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2020-07 26 Important News

[Academics][Excellent R&D] How to Ensure Structural Safety During Remodeling

Professor Choi Chang-sik (Department of Architectural Engineering) has developed the technology to ensure structural safety when vertically extending buildings. Unlike previous methods, Choi's method strengthens the existing wall structure without adding to or thickening of the walls; thus, it does not reduce the floor space. Out of all residential premises in South Korea, 55 percent are more than 30 years old (figure from 2018). When a building is decrepit, it can either be demolished and reconstructed or partly remodeled. Choi's research aims to deal with problems that arise while remodeling, especially when doing a vertical extension. Professor Choi-Chang-sik (Department of Architectural Engineering) is explaining the reason why shear walls are important when extending a building. To increase the number of floors of a building, many aspects must be considered. These include the vertical weight that will be put on the walls and pillars, horizontal weight which is related to wind and earthquakes, as well as the flexural strength. The taller the building, the more stress is put on the importance of the horizontal weight and flexural strength. The type of wall that is designed to support these two factors is called a shear wall. Choi's method of strengthening sheer walls differs from the previous adhesion-type method in that it does not thicken the walls or increase the number of walls. He first calculates the necessary thickness of the stiffener and cuts out the same size area from the existing wall structure. The stiffener is then applied onto the vacant area. This method gives the advantage that it will not reduce the actual floor space of the living area. Choi explained that the team has successfully finished the technology development as well as completed testing on real-scale structures. The only thing left is to test it on an actual building. "We are currently facing difficulties because there are not many complexes that are willing to try out the new technology. Furthermore, apartments in general do not prefer remodeling over reconstruction, so it is very hard to find an apartment to apply our method on," said Choi. “People feel vague anxiety about reusing an old structure as the base. However, remodeling involves as much technical verification as reconstruction. I hope people can trust the safety of our remodeling method." Hwang Hee-won