Canada Wood Today | The Canada Wood Group

Urban Regeneration, Led by Wood Frame Construction. – Completion of Korea’s Tallest Hybrid Wood Building

Tai Jeong

By Tai Jeong

Country Director, Canada Wood Korea

June 5, 2019

Urban regeneration is quickly becoming the most important core value and the best urban management method in Korea’s urban policies. In response to the rising demand for more urban buildings, the National Institute of Forest Science (NIFoS) introduces the wood frame construction to the city in order to set an example of how tall wood hybrid building can be part of the urban regeneration project for the improvement of declined or underdeveloped areas in the city.

This recent completed 5-story project in Youngju-si Gyeongsangbuk-do, which is the tallest wood hybrid building in Korea was celebrated by NIFoS on March 23, 2019. The case for this project is driven by the significant environmental benefits that wood building can provide to create safe and livable space for urban residents.

The wood structure of this building reaches 18 meters high with a 19.12 meters concrete core. The Korean Building Structure Code limits the maximum height of wooden buildings to eighteen meters at the ridge and fifteen meters at the eave. The rest of the above ground structural system of this building consists of reinforced concrete for core and CLT panels, Glulam posts and beam and I-joists for floor and non-load bearing wood frame infill walls. Under the current fire code, buildings between five and twelve stories are required to reach two-hour fire ratings for most of the main structural components of buildings. For the construction of this building, NIFoS successfully tested and achieved two-hour fire resistance rating for CLT wall and floor panels and glulam posts and beams.

In a KBS broadcasting video, Dr. Kim Se-Jong from Institute of Forest Science said, “The building was exposed to 1,000 degrees of heat for 2 hours and the structure endured the environment.”

“A special engineering technique was used to tackle the weight issue as the higher a building gets, the heavier it is. The new building is also found to be more earthquake resistant than steel-framed or reinforced concrete structures. Lumber’s elasticity disperses the force of impact, making wooden buildings more resistant to quakes.” Dr. Kim added.

Another example includes the four-story research building constructed in Suwon, Gyeonggi-do. This research building was constructed for NIFoS’ use and it is Korea’s first modern and large scaled building entirely built with wood.

NIFoS has already announced a plan for building a ten storey wood multi-unit dwelling by the year 2022, which will require amending the structural code to allow higher wooden buildings in Korea. The experience and knowledge gained and accumulated from this project will be instrumental for future wood building projects.