Wooden Construction and Conversion Initiatives

We have been developing fireproof wooden buildings using timber that requires less energy for manufacturing and processing with lower CO2 emissions since 2018 to realize a sustainable society in response to the Forestry Agency's promotion of expanded use of wood in a series of initiatives to reduce overall CO2 emissions.

We also engage in activities to cut, plant, and remove undergrowth by the same amount as the standing timber used as the source of building materials for our fireproof wooden buildings. Trees absorb CO2 in the air and provide a carbon dioxide fixing solution as they grow, so an abundance of trees in the nation’s land can help cut down CO2 levels. Furthermore, trees that are ready to be cut for timber have a reduced ability to absorb CO2, so while we cut down trees as building materials, we also plant new trees to replace them. In this way, we are contributing in maintaining the proportion of young trees that absorb CO2 well at a certain level. Through this initiative for fireproof wooden buildings, we are promoting forest circulation by using, planting, growing, and cutting down trees, which in turn reduces CO2 emissions and leads to efforts to conserve biodiversity.

Basic Policy for Promoting Wooden Buildings

To Spread
Organized Wooden Architecture Symposium 2019

We held the Wooden Architecture Symposium 2019 with the aim of raising awareness on the possibilities of wooden buildings and to increase demand for timber in urban areas.

Joined the Wood Change Network

We have joined the Wood Change Network, a networking gathering sponsored by the Forestry Agency which aims to promote the use of timber in the private sector buildings.

To Use
Ginza 8-chome Development Plan

We are developing Japan’s first 12-story wooden fireproof commercial building (hybrid construction combining wooden and steel structures) in Ginza.

To Plant
Execution of environmental afforestation

We execute planting trees in addition to use them in building construction so that we can promote circulation of forests.

Example of Use 1: Ginza 8-chome Development Plan (fireproof commercial building)

We are developing Japan’s first 12-story wooden fireproof commercial building (hybrid construction combining wooden and steel structures) in Ginza, one of our focus areas, which is scheduled for completion in October 2021.

Special Features

    New technologies

    • Japan’s first 12-story wooden fireproof commercial building. The first case of leasing buildings higher than 11-story. (As of 2019)

    Environmental benefits

    • Promotes fixation of CO2 emissions
      Reduces CO2 by increasing the amount of wood used, leading to forest regeneration (forest health)
    • Reinvigorates forestry (regional revitalization)
    • Reduces CO2 emissions from construction
      Eliminates CO2 emissions during structural member manufacturing (eliminates CO2 that would have been emitted during iron manufacturing, iron processing, concrete manufacturing and other processes)
    • Facilitates simplified foundations
      Lightweight superstructure (above-ground frame section) eliminates the need for piles, etc.
    • Shortens time required for construction
      Superstructure construction is simplified as no fireproof coating is required when columns and beams are lightweight and fireproof when manufactured at the factory.

    BCP responses

    • Installed supplemental elevated water tank and sewage tank so that both drinking water and flush water for lavatories are ready for 72 hours in emergency.
    • Installed emergency generator that lasts for 72 hours.
    • Considering the site is in Giza area, we plan to locate high tide response devices on upper floors and make it possible to counter tide up to 1 meter high by setting vertical damp proof barrier.

Example of Use 2: Promoting Conversion to Wood

Along with the development of fireproof wooden buildings, Hulic is actively promoting the use of wood for exteriors and interiors depending on the application and location of the developed property.
In Hulic JP Akasaka Building, based on the concept of “a wellness space for working people,” we focused on creating a better working environment for office workers. The building uses plentiful natural materials and wooden benches and wooden shelves arranged in a spacious 3.8 meter-high entrance hall complete with a full wooden ceiling. Praised for our initiatives, we received highest rank of “S” in CASBEE-Wellness Office* certification (issued by Institute for Building Environment and Energy Conservation).

  • *Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency (CASBEE) assesses the specifications, performance, and initiatives of buildings that support the health and comfort of building users, factors that contribute to intellectual productivity improvement, and the performance of safety and security.
  • Entrance Hall
    (Hulic JP Akasaka Building)
  • Wooden louvers
    (Hulic Ryogoku River Center)

Example of Spread 1: Organized Wooden Architecture Symposium 2019

We held the Wooden Architecture Symposium 2019 with the aim of raising awareness on the possibilities of wooden buildings, helping to reduce CO2 emissions and protecting forests. More than 800 participated the event and deepened understanding on possibilities and challenges of wooden buildings through listening to the key note speech and panel discussions.

Key Note Speech

Kengo KUMA
(Architect・Professor at The University of Tokyo)
From concrete to wood

Japan could be the front runner in the century of wood.
● A shift from concrete to wood has been observed as oppose to the 20th century which was a time of concrete.
● Japan’s wood-related technologies are number one in the world.

Panel Discussions

Kengo KUMA
Shuzo SUMI
(Senior Executive Advisor, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd.)

Tadao KAMEI
(President and CEO, Nikken Sekkei Ltd.)

Masahiro MIYASHITA
(Chairman of the Board, Takenaka Corporation)

Atsuko FUKUSHIMA
(Journalist)
Aiming to increase demand for timber in urban areas

● Increase in middle-to-high-story wooden buildings will promote community vitalization
● Wooden buildings will improve global and human environmental issues
K. KUMA: - Wooden construction is the area that Japan can make the world to seek after.
S. Sumi: - Effective use of Japan’s ample forestry resources will be the key to regional revitalization.
T. Kamei: - Optimization of timber is the key in planning of high-story wooden buildings.
M. Miyashita: - Technological innovation of wood engineering will support high-story wooden construction.
A. Fukushima: Wood is the ideal future material of sustainable society.

  • Note:Occupation, affiliation, title, etc., when symposium was held.

Example of Spread 2: Joined the Wood Change Network

The Wood Change Network (the Network) is a networking gathering sponsored by the Forestry Agency which aims to promote the use of timber in the private sector buildings. The Network discusses and considers matters related to spreading timber use including identification of issues, direction of solutions and popularization, and aims to create an environment that timber is more easily used as well as to create a platform of spreading the use of timber movement throughout Japan. We have joined the Network with an intent to continuously promote the use of timber.

Example of Planting 1: Planting the Same Amount of Trees Used

Hulic outsources logging, planting, and weeding activities to forestry cooperatives in an effort to plant the same amount of trees as the standing trees used as building materials for fireproof wooden construction. Approximately 300 m3 of lumber will be used in the construction of a commercial facility (the Ginza 8-chome development plan) for the fireproof wooden construction (hybrid structure combining wooden and steel frame construction) of a property scheduled for completion in October 2021. At the same time, approximately 12,000 cedar saplings were planted (new plantings) across an area of about 4.3 hectares. Over the next five years, we will continue cutting undergrowth so that the planted cedar saplings will grow healthy.

  • Cedar sapling newly planted in the spring of 2021
    (Fukushima Prefecture)
  • A mountain where saplings were newly planted in the spring of 2021
    (Fukushima Prefecture)
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