Timber Triumph: Innovative Wooden Warehouses Constructed with Canadian Lumber

By: Scott Anderson

Canada Wood Japan / APA representative

In the Hyogo Prefecture’s Tamba Sasayama region, a 90-minute drive north-east of Osaka, APA-The Engineered Wood Association and COFI recently toured two newly built wooden warehouses and factories. The properties belong to Okamoto Meiboku, an Osaka-based wood and building products distributor and pre-cut plant operator with a 70-year business history. Meiboku, or decorative wood, is traditionally crafted by artisans using old or rare wood and is often featured in original counters, tables, furniture, and art pieces in restaurants and homes.

Lately, Okamoto Meiboku’s pre-cut plants have been focusing on expanding the market for wooden non-residential buildings. To that end, the company has erected two warehouses for storing lumber and engineered wood, as well as two pre-cut factories—all constructed side by side.

Each 662 m² warehouse measures 36 m deep, 18.2 m wide, and 10.58 m high and was built using the 2×4 method. The factories, roughly the same size, employed wooden post and beam pre-cut materials and metal connectors. Structural wood components in the warehouses include 9mm, 3×9 Canadian OSB and 2×10 SPF lumber for walls, Douglas Fir LVL for trusses, I-joists, and 12 mm, 3×6 Canadian OSB for roof sheathing. To enhance structural integrity, the front and back walls were double-sheathed with OSB up to approximately 7.8 m high (1 m high concrete foundation) and employed tight nail spacing.

As demand grows for such buildings in Japan, these two structures serve as prime examples of constructing straightforward and cost-effective wooden warehouses. This burgeoning market segment is expected to continue its upward trajectory.