The Suyu-dong wooden wall structure, a 5-storey concrete building in Seoul utilizes a wood-frame-infill system for its exterior and partition walls. A wood frame infill system is a unique hybrid that improves a building’s thermal performance while achieving a low carbon footprint. The results of a carbon assessment show that the wood products used in this building contain the equivalent of 44 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide, which equates to 29 fewer cars on the road for a year.
2019, Canada Wood Korea collaborated with SOSOL Architects, one of Korea’s wood champions, to demonstrate the effectiveness of wood infill systems and NLT (Nail-Laminated Timber) ceilings for industrialized construction by providing the materials and technical support for this showcase project.
Upon completion, project details were submitted for entry into the Korea Wood Design Awards and the building secured the Top Excellence Prize for 2020.
The building, located in Seoul, is used as ‘social housing.’ As Korea continues to see skyrocketing housing prices and limited land supply, affordable housing has been a key policy issue for Seoul’s mayors. One environmentally friendly solution to resolve this issue has been the construction of social housing. This increased demand for mid-rise buildings, which include apartments and condominiums for affordable housing, creates an opening for wood infill wall systems. Infill wall systems are an ideal solution because they can be built quickly, with higher energy performance and a lower carbon footprints. SOLSOLarchitects appreciate other benefits, such as the improved indoor air quality and versatility in renovation or remodelling.
SOSOL Architects’ Principal Architect Mr. Wang said, “This was the first wood infill wall project. At first, I was hesitant about combining the system with concrete, in terms of the cost and construction time in comparison to othermethods. Having recognized the positive outcome of this demonstration project, I will be happy to apply wood infill wall systems to our future projects.”
In November 2010, a Korean field-testing site for pressure-treated specimens of the Canadian refractory species White Spruce and Western Hemlock, was set up in Jinju-si, Gyeongsangnam-do. The samples were treated in Canada with the Residential Products Group C and D (specifications of the CSA Standard O80 Series with ACQ and CA), then brought to Jinju-si — a city on the southernmost part of the Korean peninsula where the average annual precipitation exceeds 1,500mm and termites are active.
2020 marked the 10th (and final) year for this field testing, and the annual inspection was conducted on December 16, 2020 by GNTECH professor Jong Bum Ra Korea Wood Preservation Association chairman Jae Yoon Ryu. Manager of New Construction Materials at FPInnovations, Rod Stirling, CWK’s Country Director Tai Jeong participated remotely by video during the inspection.
This test, which was designed to demonstrate the CSA O80 series’ preservative treatment, showed that the treated wood provided effective protection from both decay and termite attacks. The inspection revealed that the pressure-treated specimens of Canadian western hemlock and white spruce were in very good shape, both in areas with ground contact and in above-ground conditions, while the control group of untreated wood stakes (which were less than a year old) showed severe deterioration from both fungus decay and termite attack.
The 10 years of collected data will be compiled and analyzed to provide scientific data that supports the applicability of the CSA Standard O80 Series, and the creation of an Association Standard for treated wood products. Canada Wood Korea expects the use of Canadian refractory species, such as Spruce and Hemlock, will be allowed again in the treated-wood sector’s new standard.
With the arrival of COVID-19, many organizations made the move to operate from remote workplaces. As such, urban dwellers are reconsidering their locational lifestyle choices. There is no doubt that the pandemic will also push architecture and urban planning to evolve to accommodate consumer preferences.
Those who can afford working remotely might consider moving out of the city, trading long commutes for a larger single-family home lifestyle. This option has created a new demand for single-family homes, for which wood-frame construction is usually the preferred structure. Market share of single-family home wood construction rose from 2% in 2001 to over 15% by the end of 2020.
In addition to the elevated demand from the evolving housing market, the need for lumber is also on the rise due to increased demand from the ‘repair, remodelling and other’ end-use sectors — as people on “lockdown” spend more time at home. Canada Wood Korea is actively investigating these segments to target new opportunities for Canadian wood products.
Currently, some popular Korean TV reality shows have kicked enthusiasm for home renovation into high gear, and inspired home makeovers using wood frame components. Check out the video clips:
Since market development efforts in India began, Forestry Innovation Investment (FII) India has been conducting product trials with local manufacturers as an efficient, cost-effective way of showcasing the advantages of using B.C. wood species for furniture applications.
In an effort to expand product trials beyond the furniture space, FII India had also recognized doors and door jambs as a significant opportunity to introduce Canadian wood species as an alternative to traditional hardwoods that are declining in supply.
FII largely promoted yellow cedar for manufacturing doors (interior and exterior), door frames and windows, given its qualities of resistance to termites, rot and decay, relevant to the suggested applications. However, the fragmented nature of the industry along with the demand of varying sizes and dimensions across user segments and geographical areas posed challenges.
At the same time, while western hemlock’s finishing properties are seen as ideal for manufacturing applications in India, availability of required grades and sizes, as well as the presence of knots and resulting wastage have presented barriers to its uptake for door jamb applications. The solution was a western hemlock finger-jointed edge-glued (FJEG) panel – a ready-to-use product for manufacturing door frames that removes unwanted defects present in lumber, thereby giving a clean knot-free appearance where desired and high recovery in the production of door frames.
To introduce the FJEG panel, FII India initiated product trials with 40 well-known manufacturers in India. Collaborating with FII Vietnam, the panels were manufactured in Vietnam and imported for the purposes of the trial, with the potential to have them produced locally in India in the future. Initial results indicate a positive response to the product’s ability to optimize production by reducing wastage and speeding up the manufacturing process. Manufacturers also noted the product’s potential use in other applications such as door shutters, furniture and interior fittings.
Based on initial positive feedback, FII India is working with four Indian companies to manufacture FJEG panels in India. Once complete, the plan is to share the Indian-made panels with a number of the same 40 companies, so that they can further assess suitability and the business case for commercial uptake of the Indian-made hemlock panels.
In the Japanese traditional P&B housing industry, more and more structural designers prefer using SPF dimension lumber for roof rafters and floor joists. This is because dimension lumber is easier to handle and to procure compared with the conventional Taruki and Neda. COFI has been providing an Excel-based structural design tool for the use of SPF dimension lumber in support of technical inquiries from designers. The cumulative number of users of this Excel-based design tool is now over 150. However, the in-plane shear performance of these horizontal diaphragms is limited to that for houses as opposed to the non-residential projects where higher shear performances are required.
As part of Canada Wood Japan Market Access projects of this year, we have been working on developing horizontal diaphragms for non-residential structures with SPF dimension lumber. With 5 specifications, in-plane shear tests have been conducted at the Centre for Better Living laboratory in Tsukuba City. Starting on November 25th, testing is going on relatively smoothly, showing significant performance differences from one specification to another. The testing apparatus in the photographs here look like a vertical set-up, but it actually is the equipment arrangements for testing the horizontal in-plane shear capacity. This test program will similarly result in data and technical tools that will enable specifying Canadian dimension lumber products in larger scale post and beam non-residential structures.