Suteki Europe (Brussels, Belgium), a company within Nice Holdings, Inc. (Yokohama City), held an exhibit for the first time at Salone Internazionale del Mobile Milano, the world’s largest design trade fair in Milan, Italy. At its booth, the company created a spacious room using its “Suteki Wood System,” a post and beam construction method using laminated lumber and metal fittings. “Suteki Wood System (Power Build Construction Method)” uses metal fitting with strength and durability for the connecting parts of its lumber, and because precut processing of the lumber takes place in the factory, the skill and proficiency level at the construction site does not matter, so the construction is easily done abroad. At the current exhibit, the “appearance” of wood was heavily used, and red pine and whitewood, which was processed at Suteki Europe’s precut lumber factory in Waidhofen an der Ybbs, Austria, was used for the columns and beams.
The Forestry Agency recently released to the public “Main Efforts into the National Forest Projects for Fiscal 2014.” The report sets forth a policy that steadily carries out the following three basic items: 1) further promote management and administration that places importance on the public interest (promotion of planned forest management, conservation of biodiversity by promoting afforestation and flood control measures, and utilization of agreements that support and improve functions for the public interest), 2) contribute to the revitalization of forests and the forest industry (promotion of forest management that cooperates with privately owned forests, development and training of forest and forest industry technicians and skilled workers, and stable supply of forest products), and 3) contribute to the reconstruction and restoration of the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster. Concerning the stable supply of forest products, the policy will carry out a new project called “Strategic Project to Double the Use of Local Lumber” that will build a stable and efficient supply system for the supply and demand of local lumber and for the expansion in the use of lumber. Concerning national forests that promote management and administration that places importance on the public interest, the budget for fiscal 2014 is 66.8 billion yen, an increase of 13.5 billion yen compared to the last fiscal year, forest maintenance such as forest thinnings and road network maintenance will be promoted as planned forest management projects.
The Chubu Regional Forest Office recently compiled and released to the public “Report on the Results of Empirical Experiments (Conducted in Fiscal 2013) on Concrete Forms Using Plywood Made from Regional Wood”. Concerning the finish on concrete that was made with concrete forms using plywood made from 100% cypress produced in Nagano Prefecture, a difference in levels was seen on the swelling of the surface and on the construction joint, but effects extending to the functions of construction at ravines were not confirmed. No major difference was found in comparison to forms using lauan plywood, and the potential in using forms made from plywood for concrete structures in civil engineering work was confirmed. Concerning the bending-rigidity testing on full-scale material, a large decline in strength performance was not seen after the conversion, so in terms of strength performance, the potential to use plywood forms sufficiently was found. For this current construction testing, confirmation was made after up to three conversions, and even after the third conversion, no large decline in strength performance was judged to be seen in comparison to forms made from lauan plywood. Due to this result, up to three conversions can be made on forms made from cypress produced in Nagano Prefecture.