Our reporters Feifei Wong, Liang Xiaofei, Sun Liangquan

  The major collapse on August 29 in Xiangfen, Shanxi has sounded the alarm for the safety of self-built houses in rural areas.

The reporter learned from recent interviews in many places that for many years, self-built houses in rural areas have grown almost "barbarously": there are no standardized construction drawings, and most of the workers hired are rural "earth masters", and the choice of building materials is mainly based on economic strength.

Especially with the development of urbanization, some rural self-built houses have been transformed into business premises, and they have been renovated and expanded simply and randomly, which has caused a sharp increase in safety risks.

▲This is the rescue site of the "August 29" major collapse in Xiangfen, Shanxi.

Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Yang Chenguang

  However, a large number of rural self-built houses are currently in a regulatory "vacuum zone": laws and policies are lacking, and grassroots expertise is weak... Learning lessons from the accident, how to ensure the safety of rural self-built houses?

  No approval, no qualifications, no standards: "I am in charge of my site"

  Two years ago, Liu Youming, a farmer in the surrounding counties of Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province, built a two-story building on his homestead.

"The drawing was designed by a relative, so I simply drew the style." Liu Youming said, the surrounding houses are all on the second floor, and each house has a different style. After inspecting several houses with his relatives, he determined the design drawings. .

  Without applying to the township or village committee, Liu Youming's house was built.

"You don't need to apply to build a house in the village, as long as you don't occupy other people's land. As for who you use and what materials you use, nobody cares!" Liu Youming told reporters.

  Laying foundations, selecting materials, laying bricks, pouring... At any stage of the project, Liu Youming invites a master from which group to come.

"They were introduced by acquaintances, and we don't know if they have the qualifications." Liu Youming said that during the process of building the house, some of the masters were really incapable of craftsmanship. After the construction of the wall, it was found to be crooked and later demolished. reconstruction.

  Liu Youming contacted and purchased the building materials needed to build the house.

The reporter learned from interviews in many places that, like Liu Youming, most farmers did not have any application approval or scientific design for building houses. From foundation laying to house structure, materials selection, etc., they are all local "earth masters" or qualifications. The unidentified construction team is determined based on its own experience and the villagers’ house construction budget.

  The 60-year-old Master Wang is a mason in the local village. Everyone in the surrounding villages asked him to help him.

He learned this craft from his master when he was in his 20s, but he never participated in any training or passed the relevant certificate.

  Master Wang said that some villagers will need to find a master to what degree of construction and what type of work they need to use; others will hire a large construction team to do the whole process.

Generally, the construction team builds houses for several houses at the same time.

  "If you have money, you will use good materials, and if you don't have money, you will use good materials." Master Wang said that the selection of building materials has certain standards and should be accurately measured based on the structure of the house. In fact, the selection of materials depends on the experience and The budget of the villagers.

  "Reinforcing steel, cement, bricks and other building materials have different prices for different standards. If the budget is small, use the average quality. For example, if the steel bar is thick or thin, use 5 and 3." Master Wang Said that, as long as it is not too outrageous, construction personnel generally will not have objections.

After the house is built, the homeowner visually inspects whether there are skews, cracks, etc., if not, the house is deemed to be accepted.

  Luo Yin, an associate professor at the School of Architecture of Tsinghua University, said that my country’s rural base is huge and there are many farm houses.

"The peak period of rural housing construction was around 2000. After a service life of 10 to 20 years, it is now time for a concentrated outbreak of problems."

  In addition, the peasants have a serious mentality in building houses. The houses are getting bigger and bigger, but the money in their hands is limited. "Building the largest house with the least amount of money is equivalent to burying hidden dangers." Rod Yin said.

  The reporter learned that in the "Aug 29" major collapse accident in Xiangfen, Shanxi, prefabricated panels were used for the collapsed roof. This building material was widely used in some areas more than 20 years ago because of its low cost and convenient use. There are already various security problems in Pianfang.

  Treasury factories and mines turned into "wedding gardens" "Assault house construction" has many hidden dangers

  The reporter learned that if farmers live in their own houses, the safety is generally guaranteed. Even if there are problems, farmers can find out and repair them in time.

Some villagers reported that the most prominent problem now is the conversion of self-built houses in rural areas into commercial houses, especially the commercial places where people gather.

  At present, in rural areas, the most demanded place is for weddings and funerals.

In the past, such banquets were generally organized in the farmers' own yards, but in recent years, more and more farmers have chosen to go to special "banquet halls."

