Small Builder Thinking BIG
I have reported some very large 2×4 projects being built in Japan over the years, but on a magnificent sunny day here in early October, I had the pleasure of meeting a small builder who is thinking quite BIG. The builder, Koki Kobo based in Saitama prefecture, only has 5 employees and mainly constructs and remodels single family homes in the greater Kanto area, but the job site I visited, organized by the Japan Two-by-Four Home Builders Association, was a whole lot more than that. This builder, with the help of a local architect named Yoshihiko Nakada, is now working on and constructing a 9 unit 5 storey (1F RC & 2-5F 2×4) fireproof apartment building in the heart of Tokyo a stone throw away from another big boy on the block and new symbol of the city – Tokyo Skytree. Of course this 14.5m-high 2×4 building pales in comparison to its taller brother in the neighbourhood, the 634m-high Tokyo Skytree, but if you think back over the years to the humble beginnings of when the 2×4 construction method was introduced into this country with the maximum construction height being 2 stories, it puts things into perspective, on what a really BIG deal this is.