Canada Wood Today | The Canada Wood Group

NIFoS Leading the Way to Tall Wood Mass Timber Buildings in Korea:

Tai Jeong

By Tai Jeong

Technical Director, Canada Wood Korea

July 21, 2017

5 Storey Wood Building in 2018 and 10 Storey Wood Residential Building by 2020

The slogan for 2018 World Conference on Timber Engineering (WCTE) to be held in Korea is “AGAIN, GOLDEN ERA OF TIMBER’, and the National Institute of Forest Science (NIFoS formerly known as KFRI, the Korea Forest Research Insititute) is working hard to realize the goal by leading the way to Tall Wood Mass Timber buildings in Korea.

NIFoS, having completed 4 storey high post and beam research facility with total floor area 4,500 m2 in 2016, has a plan to build a 5 storey demonstration building in 2018 and 10 storey residential building by 2020 with CLT. NIFoS seems to be particularly interested in using CLT and has introduced the plan again in the 5th International Symposium on Timber Construction held in May 2017.

Building 5 storey and 10 storey wood buildings in Korea means that NIFoS has to conduct extensive research and testing for structural performance, sound insulation and fire resistance of wood structural elements to meet the code requirements and also for the revision of the Korea Building Code.

Rendering of the first 5 storey wood building in Korea (Source: NIFoS)

In order to build the first 5 storey wood buildings in Korea, the main structural elements of the building have to be 2 hour fire resistant assemblies which are well studied and common in Canada or Japan but yet to be tested and certified in Korea.

However, in order to build 10 storey wood building, the Korea Building Code, which sets limitations to allowable height and area for wooden buildings (roof height to 18 meters and total architectural area to 6,000 m2 with sprinkler), has to be revised accordingly.