Friday, December 3, 2021

China bans skyscrapers exceeding 500 metres, citing safety concerns

China has issued a circular banning the new construction of skyscrapers above 500 meters amid fears that the race to push skyward over the past three decades may have compromised building safety and led to a glut of office space.


As reported by the state news agency, a circular issued by the National Development and Reform Commission said, buildings above 250 meters are strictly restricted, and if they do need to be built, the construction plans should be reviewed over a slew of aspects including fire safety and filed with the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development. For buildings above 100 meters, the construction plans will face strict scrutiny over their seismic performance. The high-rises should match with the city’s size and firefighting capacity, the circular by the country’s top planning agency said.

The order, two months after the unexplained wobbling of the 72-storey SEG Plaza in Shenzhen, would halt, at least for the time being, the construction boom that has led to mainland China being home to five of the world’s 10 tallest 500-metre structures, all completed in the past six years.

Local governments have been improving the management of construction projects in terms of safety and quality, however, there are still loopholes that may lead to safety risks, the circular said. The circular stressed strengthening the management of construction projects, adhering to the principle of quality first, and ensuring the safety of people’s lives and property, it said.

– Anshuman Mishra, Beijing

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