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MLIT Streamlining Fire Regulations for Wooden Buildings

Hidehiko Fumoto

By Hidehiko Fumoto

Deputy Director and Manager Technical Services, Canada Wood Japan

June 5, 2019

As reported in this blog in August 2018, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) amended the Building Standard Law to streamline fire-related regulations for wooden buildings. One of the streamlined requirements was to allow mass timber to be visually exposed in midrise buildings. Another amendment was to allow the architects to design any wooden buildings as long as the building height is 16 m or less (Article 21 in BSL: Building Standard Law). The BSL used to require 1-hour quasi-fire resistive performance in case that the building height and the eaves height exceed 13 m and 9 m, respectively. The BSL amendments were announced in June 2018 and are going to be enacted in June of this year, after the MLIT releases the relevant enforcement orders and the notifications. It is anticipated that the demand and supply of wooden large-scale buildings are accelerated by these amendments.