|▲ Im Yoon-gyu|
The earthquakes in Gyeongju two years ago and Pohang last year proved one thing: Korea is longer safe from earthquake. The government reviewed the Building Act with re-enforced earthquake resistance as a result but people still seem to be insensitive towards safety as the incidents are being forgotten in 2 years. In fact, Korea also has lack of specialists, equipment and products in relation to earthquake proof.
CEO Im Yoon-gyu of Nexus E.J had a great interest in the field long time before the two big earthquakes hit Korea. It is not surprising that he has poured his passion in researching and developing this innovative Extension Joint Cover for 14 years; it is a system that is designed to be installed between the walls to prevent the secondary and tertiary damages.
Some of the buildings that used Extension Joint Cover are Incheon International Airport, SBS, Samsung R&D Center Suwon, Seoul Asan Medical Center, Songdo Convensia, Busan Haeundae LCT and an affiliated Japanese company.
“The reason we cannot effectively train industry specialists in Korea is that there are no standards yet. The 2 years of short defect repair period also takes part in this. The most vulnerable to earthquake is small sized houses, in particular, the piling structure which are really common nowadays in Korea. The revised law forces the builders to comply with the earthquake-proof rules but they are reluctant due to limited parking space.”
Im also points out “It is common practice in Korea that the ordering body sets the construction cost and calls for bids. The problem is that the builders are reluctant to include an earthquake-proof specialist,who must join in the project from the designing stage, in order to finish the construction within the budget.”
When asked about solutions, Im said “The architectural firms must be smarter first of all. Secondly, earthquake-proofers earn less money than they deserve so there needs to be an improvement. Thirdly, the media need to reportwhy the earthquake-proofed buildings still have cracks or even collapse when it hits. This way, the problems keep emerging on the surface and solutions are introduced and implemented.”
Im added “I hope the builders should use the materials as stated on the manual if they are to take part in advancing Korea’s construction quality and level. As for my part, I will keep introducing better materials, methods and design that can meet the global standards.”
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