Innovative New MEGA Structure Hybrid Timber Building in Japan
Heiwa real estate Co., Ltd has recently developed a hybrid timber building, known as KITOKI which is the first example of a new “MEGA structure” classification in Japan. A MEGA structure is defined as large or tall building which is comprised of a structural reinforced concrete (SRC) Megastructure shell with compartmentalized internal timber framing.
KITOKI is 9-storeys high and combines the use of restaurant and office space. It is located in central Tokyo’s district of Nihombashi. As the location is in a dense urban area, KITOKI had to be built as a fire-resistive structure and this was the reason they decided to adopt the MEGA structure approach. The timber framing elements are designed as separate elements within the SRC Megastructure; with the SRC shell functioning as fire breaks. One advantage is that you can deal with timber frames as low-rise buildings. Another advantage is that you can use a technique from wooden housing. Which means, you can reduce costs and save time. Construction techniques from wooden housing construction are thus in a sense integrated as modules within the SRC envelope. Integrating wood use in this way is helping to speed up construction, reduce costs and the carbon footprint.
The emergence of MEGA Structure buildings has become possible thanks to an MLIT large multi-year national building research project to expand wood use in Japan. This new building solution is attracting keen interest from Japanese builders and developers.