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SMG implements a 'Design Aims Implementation System'

etc.Jul 31, 2020

Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) announced on June 16 that it will implement a ‘Design Aims Implementation System’ to ensure the presence of architects throughout the entire process of erecting public buildings. The city plans to implement the new policy so that it influences all public buildings endorsed by the SMG and its future affiliated organisations, including 13 architectural projects currently under construction. 
The legal basis for an individual architect’s engagement in construction has already been secured by the Construction Service Industry Promotion Act, however, there are no clear rules guaranteeing actual participation nor benefits assured in practice. It is anticipated that the System announced by the SMG will increase effectiveness by establishing the standards for participatory compensation and clarifying the scope of the architects’ role. First, it was possible to select one of the ‘fixed prices for expenditure method’ which are calculated based on the actual input cost and the ‘cost rate method’. The ‘cost rate method’ determines the cost by multiplying the design cost by a certain rate according to the size of the project. The rate is 19.9-0.71% of the design fee and is 8.5% based on the 10 billion won construction cost. In addition, when ordering construction, a separate ‘design intention review’ will be carried out to determine the size of coverage. The scope of an architects’ role when realising design intentions is defined as: ‘to ensure the integrity of architecture and manage original aims’. It distinguished the role from existing construction supervision, which mainly checks the ‘building’s quality and safety’. Looking at its action items closely, the system requires the consultation of a set of drawings and the interpretation of design intentions, as well as the review of processes contributing to the design quality and its integrity, the checking and auditing of design details, the provision of design change consultation and other advisory activities including interior design. As a way of ensuring the designer’s practical engagement, it has been mandated construction supervisors or a developer must submit a ‘Design Aims Realisation’ letter along with the completion report after the completion. SMG said that they will supplement the system for a year while they adjust to on-site feedback and closely monitor implementation as it is new policy.