The amendment to the Enforcement Decree of the Building Act requires biennial inspections of any large-sized structure that has existed 10 years or more following the issuance of the use permit for such structure. The amendment to the Enforcement Decree of the Building Act took effect on July 19, 2012.

The Building Act (which was amended in January 2012) previously required regular inspections of structures, but entrusted the details thereof to be dealt with in lower-level regulations/ordinances, pursuant to which the Enforcement Decree thereto has been amended. The amended Enforcement Decree now requires owners or managers of structures with floors measuring at least 5,000 m2 or with at least 16 stories, multi-owned buildings whose total floor space is more than 3,000 m2, etc. to undergo biennial inspections with respect to buildings whose use permit was issued 10 or more years ago. The inspection is required to be conducted by a certified architect’s office, a company specializing in construction inspection or any other maintenance and management inspector. After completion of the inspection, the owners or managers are required to report the result thereof to the head of the local government within 30 days. The head of the local government may then take necessary corrective measures with respect to the relevant buildings.

Also, the amended Enforcement Decree stipulates 36 factors to be specifically inspected by the inspector, including such things as the safety of building sites, landscaping, the height and shape of structures, structural safety, fire safety, building equipment, and both energy and eco-friendly management features. It also requires the inspector to put forth overall opinions which include recommended measures to enhance structural safety and save energy.

By virtue of the amended Enforcement Decree to the Building Act, it is expected that owners or managers of large-sized buildings will be strongly encouraged to establish a maintenance and management system to ensure safety and maintain performance of structures through voluntary periodic inspections and is also expected to reduce social costs and injuries to persons by way of preventing accidents and to improve both environmental-friendly and energy-saving features.