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Vietnam’s building code in a "messy" situation
Source: VNA - 2/15/2017 9:09:38 AM
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The Vietnamese government faces a messy situation when it comes to issuing and monitoring the current regulations on construction.

Some regulations are ignored by investors, other regulations have not been updated to catch up with the reality and regulations on building condo hotels are currently lacking, reported by the Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper.

In June 2013, the Ministry of Construction promulgated an instruction of architectural norms applicable to multi-storey buildings nationwide.

Under the instruction, an investor of a commercial housing project has to allot 20sq.m of parking space for each owner of a 100sq.m apartment; the ratio is 12sq.m for each owner of a 100sq.m low-cost apartment. However, many multi-storey residential buildings in both Hanoi and HCM City have failed to follow the regulations. The result is a severe shortage of parking space in these buildings.

In 2015, the ministry issued a construction regulation for disabled access to buildings and facilities, ordering investors of residential and public buildings to facilitate disabled people. Despite the regulations, not many disabled-friendly buildings have been built in big cities.

Another problem is that, reportedly, no punishments have been issued for these violations.

In 2013, the ministry promulgated the Decision No 212 to delete 169 outdated constructing regulations, including regulations on constructing high-rise buildings. Nonetheless, many new regulations to replace the outdated regulations have not been issued until now, causing troubles for investors in implementing their building projects.

And as some regulations are only being issued now, regulations on building condo hotels have yet to be seen.

Doan Van Binh, Vice President of Vietnam National Real Estate Association, said the model of condo hotel is strongly developing in the coastal areas of Nha Trang, Phu Quoc and Da Nang.

The ministry has yet to issue any regulation related to building this kind of hotel, which has caused troubles for investors in constructing condo hotels. Some have even been constructed without regulations, he said.

Binh said the association asked authorised agencies to quickly promulgate regulations on building and managing condo hotels.

Associate Professor Tran Chung, from the Vietnam Federation of Civil Engineering Association, admitted the current system of regulations on construction is “very messy”. Too many outdated regulations are on the books, and too many regulations are ignored.

To fix the mess, in the short term, each investor should select regulations on construction that they would apply for a project before submitting to the authorised agencies for approval.

This shift would help the investor ensure the consistency of regulations applied for the project, he said.

Additionally, authorised agencies could impose fines for investors failing to implement the regulations they committed to, he added.

In response to the situation, Deputy Minister of Construction Do Duc Duy said at a recent meeting that the ministry conducted checks of current regulations on construction to gradually fix the situation since last year.

Duy also admitted that some regulations were discovered to be outdated and failed to catch up with the reality, therefore, the ministry would make amendments this year.

Especially, the ministry planned to issue the regulations on building condo hotel in 2017, he said.-
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