South Korean Government to Enforce Inter-Floor Noise Standards in New Apartments

SEOUL, In a move to address neighborly noise disputes, South Korea's land ministry announced Monday that it will not authorize the completion of newly built apartments unless they meet established inter-floor noise level standards. This initiative is part of a broader effort to tackle the social problems arising from noise conflicts.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the plan includes enhanced quality control measures, such as measuring inter-floor noise during mid-stage construction of apartment projects. Additionally, the government will increase inspection coverage from the current 2 percent to 5 percent of households, aiming to improve the reliability of inspections. Under existing regulations, authorities could only recommend corrective measures to builders if apartments failed to meet noise standards, without any enforcement power. The government has also decided that all public housing projects by the state-run Korea Land and Housing Corp. (LH) will adopt grade-1 level floor structures starting in 2025. This entails increasing floor thickness in LH homes by 4 centimeters to 25 centimeters and using high-performance cushioning materials. The issue of apartment floor noise has been a significant concern in South Korea, with some disputes escalating to extreme cases, including violent crimes.

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