Innovative Canadian Earthquake Resistive Technology Expands Wood Design Possibilities in Japan

Canada Wood is delighted to report the first commercial adoption of a newly developed Midply wall system for post and beam applications in the Makado Kagamimochi Nursery School in Tochigi Prefecture. This innovative building is a 750 square meter one storey post and beam structure that uses Midply to achieve the required large openings.

Originally developed by FP Innovations, Canada’s national forest products research institute, the Midply shear wall system achieves high structural performance by redesigning wall structural assembly and optimizing the use of nail and screw holding performance. The system is simple in that it comprises of commonly available wood and metal fastener products – its technology is available for public use and it does not rely on expensive proprietary technology.

In recent years, Mokuzoka “木造化” has been a emerging trend in global architecture. But a key challenge, to expand wood into larger public buildings is that these structures require much stronger performance against typhoons and earthquakes than standard wooden homes due to the complexity and scale of these buildings. Since 2009, Canada Wood has worked with leading structural engineers at Nihon System Sekkei and have conducted extensive shear wall testing at Tsukuba based government authorized test facility the Centre for Better Living to adopt and certify the use of Canada’s earthquake resistive Midply technology to the performance requirements of the Japanese building code.

The Midply shear wall used in the Makado Nursery School, was especially developed as an infill shear wall which can be inserted in common post and beam construction to deliver between two to three times the structural performance of a standard wooden shear wall. The assembly is a perfect example of “Tekizai Tekisho” – using the right wood products for the correct use. It utilizes Canada Tsuga 45x45mm, 45x90mm and 105×105 Hem-Fir (N) structural components, which are known for their superior nail holding ability along with 15mm JAS Certified 3×6 OSB structural panels. The 15mm OSB panels are sandwiched in between two 45mm pieces of Canada Tsuga to obtain the same wall depth as standard 105×105 Hashira.

Canada Wood’s Marketing & Technical Support Representative – Hybrid Building Systems, Yusuke Neriko presented the structural benefits of Midply to Tezuka Architects and structural engineering firm Ohno Japan and provided technical support in bringing the project to fruition. The project was able to secure building permit approval utilizing Canada Wood’s Midply Centre for Better Living test data reports. The structure is expected to complete at the end of March 2020.  The project was completed on March 31 and was opened on April 1.

The Makado Kagamimochi Nursery project team consists of the renowned Tezuka architects and structural engineers Ohno Japan, and together they have won awards from the Architectural Institution of Japan, the Good Design Award, and a Global award for sustainable architecture. The opportunity arose to use Midply as the team were looking for an innovative and elegant design solution to achieve the required shear wall performance. The use of Midply enables a more open design plan to facilitate large window openings and provide a bright and pleasant environment for the children to play in. The attractive one storey 750m2 structure features an inner courtyard play area and fits in very well with its idyllic circumference environment. This is the first time the Midply Infill wall assembly is used in post and beam construction.

Project Name: Makado kagamimochi nursey school

Architect: Tezuka Architects

Structural engineer:  Ohno Japan

Number of stories:    1-story (Flat building)

Total floor area: 750㎡

Building site:  Sano city, Tochigi Prefecture