Fukushima gov’t to use CLT lumber for public housing to help rebuild forestry industry

25 October 2016

The Fukushima prefectural government is set to introduce cross-laminated timber (CLT) for the construction of public housing for disaster victims to spread the use of CLT and help rebuild the local forestry industry. As a starter, CLT will be used for 111 apartments in four residential complexes to be built in Fukushima and Iwaki cities. In another project, 57 apartments to be housed in two buildings in Iwaki will be offered for sale, and the prefectural government will subsidize the project by funding extra costs incurred when the costlier CLT method than the conventional homebuilding process is adopted by their builders. The method will be used in building other prefectural facilities to transfer its CLT expertise to municipal authorities.

CLT will be used for 60 apartments in two buildings in the Kitasawamata district in Fukushima and 51 apartments in two buildings in the Shimoyunagaya district in Iwaki. The four complexes will be three-storied. A total of 4,890 public apartments will be constructed by the end of fiscal 2017 in March 2018. Among them, CLT is to be used for those apartments which will be built by the prefecture and which have yet to be designed. CLT is a type of engineered wood stronger than ordinary wooden building materials and its characteristic is said to be brought into full play in apartment buildings compared with single-family houses.

Prefectural wood is to be used for CLT but there is no CLT-manufacturing plant in Fukushima. The local government will commission CLT production to manufacturers outside the prefecture. CLT apartments will be designed beginning in November and their construction starts determined depending on the timing of occupancy desired by disaster victims.

(Translated by Kyodo News)