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Japan chooses Canadian wood

Nov. 13, 2014, Vancouver –FPInnovations' high performance Midply Wall System is featured in the winning design for the construction of a five-storey, 9,023m2 elderly care facility in Tokyo's Adachi Ward. Upon completion the building will be the largest wooden building ever built in Japan. The Midply Wall System, an innovative redesign of standard shear walls used in construction, was selected because of its outstanding resilience to severe earthquakes and extreme winds.

Midply Wall System shear walls sandwich wood-based structural panels between 2x4s that are positioned on their flattest side. Sandwiching the panel results in Midply shear walls having greater structural integrity and dissipating seismic energy. According to a 2008 test conducted on the world's largest shake table in Japan, a six-storey structure using Midply withstood a one-in-2,500 year seismic event with only minor damage.

Council of Forest Industries of BC and FPInnovations have long been involved in the implementation of wood-frame construction in Japan. The Midply Wall System was developed by scientists from FPInnovations and the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of British Columbia under funding from Natural Resources Canada and Forest Innovations Investment.

Canada Wood staff worked collaboratively with FPInnovations and 2x4 Association in Japan in the development of a guide for use of Midply in Japan. Japan's 2x4 wood frame construction building code is expected to be revised to include Midply in fiscal year 2015. Construction of the elderly care facility will begin in February 2015.

"Thanks to the research that has gone into verifying the resilience of FPInnovations' Midply Wall System during earthquakes, there is a compelling case for mid-rise wood frame buildings abroad and in Canada. Japan's decision to use Midply in the construction of the largest wooden building the country has ever seen validates this technology's high performance capabilities in areas where significant earthquakes are regular events," says Pierre Lapointe, President and CEO of FPInnovations.

The Midply Wall System has recently been implemented in the Canadian Design Code for Wood.


November 14, 2014
By Amie Silverwood