Expanding 2×4 into Large Span Commercial Buildings

Two prominent wooden warehouses were recently designed and built by platform frame construction (total floor area for each building is approximately 1,400 m²) in an economical and environmentally friendly way in Fukushima Prefecture. The large warehouses, both 20 m wide and 70 m long, were built with structural wood product members (composite double beam girders, i.e. box beams) in order to construct a roof span of 20 m, while the walls were assembled using dimension lumber. The volume of wood used in these two warehouses, including plywood sheathing, is about 550 m³, in which 350 m³ of this amount was Canadian SPF dimension lumber. This project was initially proposed to be constructed in steel, but it was redesigned and constructed in wood to reduce the foundation construction cost, and in order to realize a shorter construction period. The warehouses are owned by Ichiro Co., Ltd., designed by Sasaki Architect Office and the wooden structure was engineered and supplied by Japan Kenai Co., Ltd. The warehouses are a great example and highlight the possibilities of large-scale wooden commercial buildings requiring longer spans. Construction cost for these buildings was 495,000 yen per tsubo – a Japanese unit of area equal to approximately 3.31 m². In COFI’s recent market research into non-residential construction, logistics centres, warehouses and manufacturing facilities were identified as the most promising in terms of untapped market potential for wood construction.

Exterior and interior photos of Ichiro Warehouse in Fukushima Prefecture

Staying Connected: FII India Presents Its First Webinar on ‘Wood in Structural Use’

Educational seminars and training workshops are two key tools used by the Forestry Innovation Investment (FII) team in India to inform local manufacturers, stockists, architects and other key stakeholders on the merits and applications of B.C. wood species. Through this approach, FII India is able to expand knowledge and build demand for B.C. forest products across strategic markets in India. In 2019-20, 26 educational events were held, generating 1,114 business leads.

In recent months, due to COVID-19 and required limitations on social gatherings, FII India has not been able to conduct these in-person training sessions. To adapt to this new environment and to continue connecting with local stakeholders, the team in India has substituted traditional seminars with a series of webinars.

On May 27, 2020, FII India hosted its first webinar on ‘Wood in Structural use: Advantages and Benefits’, targeting and inviting 35 strategic partners consisting primarily of architects, real estate developers and hospitality sector professionals.

The theme of the webinar tapped into India’s growing interest in the use of wood in structural applications, with topics covering the different methods of building with wood, as well as the environmental, cost and timesaving, building efficiency and safety benefits associated with wood in construction. Several esteemed projects across the country that FII collaborated on were highlighted throughout the webinar to demonstrate examples of impressive wood buildings. Different types of Canadian wood products were also presented in respect to their unique properties and suitability for a variety of applications, with Spruce-pine-fir (S-P-F) highlighted as the ideal species for structural applications due to its great strength-to-weight ratio, dimensional stability and outstanding working properties.

Following the webinar, a survey was sent out to all attendees, with results demonstrating the success and impact of the event. Over 83 percent of respondents said they were very likely to recommend Canadian wood in their future projects. Outside of structural applications, respondents also noted interest in using Canadian wood for outdoor applications (pergolas, gazebos, decking, cladding), door frames, and doors and windows.

Given the success of this online event, FII India’s webinar series is set to continue with topics covering furniture, door and window manufacturing, as well as a highly focused follow-up webinar on Wood in Structural Use, further detailing techniques for building with wood.

By shifting their strategy to accommodate the need for remote engagement with stakeholders, the FII India team has been able to continue to build their brand within key markets and educate local stakeholders on the benefits of building with B.C.’s versatile and sustainable forest products.

To view a recording of the webinar, click here.

Report Shows Cost Advantage for Wood Infill Wall System over Alternatives

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 Korea Champions Timber Architecture with 90m High Wood Observation Tower.

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)

Largest wood building in Korea (Photo credit: IDS)



Tallest 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)

Conceptual sketch of Tallest Wood Structure in Korea to be completed in 2021 (Image credit: IDS)

SPF Glulam to be Used in Post/Beam Housing Project in Korea for the First Time

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.