Canada Wood Today | The Canada Wood Group

Small Builder Thinking BIG

Kevin Bews

By Kevin Bews

SPF Manager

February 1, 2016

Image and photo courtesy of Yoshihiko Nakada Architect Firm

Image and photo courtesy of Yoshihiko Nakada Architect Firm

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.