Large-Scale Wooden Structure in Southern Japan
Recently Kevin Bews (COFI, SPF Group) and I visited a large-scale platform-frame construction job site on Ishigaki Island, Okinawa Prefecture, a tropical island similar to Hawaii. Due to an increase in tourism, from both overseas and domestic tourists, Okinawa has been experiencing a construction boom over the last several years. Although Okinawa has traditionally been a concrete construction market, this boom has also led to an increase in wood construction.
The project we visited is a staff residence for Fusaki Beach Hotel Resort and Villas, a high-end vacation spot near Ishigaki City. The company leading this project is Shinyo Gumi, a construction firm that traditionally constructed concrete buildings. However, 5 years ago they started to focus more on the 2×4 method, constructing 20 homes during that period. Being the only company using the 2×4 method in Ishigaki, they are considered a pioneer in utilizing this construction
The staff residence consists of two 2-storey buildings joined in the middle to form an H-shape. The project has a total floor area of 1,400 m² with a total of 56 rooms, each room 16 m² in size. The structural materials used in this project include Canadian OSB for wall sheathing (9 mm, 3×8) and SPF dimension lumber. When completed on this hot and humid island the building will be the largest scale 2×4 project in the most southern corner of Japan.