A recent third-party cost comparison report conducted by a Korea general contractor company shows wood infill wall system can save 20% construction cost over traditional concrete walls. The study was done for the Seoul City Social Housing demo project, a 5-story concrete building with wood infill system applied as non-load-bearing exterior and interior walls. The demonstration project could usher in the new opportunity for the use of Canadian wood products in Korea’s mainstream concrete construction industry.
Wood infill walls are gaining in popularity as they are now being used by several architects and builders and Crown corporations like Gyeonggi Urban Innovation Corporation (GICO), Seoul Housing Corporation (SHC) and Korea Land & Housing Corporation (LHC). Market growth follows from the Long Life Housing policy introduced in 2013 by MLIT(Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Technology) that encourages the use of lightweight infill and partition walls to ease apartment and commercial building renovation.
The report analyzes the direct material cost and indirect cost of time-saving, labor and interior decoration and identifies the discrepancies. The conservative conclusion is that the wood infill wall is 20% less costly than that of concrete. The details are shown in the table below.
This cost comparison was researched by the general contractor of the demo project, Ziumjae Construction, and will be inserted to the demo project case study for further promotion of the wood in-fill wall system.
Seoul City Social Housing 5-storey wood infill wall demo house (Exterior façade)
IDS is one of the leading architectural firms in Korea and considered as the champion and leader in the sustainable architecture of wood buildings, notably through the design for Korea’s tallest modern wood construction.
Its principal, Mr. Ki Cheol Bae, is a prominent architect who holds a couple of unmatched records with wood design in Korea. Mr. Bae’s wood construction skills began with Canada Wood Korea’s earlier training, then deepened with several mission visits to Canada.
In 2016, he designed Korea’s largest wood building, a 4-story research centre with a floor area of 4500m2. Last year, his firm was involved in creating Korea’s tallest wood demo building, a 19.12m high 5-story construction, applying the first 2-hour fire-rated CLT wall and floor system. This year, his winning design for the 90m tall Gwangmyeong City’s Wooden Observation Tower will once again demonstrate the possibility of wood structure in an unprecedented way.
Thanks to the efforts made by leading architects like Ki Cheol Bae who embraces the timber design, Korea is gradually ramping up its capacity to build more wood buildings and will see many years of growth ahead.
Largest wood building in Korea (Photo credit: IDS)
Tallest Wood Building in Korea (Photo credit: IDS)
Conceptual sketch of Tallest Wood Structure in Korea to be completed in 2021 (Image credit: IDS)
The design of a high-end residential complex in Gyeonggi Province, Korea, was released recently. The project will be comprised of 34 post-beam wood houses using glue-laminated timber (Glulam) made of Canadian SPF.
Mr. Hyun Wook Lee, the developer of this project, was one of the first Korean architects to be introduced to Canadian wood-frame construction by Canada Wood Korea. Lee is also known as the inventor of “peanut house,” an affordable wood-frame duplex design that can save energy bills and improve living quality. Lee is now building 100 to 200 wood-frame units a year.
The post-beam design of this project enables the elimination of interior load-bearing walls, allowing for large open interior spaces and high ceilings. The SPF glulam frame will be left exposed, adding natural beauty to the look of the house. All the glulam components will be manufactured in Japan and imported to Korea for final assembly, lowering the structural and labour costs.
Construction work will begin in September 2020. Stay tuned for more details.
Incheon wood frame Dagagu House demo project was recently featured in a full-page article on Jung-Ang Daily, one of the three most prominent newspapers in South Korea.
Headlined “There is no such wood frame house as the energy-efficient Super-E® Home.”, this high-profile demonstration project caught media attention due to its pioneering adoption of three leading solutions: Wood Wall Bracing, Midply Shearwall systems and the Super- E® technologies.
Canada Wood Korea has been continuously promoting these three building technologies within Korea and providing technical support on several projects. The Wood Wall Bracing, Midply Shearwall system and Super E®, all developed in Canada are key to the faster adoption of the 2×4 system in the country. They match well to the government’s ambition for making new buildings meet zero-energy requirements by 2025.
The demo house passed the strict tests required for Super E® certificates and Korea’s 5-star certification, making the building meet the highest quality and energy-efficient standards. The test was implemented by The Korea Wood Construction Association, a key advocator of wood construction in the country.
“This demo house was recognized as a state-of-the-art house by others thanks to the wood that supports the house firmly. In order to achieve higher seismic performance, the Midply Shearwall system was applied.” Said Mr. Kang, principal of NOVA Architects behind this project.
“I wanted to build a house that doesn’t have environmental hormones. I thought the wood-frame house is the perfect solution for that. I am really satisfied with living in this house, together with my loving family.” He further stressed.