Waving the 2×4 Flag

We now have a new “2×4 Promotional Banner” thanks to a forward-thinking company named Panel House, located in Koichi City, Shikoku Japan. COFI Tokyo staff was contacted by the company two months ago, wanting to add an advertisement banner link to their company’s website and receive a DVD copy of our Three Little Pigs 2×4 aminations episodes, to promote the benefits of building and living in a 2×4 house to their customers. Then a couple days later, they had another request for us to supply them with our end user promotional pamphlet based on the Three Little Pigs 2×4 amination series for an upcoming local housing fair in Kochi the last week in October, but their request did not stop there. In Japan, it is very popular to have banners called “Nobori”. They are long, narrow flags, attached to a pole with a cross-rod to hold the fabric straight out and are a common sight outside businesses, restaurants, and retail stores where they advertise a sale, a new product, and simply the name of the business. For Japanese housing companies, these nobori are very popular item, used to promote company’s brands and products at job sites, show homes and housing fairs. When Panel House asked us for a nobori for our Three Little Pigs 2×4 Campaign, we had to unfortunately tell them we did not have such an item. However, the company was so keen on the idea that they decide to make one up on their own, based on the electronic data from the front of our end user pamphlet, which we had, they made this into a “2×4 Promotional Banner” as shown in the photo. This is a wonderful example of the grass root work our organization and staff does with local companies in Japan to expand plat form frame construction in Japan. Big thanks go to all the staff at Panel House in Kochi for raising and waving the 2×4 flag!!!

Midply-Infill P&B Shear Wall Test Successful

In addition to Midply-related technical projects undertaken for PFC applications, Canada Wood Japan is conducting shear wall tests for Midply infill wall systems for post and beam applications.  This is the part of a joint COFI-APA-CFPA 2-year joint market access project.  After the pretests in September 2017, we finalized the test wall specifications and conducted the tests on 3 specimens at the Centre for Better Living (CBL) laboratory in Tsukuba City on 28th and 30th of October, 2017.  The Midply infill specifications include SPF 2×4 dimension lumber, 9mm-thick Canadian OSB and CN75 nails.  The infills are fastened to the P&B framing with 150mm-long wood screws called HQR.  Our target for this fiscal is to collect data necessary for seeking the shear wall multiplier 5.0: the highest value achievable under the MLIT* ministerial approval system.  Shear wall multipliers are defined in the Japanese building code and are the performance induces more use when the designers take a prescriptive design approach.  According to the interim report we received from the CBL, the test walls show that we have cleared the performance required to achieve a shear wall multiplier 5.0.


MLIT: Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism

Japanese 2×4 Building Code to Specify High Performance Shear Walls

When designers take the prescriptive design approach for wooden buildings, shear wall multipliers are the indicator that are popularly used to determine the seismic load resistance.  In the PFC building code, a shear wall multiplier 3.5 has been the highest value given to a shear wall with 9-mm thick Class 1 JAS plywood sheathing fastened with the CN50 nails at 100 mm spacing.  In the past 3 years, MLIT has been reviewing the shear wall ministerial approvals with the multiplier higher than 3.5 and has been seeking the possibility to include those specifications in the code.  The reviewed approvals include those obtained by the APA the Engineered Wood Association.  As a result, it has been decided to specify in the PFC code the shear walls with the multiplier as high as 4.8.  The code revision draft defines 4.8 for the walls with 12mm-thick Class 3 OSB and Class 1/Class 2 plywood sheathing fastened with CN65 nails at 50mm spacing.  Using these high shear wall factors would enable the architects to design PFC houses with remarkably higher seismic resistance than currently achievable in the code.  It is important to note that shear wall factors approved in the past remain effective even after the new code becomes enacted.  The revised code is scheduled to be released in December 2017.

Japan’s Growing Interest in 2×4 Midrise Construction

On October 12th the Japan 2×4 Home Builders Association held a major symposium on “The results of technical test program work on the 6 storey 2×4 demonstration project in Tsukuba”. The symposium venue was filled to capacity with 200 structural engineers, builders, architects and academics attended the symposium which covered various technical test work that is being conducted on the Tsukuba 6 storey test project to confirm performance of midrise construction in Japan.

Leading researchers and academics covered topics such as vertical shrinkage in 6 storey wood frame construction, seismic testing, sound abatement performance among other topics. Case studies in Japanese mid-rise projects were presented and Shawn Lawlor of Canada Wood delivered a presentation on midrise trends in Canada in order to further encourage the spread of midrise platform frame construction in Japan.

Reconstruction Projects Facility Growth of Non-Residential Construction in Tohoku

On September 22nd Canada Wood visited the new Selco Home non-residential demonstration office project in Sendai with Catriona Armstrong of NRCan and Joyce Wagenaar of FII. Selco Home opened The “City Forest” 3 storey demonstration office in August to show prospective clients the beauty and performance of wood in commercial, non-residential uses.

Traditionally a 2×4 single family home builder, Selco’s first non-residential project was the Canada Wood Yuriage Public Market Reconstruction Project in Natori City. The public market project was a catalyst for Selco to establish a new team targeting business development in the non-housing sector. Since then, Selco Home has completed a number of non-residential projects including offices, restaurants, retail outlets, multi-use public facilities, community centres, clinics, kindergartens and elderly care facilities. The new Selco Home “City Forest” office features extensive use of Canadian forest products including Douglas Fir engineered wood products as well as Western Red Cedar. We wish the Selco team continued success in developing wooden non-residential construction.