The 2015 Forestry Trade Mission to Asia (TM2015) took place from November 27 to December 5, 2015. This annual trade mission, organized by the British Columbia government, is seen as an opportunity to further develop relationships between industry associations and businesses that support the forest industry. Peter Lister, VP, Wood Products and Forest Operations at FPInnovations, was among the dozen or so members of this delegation.
On November 30, as part of this mission, the group had the chance to visit the Hanahata Asuakaen facility, a new elderly care centre located in Tokyo, Japan, which was built using the MidplyTM wood-frame wall construction system. This shear wall system, developed jointly by FPInnovations and the University of British Columbia (under funding from Natural Resources Canada and Forest Innovations Investment), provides twice the lateral load capacity of a standard shear wall. The CanadaWood office in Japan facilitated the development of a user’s guide for the Midply system.
The Midply system allows for superior resilience to severe earthquakes and extreme winds, and was the winning design chosen in 2014 by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism for the construction of the five-storey building. Once finished, the building which has a net wooden floor area of 7,580 square metres will become Japan’s largest wooden building. According to the British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, it is estimated that carbon stored in the wood that is being used in the Hanahata Asukaen project will total 1,404 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide.
During the tour on the construction site, Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, presented the welfare community with a plaque to thank them for supporting this kind of environmentally sustainable construction in Japan.
The Midply shear wall system results from a redesign of the joints between sheathing and framing members of a wall panel, allowing for superior performance under lateral loading. The superior characteristics of the Midply wall system were demonstrated in an earthquake simulation test of a six-storey wood-frame building in Japan. The design of Midply shear walls was implemented in the 2014 edition of the Canadian Standard for Engineering Design in Wood – CSA O86 and can be integrated as part of mid-rise wood-frame construction.