Basic Policy

Net Zero Energy Houses (ZEH) and other housing measures in Japan offer guidance to creating eco products as well as advocate excellent long-term housing as an asset.

By promoting ZEH-specification housing, Sumitomo Forestry reduces each household's primary energy consumption while also providing living spaces that are disaster-resistant and comfortable to live in year-round.

We provide environmentally friendly houses that meet the needs of each customer while contributing to the realization of a sustainable society.

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Promotion of Net Zero Energy House (ZEH) Specifications

ZEH Standardization Target
(2020)
80*2

ZEH Standardization
Performance
(2018)
40*2

The household sector in Japan still has high level emission of CO2 although the trend has slowed down. Japan has launched policy targets that aim for more than half of all custom-built detached houses constructed by housing manufacturers and other companies to be ZEH compliant by 2020 in the measure to counter global warming approved by Cabinet decision in May 2016. ZEH is a scheme for housing to provide less than zero annual net primary energy consumption by combining equipment to generate energy such as high thermal insulation efficiency, energy-saving equipment, and solar power generation.

Wood is conventionally a renewable natural resource that absorbs and stores CO2 during its growth process. As well as using wood for its principal structural members, Sumitomo Forestry has offered housing proposals where residents can live comfortably all year round by incorporating its own unique Ryouonbou design, which takes advantage of natural blessings such as the wind and sun. The Company’s expertise in utilizing these unique characteristics of wood and blessings of nature together with its technologies for the reduction of energy consumption, such as improvements in thermal insulation as well as the adoption of energy-saving equipment, and its technologies for the smart use of energy, such as equipment for generating and storing energy and HEMS*1.

Given the ZEH targets established by the Japan, Sumitomo Forestry has set the goal of 80%*2 ZEH housing by fiscal 2020, and had reached 40%*2 as of fiscal 2018. We are making greater insulation efficiency in buildings and around openings as well as built-in solar power generation systems basic specifications as of April 2017 in our new housing.

*1 Home Energy Management System— a system whereby residents can visualize the amounts of energy they generate and use

*2 Values include Nearly ZEH while they exclude Hokkaido and Okinawa Pref. respectively. The fiscal 2018 results and 2020 target for Hokkaido are, respectively, 0% and 51%. While ZEH is defined as a primary energy reduction rate of 100% including solar power, Nearly ZEH is defined as between 75% to 100%.

Net Zero Energy House ZEH

Wooden Houses with Superior Insulation

If the thermal conductivity of wood is 1, the thermal conductivity of concrete would be almost 13 and steal upwards of 440. Wood as a material is a superior insulator to mitigate the transfer of heat. In addition, Sumitomo Forestry uses high-performance thermal insulators based on its own unique standards.

Comparison of Materials by Thermal Conductivity

Comparison of Materials by Thermal Conductivity

Unique Standards of Thermal Insulators of Sumitomo Forestry

Unique Standards of Thermal Insulators of Sumitomo Forestry

Limiting Energy Loss with Highly Insulating Glass

Windows cause the greatest loss of heat in living spaces. Shielding interior spaces from heat in the summer and preventing heat from escaping in the winter is vital. As windows cause the largest heat loss, Sumitomo Forestry uses low-E multi-layered glass with argon gas inside. Argon gas is injected between the multi-layers of glass to mitigate heat transfer to the air while the panes are coated with special metal film. The superior thermal insulation and insulation properties shield interior spaces from heat in the summer and prevent heat from escaping in the winter.

Insulation using low-E multi-layered glass

Insulation using low-E multi-layered glass

Heat Loss Ratio of Houses

Heat Loss Ratio of Houses

Double Power Generation

Sumitomo Forestry recommends the installation of solar power generation system, as well as residential fuel cell units. Double power generation can generate the necessary electricity for daily life in the home. Furthermore, Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) realize zero energy homes (ZEH specifications) by proficiently managing energy consumption throughout the home.

Double Power Generation

Trends in Installation Rates of Environmentally-Friendly Equipment (based on number of houses)

FY2014 FY2015 FY2016 FY2017 FY2018
Solar power generation systems 43% 35% 48% 46% 51%
Ene-Farm units 51% 43% 34% 34% 35%
Eco One*1 - - 16% 18% 16%
Environmentally conscious equipment installation rate*2 66% 58% 68% 69% 72%

*1 Hybrid electric and gas hot water and central heating systems

*2 Installation rate of solar power generation system or Ene-Farms until fiscal 2015. Fiscal 2016 includes Eco One on the left

Expanding Choices with the Launch of the Forest BF Design, a Home to Enjoy the Four Seasons

In September 2018, Sumitomo Forestry launched a renewed The Forest BF nationwide (excluding Okinawa), a detached house design that enables large, open spaces and built to ZEH specifications. The Forest BF represents a further structural enhancement of Sumitomo Forestry’s original Big-Frame (BF) construction method for large, open spaces and wide openings among the features allowing for greater freedom in the use of space. The latest design renewal offers distinctive features of design coordinating diverse aspect of external appearance and interior, as well as providing abundant lifestyle that can feel the nature and the taste of Japan. While attending in particular detail to the overall design as well as interior and exterior materials, we developed these homes especially for the younger generation homeowners in their 30s, and those with design sensibilities, making this a product that can appeal to a wider range of customers than previously.

