Canada Wood Today | The Canada Wood Group

Elderly Care Seminar – Bases Loaded Grand Slam

Kevin Bews

By Kevin Bews

SPF Manager

July 2, 2013

Photo of Mr. Hisato Yoshitaka of Yoshitaka Architects Engineers & Consultants lecturing to the Slow Life Yamanashi Seminar participants on June 20th, 2013.

Photo of Mr. Hisato Yoshitaka of Yoshitaka Architects Engineers & Consultants lecturing to the Slow Life Yamanashi Seminar participants on June 20th, 2013.

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Kitamura, owner and architect of a firm based in Nagano Prefecture, which specializes in designing care facilities in the region. It was just another typical “2×4 Elderly Project Seminar & Tour” – this one being conducted on June 20th, at an elderly care apartment, Slow Life Yamanashi. The reason why this atypical encounter was so enlightening, was it really gave me a better understanding on how these seminars are making a difference – putting runs on the board so to speak and expanding PFC in the elderly care market segment in Japan, i.e. large 2×4 non-residential structures. Growing up in a small town in Canada, I politely struck up a conversation with Mr. Kitamura with some small talk on what his thoughts were on our seminar program. He responded “it is very useful” and also mentioned “I have attended a few other COFI seminars in the past.” “I see…” was my initial reaction, but I know how polite Japanese tend to be as well, and thought perhaps this was just a bit of lip service from my new acquaintance. Instead of choosing to throw another pitch outside, high and wide, I elected to go with one straight down the middle. “I see…”, and added “have you done any projects in 2×4?” He casually responded “Yes, I’ve done a couple and have a few 2×4 projects on the go.” Unfortunately the project tour part of this seminar was ending as we were just getting started, so I asked if it would be all right for him to send me some information on the 2×4 projects that he had done, and then we parted ways.

A couple days transpired….  And then my Japanese colleague, Maya Muto and I received a thank you e-mail message from Mr. Kitamura and some information on his 2×4 work portfolio. As it turns out this individual and the his design firm has done four (4) Elderly Group Homes in PFC, one a year, since he began in 2009 designing his projects in 2×4. That’s not bad I thought, but as I read on I discovered he had five (5) different 2×4 elderly care related projects on the go now scheduled for completion this year – truly making me do a double take! However, what really hit home was the fact when I initially met him he stated that he hasn’t designed any 2×4 homes and only designs care facilities. At our office Maya Muto pulled his seminar participant record and then and only then did we realized that Mr. Kitamura has attended three (3) elderly care related 2×4 seminars in the past (2010, 2011 & 2012). Now that’s definitely bases loaded grand seminar slam!