real estate industry pointed out, “The practice of secretly using cheap materials to save construction costs seems to be no different in Korea and China.”
China prioritizes ‘punishment of those responsible’ over structural reforms
China has been preoccupied with ‘punishment of those responsible’ in every building collapse accident.
China’s State Council announced the results of an accident investigation in May of this year, one year after the collapse of the Changsha residential-commercial building, and reprimanded 62 high-ranking officials suspected of violating building laws and regulations. While citing “poor management/supervision and negligent law enforcement” as the cause of the accident, no improvement measures were presented. Instead, China conducted a campaign to demolish illegal and insolvent buildings at the local government level.
Construction workers involved in the 2009 Shanghai apartment collapse received life sentences. At that time, there were no announcements of measures to prevent recurrence.
In 2010, when public opinion was critical of the tofu process, China conducted an extensive review of construction projects in which government funds were invested. Although the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection advertised that it had indicted 5,100 people involved in corruption, no plans were proposed to fix the tofu process. There is no progress because the focus is only on calming public opinion through punishment of those responsible. Korea’s initial response is also similar to China’s, such as
“We will accuse all those who must be held accountable and take personnel measures” (Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Won Hee-ryong) and “We will hold everyone responsible without any suspicion” (Lee Han-joon, president of LH) .