In addition to offering insulation efficiency greater than the local standards, The Forest BF can also achieve ZEH, which requires zero or less primary energy consumption each year, through equipment such as solar power generation systems. Moreover, we have adopted versatile partitions that do not require structural materials to build a structure with less waste when changing room plans such as the partitions separating living areas for children and parents alike. This product aims to receive orders of 5,500 houses a year.

Combining Comfortable Habitability and High Environmental Performance in The Forest BF

Combining Comfortable Habitability and High Environmental Performance in The Forest BF

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Renovating to Improve Function and Asset Value

Sumitomo Forestry Home Tech Co., Ltd. promotes renovations from energy-saving points of view. This brings success in reducing the environmental impact by proposing solutions through thermo insulation as well as installation of facility equipment with high energy efficiency together with better thermal efficiency. The insulation renovation, specifically, can mitigate the health risk from heat shock in addition to lower the cost of heating and lighting.

We propose new lifestyles that reduce the energy consumed in daily life and decrease lifetime heating and lighting costs by heightening insulation efficiency and using energy-saving equipment.

We will continue to focus on seismic retrofitting proposals and actively strive to bring about excellent long-term housing in existing properties as well as long-term excellent extension and alteration standards by improving the performance in thermal efficiency, energy-savings and seismic retrofitting.

Installation of a Thermal Insulator

Installation of a Thermal Insulator

Installation of a Thermal Insulator

Given Japan's establishment in recent years as a major tourism destination country, we began focusing efforts on renovation of hotels and inns. In fiscal 2017, Sumitomo Forestry joined the All Japan Ryokan Hotel Association*1 and Sumitomo Forestry Home Tech joined the Japan Ryokan & Hotel Association*2. Sumitomo Forestry Group enjoys strong name recognition, and is building a track record in renovations.

Before Renovation of Japanese Inn

Before Renovation of Japanese Inn

After Renovation

After Renovation

In 2017, Sumitomo Forestry and Kumagai Gumi Co. entered into a business and capital partnership and collaboration between Sumitomo Forestry Home Tech Co. and K&E K.K., companies belonging to the respective corporate groups is in progress. Sumitomo Forestry Home Tech handles interior renovations optimizing wood, while K&E is in charge of building exterior and other renovations that fully leverage its comprehensive abilities as a general contractor. The partners participate jointly in events as they move forward. By renovating the whole building, we are able to heighten its value as an asset.

*1 The association promotes Japanese inns and hotels throughout Japan to be more sanitary facilities, conduct better maintenance and stable management among other aspects of accommodation businesses.

*2 The organization aims to help provide comfortable accommodations for travelers from within Japan and overseas, improve the level of hospitality service and otherwise work to realize Japan's status as a tourism destination country, develop local economies, and promote the national health.

Moving Higurashi Bettei, Shisakajima, Reopened as a Commemorative Hall

Higurashi Bettei was designed by Magoichi Noguchi, a renowned architect of the Meiji period. Built as a guest house and other purposes for the Sumitomo family in 1906, it is located on the island of Shisakajima in the Seto Inland Sea, about 20km off the shore of Niihama(where the copper mine was located).

As one of 20 Sumitomo Group companies involved in the project to move the structure to a hilltop location in the city of Niihama, Sumitomo Forestry Home Tech was engaged in the reconstruction of the structure, which opened to the public in November 2018 as the Higurashi Bettei Museum and conveys the history of Sumitomo.

The history behind the construction of Higurashi Bettei is that it was built as an adjacent structure when Sumitomo’s copper smelter was moved to Shisakajima in order to overcome the smoke pollution in Niihama caused by the Besshi Copper Mine operation. More than 110 years after its construction, the building was deteriorating despite its many invaluable design features inside and out. In the relocation construction work, we used timber produced in Ehime Prefecture to build the structure with improved seismic resistance. Design features such as fireplaces, ceilings and floors were carefully dismantled from the original structure, and reconstructed upon relocation.

