Wooden Elderly Care Facilities Business Remains Strong

By: Kevin Bews

SPF Manager, Canada Wood Japan

The latest numbers for Japan’s wooden non-residential building market show the medical, elderly care & welfare market segment leads the pack and remains a strong market for wood products in this country. From the beginning of this year (January to November 2023), wood share by number of total building units averaged 56% and by total building floor area averaged 28% for these 11 months. In terms of driving wood demand, this market segment represents one third of all the wood consumed in the wooden non-residential building market in Japan. Certainly, when Tokyo based Canada Wood staff is liaising with customers here on the ground, we are notified of various types of these projects currently on the books or being planned. 

A great example of the sheer size and amount of wood these projects consume is Nursing Home Maria’s Garden being built on Shodoshima Island, Kagawa Prefecture, which is a remote region near Shikoku Island, the fourth largest island in Japan. It is a sizable 1-storey building with a total floor area of 2,840 m² built using platform frame construction. The large gable roof for the building being masterfully constructed with nail plate trusses manufactured off site, shipped to, and assembled on site. The building was constructed mainly using SPF dimension lumber and walls sheathed with Canadian OSB. The total volume of all the structural wood used in the building, including sheathing estimated to be about 510 m³.

The nursing home is owned by social welfare corporation Social Welfare Corporation St. Catherine, designed, and built by Sasaki Kankyo Kobo, the wooden structural components supplied and constructed by Dainihon Wood-Preserving Co., Ltd. (DMB Shikoku), the nail late roof trusses by Prime Truss Co., Ltd. and building engineered by Twenty-Four Technical Service Co., Ltd. The nursing home is scheduled to be completed the end of March and open its doors in April of this year. It is exciting to see the seeds we planted with our partners here in Japan 20 years ago to help develop this market segment continue to remain and grow strong.