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

As the social awareness concerning wood constructed buildings is on the rise, an expansion in demand is expected, and the Japan Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) Association, a general incorporated association, is targeting this expansion and the spread of CLT.On June 11, the association held its 1st general meeting in Tokyo. Along with Masatoshi Numata, the Director-General of the Forestry Agency, and Toshiyuki Inoue, the Director-General (at the time of the event) of the Housing Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, as guests, 124 association members from 87 member companies attended the meeting. The current association, also previously known as the Japan CLT Association, was established with the three parties of Meiken Lamwood Corporation, Yamasamokuzai Co., Ltd., and Kyodo Kumiai Length as a voluntary association in January 2012. The association is preparing for the expansion in demand with activities such as holding the CLT Forum, and in December of last year, the JAS Standards for CLT were decided upon at an unusually quick rate. New members were then recruited, and this year, the association became a general incorporated association in April and held its first general meeting after its establishment. In the greetings speech at the start of the meeting, Koichiro Nakashima, the chairman of the association, said, “CLT is a material for the 21st century that uses wood, which is a reusable resource, and construction of buildings that could not be built with wood up to now are now possible. Last year, the JAS Standards were enacted, and the first factory was approved and certified last week. In the future, an easy-to-use construction system and easy-to-use material will be necessary for the user side,” asking for the cooperation of the listeners.

The cross laminated timber (CLT) manufactured by Meiken Lamwood Corporation Ltd. (Maniwa City, Okayama Prefecture) at its head office factory was the first in Japan to acquire the JAS certification on June 5. The authorized institution for certification was the Japan Plywood Inspection Corporation. The category was low formaldehyde CLT, and the certification number was JPIC-CL1. Concerning the CLT manufactured by the company, 120 m³ were used for an employee apartment building of Kochi Ootoyo Seizai Co., Ltd. (Otoyo Town, Kochi Prefecture; CLT wood constructed, 3-story building; total floor area of 267 m²), which was completed in March by special permission from the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, and the use of the CLT is moving ahead. By acquiring the JAS certification, the expansion in demand for CLT is seen as gaining momentum.

The Japan Timber Engineering Society held its 27th general meeting and the Hideo Sugiyama Awards Ceremony on June 12 at the University of Tokyo. At the meeting, efforts to develop and spread technology for the construction of wooden structures was confirmed by utilizing meetings, seminars, and other events centering on the publication of the society’s journal titled Journal of Timber Engineering (published 6 times a year). The Hideo Sugiyama Award was presented to Naoto Kawai (Kogakuin University) and Hidehiko Fumoto (Council of Forest Industries Canada), and the research by Naoto Kawai was titled “Contributions to the Establishment of Wooden Structure Seismic Design” while the research by Hidehiko Fumoto was titled “The Education and Spread of North American Timber Engineering in Japan”. Following comments and awards presentation by Masahiro Inayama, the president of the society, the two recipients gave a mini-lecture expressing their appreciation for the award. Specializing in wooden structure seismic design methods, Mr. Kawai said, “I have aimed at systematically collecting and explaining in terms of engineering a variety of work. I think it has become a stepping stone in order to establish a wooden structure seismic design method in the future,” in looking back at his own research. Having contributed to the technological development and standardization of the 2 x 4 construction method, Mr. Fumoto said, “Concerning the award, I’m deeply grateful for the cooperation of the group in Japan and the past representatives of COFI,” and he introduced the history and activities of COFI.


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