English III

Housing Types and Construction


A house is defined as a building structure and its attached land, in its entirety or part, where a household member(s) may dwell independent- ly for an extended period of time. The National Housing Law classifies houses into two catego- ries—detached housing and collective housing— and the Attached Table 1 of the Decree of the National Housing Law explains their definitions in detail.

Detached housing is further divided into gener- al detached house, multi-dwelling detached house, and of cial residence categories. A unit in a gen- eral detached house must be built for long-term stay primarily for students or single employees, a non-independent dwelling unit, 330 m2 or less in building space, and not more than three stories. On the other hand, a multi-dwelling detached house unit must be no more than three stories, 660 m2 or less in building space, and able to ac- commodate a maximum of 19 households.

The collective housing category is further di- vided into apartment, apartment-unit-in-a-house, row house, and dormitory. Apartment-unit-in-a- house and row house units may only be built up to 

four stories. The difference between the two types is that an apartment-unit-in-a-house is 660 m2 or less in building space, whereas a row house unit is 660 m2 or larger. Finally, a dormitory is a place for school students or company workers in which more than half of residents share the kitchen area.

When the building classification criteria were first introduced in 1978, there were two types of legal housing—the detached house for one principal household (general single unit, official residence, and boarding house) and the collective house for multiple principal households (large multi-family house, apartment building, and dormitory). The rapid urbanization in the 1980s, however, increased demand for housing and many existing houses were illegally remodeled. In this context, the apartment-unit-in-a-house category was newly included in the collective house cate- gory, and the units in a detached house were ab- sorbed into the detached house category in 1990. In 1999, multi-dwelling detached house units were legalized and added to the collective house inventory.

In the early 1980s, the construction of apart