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Ricardo Cerolini
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Building Standard Law Of Japan.pdf


Building Standard Law of Japan




The Building Standard Law of Japan (BSL) is a national law that regulates the site, construction, equipment, and use of buildings in Japan. The BSL aims to ensure the safety, health, and welfare of the people who live or work in buildings, as well as to promote the rational use of land and the conservation of the environment. The BSL was enacted in 1950, after the devastation caused by World War II and the Great Tokyo Air Raid. The BSL has been revised several times since then, to cope with the changes in society and technology, such as urbanization, earthquakes, energy efficiency, and accessibility.


Structure and Content of the BSL




The BSL consists of 12 chapters and 113 articles, as well as supplementary provisions. The main chapters are as follows:




Building Standard Law Of Japan.pdf




  • Chapter I: General Provisions (Articles 1 to 9)



  • Chapter II: Site (Articles 10 to 17)



  • Chapter III: Construction (Articles 18 to 40)



  • Chapter IV: Equipment (Articles 41 to 48)



  • Chapter V: Use (Articles 49 to 54)



  • Chapter VI: Inspection and Maintenance (Articles 55 to 58)



  • Chapter VII: Permission and Notification (Articles 59 to 69)



  • Chapter VIII: Designated Administrative Agency (Articles 70 to 77)



  • Chapter IX: Kenchikushi (Architects) (Articles 78 to 88)



  • Chapter X: Supervision and Guidance (Articles 89 to 94)



  • Chapter XI: Penal Provisions (Articles 95 to 112)



  • Chapter XII: Miscellaneous Provisions (Article 113)




The BSL sets forth the minimum standards for the site, construction, equipment, and use of buildings, based on the principles of safety, health, welfare, rationality, and harmony. The BSL also stipulates the procedures for obtaining permission or notifying the authorities before building or altering a building, as well as the roles and responsibilities of the designated administrative agency and the Kenchikushi. The BSL also imposes penalties for violations of its provisions or orders based on it.


Major Features of the BSL




Some of the major features of the BSL are as follows:



  • The BSL adopts a performance-based approach, rather than a prescriptive approach, for regulating buildings. This means that the BSL specifies the objectives and criteria that buildings must meet, rather than prescribing detailed methods or materials. This allows for more flexibility and innovation in building design and construction, as well as accommodating diverse needs and preferences of users.



  • The BSL relies on the self-responsibility of building owners and Kenchikushi for ensuring compliance with its standards. The BSL requires building owners to obtain permission or notify the authorities before building or altering a building, and to submit a confirmation document prepared by a Kenchikushi. The Kenchikushi is a licensed professional who is responsible for designing, supervising, inspecting, and certifying buildings according to the BSL. The Kenchikushi must also register with the designated administrative agency and follow its rules and guidance.



  • The BSL delegates some of its administrative functions to a designated administrative agency, which is usually a local government or a public corporation. The designated administrative agency is authorized to issue permissions or accept notifications for building or altering buildings, as well as to supervise and guide building owners and Kenchikushi. The designated administrative agency may also issue orders or take measures for buildings that violate the BSL or its requirements.




Challenges and Future Directions of the BSL




The BSL has been playing an important role in ensuring the quality and safety of buildings in Japan. However, the BSL also faces some challenges and limitations in responding to the changing needs and expectations of society. Some of these challenges are as follows:



  • The BSL may not be able to address all the aspects and risks of buildings that affect human health and well-being, such as indoor air quality, thermal comfort, noise, lighting, and accessibility. The BSL may need to incorporate more comprehensive and holistic standards for building performance and evaluation, as well as to promote the use of green and smart technologies.



  • The BSL may not be able to keep up with the rapid development and diversification of building types and uses, such as mixed-use, high-rise, underground, and temporary buildings. The BSL may need to adopt more flexible and adaptive standards and procedures for regulating different kinds of buildings, as well as to encourage more public participation and consultation in building planning and design.



  • The BSL may not be able to ensure the effective and efficient implementation and enforcement of its standards and requirements, especially in the face of limited resources and capacities of the designated administrative agency and the Kenchikushi. The BSL may need to strengthen the accountability and transparency of its administration and supervision system, as well as to enhance the education and training of its stakeholders.




The BSL is expected to continue to evolve and improve in the future, in order to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. The BSL is also expected to contribute to the global efforts for achieving sustainable development and resilience, by promoting the creation of safe, healthy, and livable buildings for everyone.


References





  • [House ventilation systems in Japan Living in Tokyo Real estate ...]



  • [Japanese Building Code Basics SEKAI PROPERTY]



  • [Building Standards Act - English - Japanese Law Translation]



  • [Introduction to the Building Standard Law - 日本建築センター]






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