Forestry Asia Trade Mission delegates have a better understanding of trends, priorities and Japanese market opportunities for British Columbia wood products after touring a six-storey, 2×4 demonstration project and two-storey cross-laminated timber test house in Tsukuba, Japan, just outside Tokyo.

The projects are located at the Building Research Institute, Japan’s leading government research organization focused on housing, building and urban planning. The institute has an extensive history of joint research and development with foreign organizations, including programs with the University of British Columbia, FPInnovations and Canada Wood.

Completed in March 2016, the six-storey, 2×4 demonstration project (funded by the Japanese government) shows the viability of six-storey, 2×4, mid-rise structures made entirely from wood by incorporating “fireproof” features. This is the first building to achieve Japan’s two-hour fire-resistive standard for wood construction. Over 1,000 building professionals have visited the project since its completion.

Previously, 2×4 buildings were limited to four floors in wood or four floors in wood atop one floor with reinforced concrete in Japan. However, with achieving a new two-hour fireproof standard, 2×4 buildings can be built as high as six storeys in wood. The demonstration project is the first to incorporate these fireproof features as well as various innovative wall/floor components such as double-midply wall system, I-joists, parallel chord floor trusses and cross-laminated timber floors.

The two-storey cross-laminated timber test house is next to the 2×4 demonstration project and is meant to advance cross-laminated timber construction in Japan. The 130-square-metre test house is constructed from two-metre wide by six-metre long cross-laminated panels made from Japanese Sugi.

Both projects will be equipped with sensors that measure a variety of performance indicators such as durability, energy efficiency and seismic resistance.

Trade missions are an important part of British Columbia’s international engagement strategy to support economic growth in priority sectors as well as BC Jobs Plan objectives. Maintaining and expanding markets, including strengthening key Asian markets, supports the Province’s goal of a diverse, globally competitive forest industry, as outlined in Strong Past, Bright Future: A Competiveness Agenda for B.C.’s Forest Sector.

For more on the trade mission visit