Wooden Warehouses: Making Connections & Growing Momentum

By: Kevin Bews

SPF Manager, Canada Wood Japan

Just like for trusses, we continue to make connections and momentum grows for the construction of warehouses and other non-residential and commercial buildings using wood construction in Japan. A fantastic example of this is Makita Transport’s wooden warehouses in Miyakonojo City, Miyazaki Prefecture. The logistic company specializes in warehousing and transporting perishables – food, vegetables, meat, and dairy products from southern Kyushu to Fukuoka, Kansai, and Kanto regions of Japan. The company constructed its first wooden warehouse called Makita Transport Cargo Handling Warehouse Building two years ago. Initially, the company planned to use steel for its construction, but when it learned from C&S Architectural Firm, that it was possible to build a warehouse with a 20-meter span and column-free space, they elected to build a 1,224 sqm single-story, room-temperature wood warehouse. In addition to the building cost and construction time being cut in half compared to lightweight steel frames, which are frequently used for warehouses in Japan, the combination of roof nail-plated trusses and 2×4 construction which is encapsulated with plasterboard makes the building a quasi-fireproof structure that meets the registration requirements for a “commercial warehouse,” which is subject to strict fireproofing and fire prevention standards under Japan’s Warehousing Business Law, which was also an added benefit.

Based on this positive experience the company had with their first wood warehouse, the company recently completed its second warehouse in April of this year, called Makita Transport Sakuragi Warehouse, a similar one-storey building with a total floor area of 974 sqm. Both warehouses using SPF dimension lumber in the roof trusses and for the walls of the building and sheathed with Canadian OSB. The warehouses were designed by C&S First-class Architectural Firm, constructed by Tohoku Sangyo Co., Ltd., and the 2×4 wood structure and nail plate roof trusses were manufactured and supplied by Big House Co., Ltd. COFI and Canada Wood are pleased to have worked with the Japan Wood Truss Council (JWTC) over the years to expand this market segment in Japan and to have collaborated with these leading companies to feature Makita Transport’s wooden warehouses in the Kensetsu News publication (circulation: 320,000) – catering to Japan’s construction industry – mainly large contractors, construction companies and design firms. In addition to this, we also jointly produced a 4-minute promo video on why one should choose wood – outlining the benefits and advantages for doing so for these types of buildings. Kindly click on the respective URL links below to see this content below.