If you go down to Shiga Wood today . . .
If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise. Do you remember that jingle? Well this time it goes something like this “If you go down to Shiga Wood today, you’re sure of a big surprise.” I’ve had many opportunities to visit Shiga Wood over the years working with COFI and even prior to that when I was based in Nagoya working for a local 2×4 lumber company there. What really stood out and struck me the last time I visited though, is the progress it’s made over the years from its pretty humble beginnings to the leading 2×4 component supplier that it is today. If you don’t know, Shiga is quite a conservative prefecture smack dab in the middle of Japan and the rule of thumb is to build wooden homes here using the traditional post and beam method, so it hasn’t been anything at all like a little bear’s picnic.
When I first visited the company about 20 years ago, it was just starting its 2×4 business and had a very basic wall panel line. Well that was in the past and now let’s blast forward to February 17th, 2015. I was there for an Shiga Wood’s open house with about 50 plus other individuals (mainly local builders and architects) to view its new office – a highly energy efficient head 2×4 building!! I was impressed to see the staff and management beaming together with pride as they took the opportunity to show off their new digs and highly modernized component plant. Shiga Wood has invested heavily in its equipment, facilities and staff over the years and is now looking to use its new office that it just built as a platform (literally) to promote energy efficient 2×4 housing (air tight and well insulated) to local contractors in the region. It seems that these little Shiga bears never tire and just keeping on improving.