The Taipei City Government’s “health checks” on old buildings to determine their structural integrity during an earthquake is lagging behind the goal set by the city, figures compiled by the Taipei Management Construction Office showed yesterday.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has been calling on members of the public to sign up for a building “health check” program which was launched in April, following the recent publication of a map showing areas in Taipei that are susceptible to soil liquefaction.
The office said it hopes to inspect 7,500 buildings by the end of this year.
However, only 330 buildings had been registered for inspections as of yesterday, with the deadline for applications set at the end of next month.
A total of 104,970 buildings in Taipei are qualified for a “health check,” the city’s figures showed.
In response to media queries, office chief engineer Horng Der-haur (洪德豪) said that progress is not the point, as the office would accept applications again next year.
As construction policies implemented after the 921 Earthquake of 1999 mandate that constructions meet stricter requirements on buildings’ seismic performance, buildings erected before 2000 are eligible for a preliminary assessment performed by the city’s structural engineer and architect unions, Horng said, adding that the Ministry of the Interior would fully subsidize the inspections, which cost NT$8,000 each.
The service is not available for buildings constructed after 2000, even if they are in areas prone to soil liquefaction, Horng said.
If follow-up inspections are deemed necessary for an old building following a preliminary inspection, the office would subsidize up to 45 percent of the inspection costs, with the maximum subsidy for each building set at NT$300,000.
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