  Some large villages and towns have set up such places, some of them renovate and expand old restaurants, and some are rebuilt from warehouses, factories and mines.

Due to the different functional design at the beginning, the hidden danger of house safety increased after the purpose was changed.

  In a village near the county seat in Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province, a wedding is being prepared in a row of houses by the road.

The reporter learned that this row of houses was originally a warehouse built in the village, with brick-concrete exterior walls and color steel plates on the top.

At present, several of them have been rented out to merchants as facade houses, and the rest have become "wedding gardens" in the village.

  The staff who organized the wedding banquet told reporters that the wedding banquet is going to have 75 tables. If one table is calculated as 10 people, there will be 750 people dining here.

The reporter saw that the outer wall of this "wedding garden" was painted pink, and the house inside had a span of 15 or 6 meters. Except for the outer wall, there were no pillars to support it.

The roof color steel plate is used as the support steel frame, which is ordinary steel pipe.

  "What type of steel to use should be professionally measured according to the span of the house. The larger the span, the better the load-bearing performance of the steel. For houses with a relatively large span, channel steel or I-beam steel is generally used as support." A supervision engineer Told reporters.

  In addition, the reporter also saw that the kitchen here is next to the hall. The chefs use gas stoves for cooking, and the liquefied gas tank is placed next to the gas stove.

  A facade house tenant told reporters that their facade house and the "wedding garden" are separated by gypsum board.

After renting it, he found that the quality of the house was poor, so he strengthened it again and hung the ceiling.

"At the time, I was worried that it collapsed while pretending."

  Regarding the "wedding park" next to him, he was very worried. "After all, the warehouse was originally built with lower safety standards. If it was changed to a "wedding park", there are hundreds of people in a wedding, which has great hidden dangers."

  Reporters visited many rural areas and found that such situations are not uncommon.

An old hotel built more than ten years ago has expanded its scale in recent years, and the venue that can accommodate more than forty tables is actually a simple building; some factories and mines have been shut down due to environmental protection restrictions, and idle factories have also been converted into banquet venues. .

These places are not only worrying about the quality and safety of houses, but also because they are rebuilt later, generally the facades are small, and it is difficult to evacuate people if there is a safety accident such as a fire.

  In addition, the hidden safety hazards brought by the "raid house construction" in some rural areas cannot be ignored.

The reporter learned that in some rural areas, some farmers heard that the entire village was to be demolished, so they began to build houses in their yards because the houses were more compensated than the yards.

However, the quality of the temporarily built house was very poor, and even the foundation was not laid.

Some villages did not demolish in the end, leaving behind a bunch of problematic houses.

  In 2014, the media exposed that in order to compensate for fraud, a village popped up from the rice fields in the suburbs of Jinping, Yunnan.

The asbestos tile houses built in these assaults are supporting pillars made of bamboo, and even the beams are made of bamboo, which will collapse under heavy rain and strong winds.

  Regulatory dilemma: lack of regulations and policies, and insufficient grassroots forces

  The reporter learned that for a long time, rural self-built houses have been in a regulatory "vacuum zone".

A staff member of the Shanxi Housing and Construction System said that urban commercial houses have undergone relatively professional design, construction and review procedures, but in the vast rural areas, the construction field has always lacked effective supervision.

  Wang Jun, a lawyer from Shanxi Longcheng Law Firm, showed relevant laws and regulations to reporters.

Article 83, paragraph 3 of the "Construction Law" stipulates: "Rescue and disaster relief and other temporary housing construction and farmers' self-built low-rise residential construction activities are not compatible with this law." Ministry of Construction "Regarding Strengthening of Farmer Housing Construction Technical Services and Management Article 6 of the Notice stipulates: "The management of housing construction for farmers with three floors (including three floors) and above shall strictly implement the relevant provisions of the "Construction Law", "Regulations on the Quality Management of Construction Projects" and other laws and regulations." "Article 16 also stipulates that farmers do not need to apply for construction permits for self-built residential projects of less than two floors (including two floors).

  "Whether it is farmers doing it themselves, or contracting the project to individual craftsmen or construction companies, it belongs to farmers' self-construction." Wang Jun said, farmers' self-construction of houses with less than two floors (including two floors) does not apply to the construction law. The Regulations on the Planning and Construction of Villages and Market Towns promulgated by the State Council in 1993 were adjusted.

  Article 23 of the "Regulations on the Administration of the Planning and Construction of Villages and Market Towns" stipulates: "Units undertaking construction tasks in the planning areas of villages and market towns must have corresponding construction qualification certificates or qualification examination certificates, and undertake construction in accordance with the prescribed scope of business Tasks. Individual craftsmen engaged in construction within the planning of villages and market towns, in addition to undertaking house repairs, must go through construction qualification approval procedures in accordance with relevant regulations."

