Corporate Housing Offering New Opportunities for PFC Construction

During the post-war period of rapid economic growth, many Japanese corporations built corporate housing for the nation’s expanding workforce. Corporate housing was invariably built as reinforced concrete structures. A good deal of time has passed since then and a significant amount of employee housing buildings have become dilapidated. A trend is emerging where we see the need to rebuild these structures. While corporations remain cost conscious to meet corporate housing budget targets, they are also increasingly conscious of the environmental impacts, ESG investments and are turning to wooden housing as a suitable alternative solution with a lower carbon footprint.


To illustrate this trend one of Japan’s largest multi-family housing developers, Seiwa Corporation, is currently building three company residences in Kokubunji City, Tokyo. All residences are 3-storey platform frame buildings with a combined total floor area of 3,079㎡. The residences are scheduled to complete in this November. Seiwa Corporation Product Development Manager Mr. Miyoshi stated that PFC* buildings were suitable for 3-storey apartments from a standpoint of cost, and that plenty of opportunities exist to build company housing in the future.

While commonplace wisdom foretells a gradual decline in single family housing demand and the need to focus on non-residential buildings, we should not underestimate opportunities in multi-family construction. Many apartments and company housing built circa Japan’s bubble era have reached the end of their service life and are in need of renewal over the coming decade. Among wooden construction methods, PFC construction has a successful track record in the multi-family segment. We may be well advised to renew our business development focus on apartments and company housing.

*PFC Building: In platform framing, each floor is framed separately, as contrasted with balloon framing, in which the studs (vertical members) extend the full height of the building. Freed from the heavy timbers of the post-and-beam system, platform framing offers ease of construction.