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

The Japan LVL Association held its general meeting for fiscal 2016 on June 13 in Tokyo. 27 people from 9 member companies and 14 supporting member companies attended the meeting, and 4 people from the Forestry Agency came as guests, and high expectations regarding LVL could be felt at the meeting. The association is moving ahead strategically with technological developments of LVL, and it has already succeeded in developing semi-incombustible LVL for interior use. In this fiscal year, the association is scheduled to work on developing fire-resistant structural components and to work on developing fire-resistant columns with the association’s budget being added to support business costs. Currently 5 technological groups are operating in the association: the JAS Revision Committee, Material Preservation Committee, Material Strength Committee, Fire-Proof and Fire-Resistance Committee, and Wood Layer Wall Committee. The number of members is 13 companies as full members and 20 companies as supporting members, and the association is also looking into making “Design and Construction Manual for LVL Buildings” which includes material characteristics of LVL, construction method, fire-proof design, structural design, estimations, and construction.

The Japan Cross Laminated Timber Association held its annual general meeting of members for fiscal 2016 on June 6 in Tokyo. Along with reported items, the business plan and the income and expenditures budget for fiscal 2016 were explained, and items to be resolved were approved as originally proposed at the meeting. Also at the election following the expiration of terms of officers, officers reappointed including Koichiro Nakashima as the chairman and representative director, Makoto Kawai as the managing director, and other directors. The association was established in January 2012 with 3 member companies. With many lumber groups troubled by a decrease in the number of members, the association is expanding rapidly with 294 member companies as of this May. Concerning this increase, Chairman Nakashima said, “It’s due to the rise in the expectations of the industry towards CLT and to various policies that support CLT,” expressing his gratitude. Because a series of notices concerning CLT came out in March and April, the association will make a handbook regarding the notices and a design and construction manual as well as hold workshops concerning these techniques in the business plan for fiscal 2016. Also over 100 people came to tour and inspect the Tsukuba CLT Experimental Building (CoCo CLT), which was completed in March of this year, and with interest in CLT growing further, using the experimental building for educational activities will be examined. Issues are expected to arise following actual construction using CLT, so the association will move ahead with creating a system that can respond to these problems in detail and with technological developments.

The Japan 2x4 Home Builders Association held its annual general meeting of members for fiscal 2016 on June 16 in Tokyo. After the meeting, a press conference was held, and the business plan for the new fiscal year was explained to members of the mass media. At the start, Toshihide Ichikawa, the chairman of the association, said with pleasure, “The association is welcoming its 40th anniversary of establishment, and homes constructed with the 2x4 method have exceeded 2.5 million units. The percentage of 2x4 constructed homes, which accounted for 5.3% of housing construction starts 20 years ago, has increased to 12.3% after 40 years, so 2x4 constructed housing has firmly established itself in the Japanese housing market.” This year, the association will work on the following three points: 1) rationalize the specifications of the 2x4 construction method and improve fire-resistance performance, 2) expand the awareness and knowledge of 2x4 construction technology to large-scale construction projects such as social welfare facilities and retail stores, and 3) contribute to the prevention of global warming by using lumber, especially putting effort into regional lumber. Last year in Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture, the Two-by-Four, Six Story, Full-Scale Experimental Building was constructed, and various experiments were begun. In addition to preparing the results of these experiments, preparations will also be made for necessary guidelines for the change to high-rise, wood constructed buildings and for design and construction standards for 2 hour, fire-resistant structures and high strength, load-bearing walls, and the plan is to carry out these items in the future.


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