  However, the legal basis for the individual craftsmen to handle the construction qualification approval procedures in the above regulations was abolished in July 2004, so the construction qualifications are not required for the construction of farmers' low-rise residential buildings.

  An industry expert said that in 2009 and 2015, the country initiated the revision of the "Regulations on the Planning and Construction of Villages and Market Towns".

After the institutional reform, the planning function was integrated from the housing construction department to the natural resources department, and the revision work has not yet been completed.

Many provinces and cities, including Shanxi, have abolished the implementation measures formulated under this regulation.

  In 2014, the “Opinions on the Implementation of Rural Construction Planning Permits” issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development stated that for rural villagers’ housing construction, villagers should submit written applications for rural construction planning permits to the township and township people’s governments.

  However, in the actual implementation process, some places become formal.

An interviewed town mayor said that applications for self-built houses on rural homesteads are required to be applied to townships according to regulations, but the enforcement efforts vary from place to place, and many villages are determined by village cadres.

  In addition, a staff member of the grassroots housing construction system said that the current rural housing construction supervision body is not clear. Most grassroots units in the construction system are located at the county level. Urban and rural construction can only be captured at the county level. Township governments lack full-time construction personnel. There are not many people even part-time.

  In the planning and construction management station of Deng Village Town, Linfen City, Shanxi Province, there is only one staff member Guo Yongfang, and he is mainly responsible for the renovation of rural dilapidated houses, construction safety inspections, etc. "The quality of general houses is not inspected. This requires professional personnel. And instruments".

  The reporter noticed that in recent years, some cities in Shanxi have conducted a centralized clean-up and rectification of illegally built houses that are widespread in rural areas.

But the grassroots staff frankly said that unless the main government leaders take the lead, it is difficult to promote the work by relying solely on the strength of individual departments such as agriculture and rural areas, natural resources, and urban and rural construction.

  At present, the state does not explicitly prohibit farmers from using self-built houses for business purposes.

In September last year, the "Notice on Further Strengthening the Management of Rural Homesteads" jointly issued by the Office of the Central Rural Work Leading Group and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs clearly stated that village collectives and farmers should be encouraged to make full use of idle homesteads and idle houses through independent operation and cooperation. Management, entrusted management, etc., to develop farmhouses, homestays, rural tourism, etc. in accordance with laws and regulations.

  The reporter noticed that when self-built houses in rural areas are used for business operations, they need to provide land procedures or housing lease contracts during the industrial and commercial registration process. If there are no land procedures, the village committee community certificate is also acceptable.

  Wang Jun said that once the actual use of rural self-built houses is converted to operation, it should meet relevant safety, quality, and fire protection requirements.

However, a town mayor interviewed by a reporter said that rural housing is different from urban housing. There is a lack of design planning during the construction phase, and the housing structure is difficult to renovate in the later stage. Only some requirements can be made on fire escapes and fire protection facilities. Really implement.

  The most urgent task is to conduct a safety assessment of rural self-built houses

  In response to the current problems of rural self-built houses, especially houses that have been converted into business premises, many experts suggested that from the legal and policy level, the responsibility of rural self-built houses should be clarified, and supervision and grassroots professional capacity building should be strengthened.

  The first is to amend and improve relevant laws to clarify the responsible parties.

At present, the natural resources department is responsible for the approval of homesteads, but there is no responsible body in the construction process, how to build and what standards are built, and the relevant departments lack the basis of higher law in supervision.

  The second is to strengthen supervision of rural self-built houses, especially rural business premises, and establish a safety inspection system.

Implement management methods such as farm house construction planning permission, design and technical guidance, inspection and acceptance, and establish and improve the safety inspection system for village and market town construction projects.

After the villagers’ self-built houses are converted to business houses, they must complete the structural safety and functional inspection reports.

  Professor Wang Chongen of the School of Architecture of Taiyuan University of Technology and other experts believe that the most urgent task is to introduce measures to conduct structural problem detection and safety assessment of rural self-built houses, especially places converted to business use.

  The third is to strengthen grassroots professional capacity building and popularize safety knowledge.

In view of the current shortage of first-level construction professionals in towns and townships, professional forces should be equipped in time to avoid the "last mile" problem of policy implementation, and at the same time, popularize basic safety knowledge for the majority of villagers in the construction and reconstruction of rural houses.