Wood Frame Infill and Partition Walls Gaining Ground in Korea
Kwangjang, who has played very important role in expanding wood frame construction market by popularizing wood frame duplexes (or Peanut House) in Korea, is proving themselves as the pioneer of wood construction again. Having already experimented with infill walls and floors for a hybrid concrete and wood post and beam structure, they have successfully persuaded a Catholic organization to adopt wood frame infill wall and partition walls (Wood Walls) in their 7 storey concrete structure to house kindergarten and nunnery in Seoul on merits of environments and energy saving.
It seems that, as the number of architects who are familiar with wood frame construction and component manufactures who are keen on expanding their business into bigger construction market are growing, wood frame infill and partition walls are finally gaining ground for take-off. For this kindergarten project, Kwangjang has teamed up with a well known glulam manufacture in Korea for installation of wood walls who see a viable market for the company in wood walls. And another component manufacturer is also preparing bid for wood wall application for 12 storey concrete structure.
Canada Wood Korea conducted a market research on the market opportunities for wood frame infill and partition walls (Wood Walls) in 2009 in anticipation of new application of wood frame construction to concrete structures brought by the Korean government’s promotion of Long Life Housing with “Skeleton and Infill (SI)” system, and published a series of 3 booklets containing technical information in collaboration with FPInnovations. But higher construction costs associated with SI system and the economic downturn have limited the growth of the market virtually to zero for concrete structures except a few demo projects.