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Recent industry news from Japan Lumber Journal regular article, “News in Brief”

Mitsui Home Co., Ltd. recently held a tour and meeting concerning the completion of Hanahata Asuka Garden, a special 5-story nursing home for the elderly and the largest in Japan using the 2x4 construction method (wood frame construction). The building is the first in Japan to use the Midply Wall System, which was developed in Canada for use in mid-rise, wood constructed buildings, and the building was also selected as a leading project of wood construction and technology of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism for fiscal 2014. At the tour and meeting, the person-in-charge from Mitsui Home explained, “The finish was put on the building, and it’s a shame that the wood constructed features are difficult to see. However, if you walk on the floor of the first floor, which uses the reinforced concrete construction method and on the wood constructed floor of the second floor and higher, you can clearly understand the difference. Wood is soft; the feel is nice and warm.” The kind of structural wood components and the work process of the hand-made Midply Wall of the building are scheduled to be reviewed, and the way it is made is also scheduled to be simplified in the near future. Without adhering only to the 2x4 construction method, work will be done to enlarge the receiving of orders for wood constructed buildings in the future. With the general term of “with wood” for the current facilities-based construction business, the company is actively working on the construction of medical and welfare facilities, educational facilities such as kindergartens, and commercial facilities using wood construction.

Zaiso Lumber Co., Ltd. (Nagoya City) recently set up a mill named “Domestic Lumber Department 2 by 4 Stud Yatomi Mill to manufacture domestic 2x4 studs at the western distribution center site of Dainihon Wood-Preserving Co., Ltd. becoming the first in the Tokai region. The studs are vertical components of 2x4 (38mm x 89mm) material that are joined vertically by finger joints and are used in the same way as “mabashira” studs, and they follow the JAS standards under the name of “Vertically Joined Lumber for Wood Framed Construction and Structure Use”. The mill will manufacture two lengths of studs: 8 feet and 9 feet. The kinds of wood that the mill will use are domestic cedar, cypress and larch, but cedar and cypress are scheduled to be the main kinds. Lamina will be put through a molder, the joints will be cut, adhesives will be applied, it will be bonded together vertically with pressure, and after drying, excess adhesive will be removed. It will be through a molder again for the finish. The unit price is slightly higher compared to SPF, but with no waste, contortion of the walls is less likely to occur due to the accuracy of the standard size. In addition, because a reduction in the construction period of home fixtures is expected, “a reduction in costs is possible as a result,” and it can compete with J-grade SPF and its equivalent.

The Department of Fisheries and Forestry of the Hokkaido Government recently released to the public the results of the Hokkaido lumber supply and demand for fiscal 2014. According to the report, the total amount of demand and supply of lumber in Hokkaido decreased 2.1% compared to the previous fiscal year to 7,061,000 m³ in fiscal 2014. Looking at the amount of demand based on use, the amounts were 2,535,000 m³ (1.3% decrease) for lumber products, 3,485,000 m³ (2.6% decrease) for pulp, and 1,041,000 m³ (2.6% decrease) for plywood decreasing for all three uses. The amount for lumber product use fell below the results of the previous fiscal year due to especially the decrease in imported lumber products and the decrease in demand for construction material for housing. For pulp use, the amount of demand for wood chips used for softwood pulp for newspapers and for hardwood pulp for printing and paper for information both decreased. Also for plywood use, the decrease in imported plywood and logs was conspicuous. However, the amount of exports of unprocessed wood for plywood use exceeded the results of the previous fiscal year. On the other hand within the amount of supplies, the amount of lumber produced in Hokkaido was 3,962,000 m³ (0.9% decrease), and the amount of imported lumber was 3,099,000 m³ (3.7% decrease). Among lumber produced in Hokkaido, pulp use decreased, and among imported lumber, the supply of logs, lumber products, and plywood decreased. The percentage of lumber produced in Hokkaido accounted for 56.1% of the amount of supplies rising 0.7 points from the previous fiscal year.


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