5-Star Wood Construction Quality Certification Program Expanded into Public Building Sector

By: Tai Jeong

Country Director, Canada Wood Korea

5-Star Wood Construction Quality Certification program supported by Canada Wood Korea has made great gains in recent years in the residential sector and helped influence the building industry to raise the bar on the sustainable performance of single-family homes. The certification program has recently expanded into non-residential construction (primarily public and commercial sectors) and represents a significant foray into a new growth segment for the wood building systems.

The first two non-residential projects awarded certification are the ‘Paju Inter-Korean Forest Cooperation Center’ project and the ‘Nowon District Public Library’ project. There are two other projects – ‘Cheolwon Inter-Korean Cooperation Center’ in Cheorwon-gun and ‘Gaho-dong Administrative Office’ in Jinju-si, in the pipeline to be certified. Non-residential construction represents a substantial market for structural building materials, yet it is relatively untapped by wood.

Paju Inter-Korean Forest Cooperation Center, a Korea Forest Service project, under construction in Gyeonggi-do
At the site of Nowon District Public Library under construction in Seoul: KWCA’s 5 Star Program is supported by the program director, Ja il Koo and a pool of inspectors from its member architects, engineers, builders and material distributors

Green building continues to be the trending topic in South Korea in the non-residential sector, driven in large part by government and industry’s carbon reduction targets. The expansion of the 5-Star certification program allows designers and developers to incorporate sustainability by choosing less carbon-intensive materials and elevating building energy efficiency to reach near net-zero standards.

A concept imported from Canada Wood China, the 5-Star program started in South Korea in 2009. Since then, it has issued over 300 certifications thanks to the collaboration between Canada Wood Korea and Korea Wood Construction Association (KWCA).

The inspections for the first 5 Star Certification project were conducted in collaboration with Canada Wood China, Canada Wood Korea and the Korea Wood Construction Association (Photo taken in December 2009)

KWCA aims to enact the 5-star manual into its association standard to foster the widespread improvement in new construction in the coming years.