Developments on CLT in Japan
In addition to the previously reported JAS standard drafting work on Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), there have been other technical and political developments in Japan. Not only is the building and engineered wood industry paying attention to facilitate CLT use, but bureaucrats and researchers are also increasingly focused on implementing CLT in Japan. The enforcement of Japanese Wood First Act is also providing a supportive tailwind as CLT is considered as one of the most prospective structural elements for non-residential large scale wooden applications. In the Building Research Institute’s Mid-rise/Large Scale Wooden Building Research Project, at least 7 committees out of 10 are discussing CLT as a major agenda item. As an economic stimulus policy for domestic forest industry, the Forestry Agency sponsored a CLT survey project FY2011 and FY2013. With the establishment of the Japan CLT Association in January of 2012, industry interest is heightening. The Association held “CLT Forum” this past November at Housei University where more than 200 participants assembled from building and housing industries, engineered wood, wood machinery, academia, and government sectors. From the Canadian perspective, reaction seems to have been quite favourable when Eric Karsh of Equilibrium Consulting made presentations in October, 2012. Colin Chornohus from Structurlam will be giving a talk to the Japanese industry and research community this coming March. In a casual dialog opportunity at the Embassy of Canada in January, 2013, adhesive and lumber size issues were raised to the officials from MOAFF (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery) and Forestry Agency in the context of draft CLT JAS standard. Canada Wood Tokyo continues to participate in the JAS CLT standards development.