Total Living Show 2009

Posted by Jim Ivanoff
April 9th, 2009

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The annual Total Living Show in Kita-Kyushu has been one of the three main regional shows BC Wood participates in. Being the largest show in Kyushu it used to attract a large number of the island's imported housing builders and importers. However, as the show has seen less and less industry traffic over the years, we have scaled back our presence there to just sharing some free space with the Embassy's local trade office. This year's show unfortunately continued this trend and even free is starting to look expensive.

However, as it was a quite show I was able to walk the floor and talk to many of the exhibitors (at the Nikkei Show I barely had time to walk to the bathroom!). One of the loyal exhibitors at the show is a famous local log home builder. His displays were definitely the highlights of the show.

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First he had a large carport-deck made from sugi (Japanese cedar). As sugi is not as rot resistant as WRC, he designed the carport using modular panels so that all of the fence and floor panels could be interchanged. The president said it was like rotating tires on a car to keep the wear more even and make them last longer. 

The company of course also had a very impressive log home display that included a small sample cabin, a log pile showing how they dried their wood, and new designs they are working with in order to make log walls more water tight. This is a big issue in Japan now as new mandatory home warranties demand higher standards for water penetration and leakage (Japan is battered by numerous typhoons each year that drive rain sideways with great force). Log homes have been seen as weak in this regard so the Japan Log House Association is looking for better construction methods.

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The president showed two concepts for dealing with this problem: one was to use gaskets to try to make the joints completely watertight and another that is as tight as possible but also gives the water that does get in channels to escape through. The later is seen as a preferred method so far as the heavy-duty gasket concept failed during high pressure testing simulating typhoon force winds and rain. 
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