2×4 Factories on the Rise in Japan

By: Kevin Bews

SPF Manager, Canada Wood Japan

The ongoing collaboration between our partners in Japan to diversify the 2×4 business and expand the presence of Canadian dimension lumber in non-residential and commercial markets is progressing positively. A remarkable example of this progress can be seen in the completion of Kowa Manufacturing’s new factory and office building in the town of Tarui, Gifu Prefecture. This two-storey L-shaped structure covers a total floor area of 2,500 m² and utilizes 326 m³ of lumber and engineered wood products in its construction. The project’s carbon storage equivalent is estimated to be 240 tons of CO2.

For the roof of the building, LVL trusses were combined with 2×10 SPF dimension lumber as rafters and sheathed with plywood. This design enabled impressive spans of 16.3 m and 25.4 m for the building. The walls, on the other hand, were framed using 2×8 SPF dimension lumber and sheathed with OSB.

Kowa Manufacturing, a company specializing in aluminum product design and production, is the proud owner of this new building. The company made the decision to replace their old steel factory with a wooden structure, allowing them to reduce construction costs and construction time. Additionally, they discovered that the new facility provides a more comfortable working environment for their employees, resulting in a win-win situation. The construction of the building was carried out by HAGI Home Produce, while the supply and construction of the wooden structure were handled by Shiga Wood and engineered by En.Wood.

This successful project exemplifies the ongoing efforts to expand the use of Canadian dimension lumber and showcase the benefits of wood in commercial construction in Japan. It demonstrates how wood can offer cost-effective and efficient solutions while providing a comfortable and sustainable working environment. The collaboration between various partners has been instrumental in achieving these positive outcomes.