Exterior view

Exterior view

Interior

Interior

Cleaning drainage water stains

Cleaning drainage water stains

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Research and Development of Life Cycle Carbon Minus (LCCM) Housing

Sumitomo Forestry is engaged in the development of Life Cycle Carbon Minus housing to achieve negative CO2 emissions across the entire life cycle of a home—from material procurement, occupation and renovation through to demolition and disposal—by using environmental sound equipment such as solar power generation systems.

In addition to effective use of electricity in housing that uses technology such as energy storage systems and sharing energy among multiple households, we conducted inspections through repeated simulations in our research into efficient use of energy which began in fiscal 2016. Sumitomo Forestry also began looking into the effectiveness of Vehicle-to-Home (V2H) and Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) with energy provided between households and the introduction of electric vehicles, which are expected to become standard in the future. In the future, we plan further research and development not only of simple energy savings but also of the effects that wooden spaces have on human health and comfort, as well as the impact that the living environment has on the sensibilities of people.

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Carbon Stock in the Housing and Construction Business

Trees retain CO2 as carbon even after they are turned into products. Constructing wooden houses can therefore be likened to building forests in the city. The total domestic carbon stocks* in timber that was used in construction of the houses in the MOCCA (timber solutions) business in fiscal 2018 reached 193,000 t-CO2. The Sumitomo Forestry Group contributes to measure to counter global warming by increasing carbon stocks for forests and cities.

* CO2 fixation is calculated by categorizing the actual amounts of timber used per tree species for new detached houses, rental housing, and MOCCA business, and calculating carbon content from the specific gravity of each tree species.

Carbon stock of the timber used in the construction of houses and MOCCA (timber solutions) business in Japan in fiscal 2018

Carbon stock of the timber used in the construction of houses and MOCCA (timber solutions) business in Japan in fiscal 2018

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Housing Sales Adapted to Climate Change

Disaster Recovery Guidelines were put in place in the Housing and Construction Division and measures and action guidelines for operations were defined to quickly and accurately respond to damages from natural disasters to our customers’ houses as they become more prevalent due to climate change.

On November 2016, BF-Si Resilience Plus was released to pursue security, safety and comfort when disasters such as earthquakes or flooding strike. The BF Method that boasts structural strength only offered by Sumitomo Forestry ensures the safety of buildings and provides functionality for an uninterrupted lifestyle until recovery even when lifelines are cut thanks to equipment such as enhanced storage space, solar power generation systems, wall-mounted electrical boards and water tanks. A video intercom with a network camera allows the interior to be clearly seen with a wireless camera as well as gives owners the ability to check the state of their house in a disaster even while out-and-about. The large storage space helps keep rooms clean in daily life while the original built-in furniture effectively prevents the furniture from toppling in an earthquake and can achieve a space in harmony with the interior.

Sales of Home in-line with Various Needs and Lifestyles

The Housing and Construction Division proposes housing to a broad range of customers from first time home buyers to married couples that plan to live with their children in multi-generational homes or who plan to live as a couple after their children are grown.

DUE CLASSO was released as custom-built housing for double-income families in August 2017. In response to needs such as efficient traffic lines and room plans easy for families to interact as well as storage ideas and the latest equipment, DUE CLASSO proposes Saku-kaji (prompt housework), Tomo-kaji (housework together) and Shin-kaji (new housework). These innovations are plentiful and help families spend a wonderful time together in this important space created through family cooperation. DUE CLASSO helps create a living space to achieve a leisurely lifestyle in both personal and professional life.

In addition, Forest Selection BF was launched to propose 1,000 carefully selected plans from approximately 300,000 proven custom-built homes in November 2017. This housing is realizing living suited to the needs and lifestyles of customers from a rich selection of choices.

Both of these products promote ZEH specifications to provide living spaces that value the lifestyle environment as well as the global environment.

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Initiatives for Overseas Housing

Sumitomo Forestry is furthering the expansion of the housing business overseas centered upon detached house sales in United States and Australia. We sell environmentally-friendly housing in addition to fully grasping the culture of each region and the way people live to provide housing tailored to the demand.

Sales of Environmentally-Friendly Housing in Australia

The Sumitomo Forestry Group sells housing with high energy-saving performance overseas.

In 2001, Henley Properties, a Group company, drove forward efforts to enhance energy-saving performance in the Australian housing industry, such as pioneering its own standard specifications ahead of competitors, by recommending a five-star energy rating*1 for the standard energy-saving performance in Victoria at the time. Efforts toward the environment accelerated further after the involvement of the Sumitomo Forestry Group in 2009. We conducted a variety of initiatives to reduce the environmental impact, including the realization of a commercial zero emission house*2 for the general consumer for the first time as a major builder in the country.

In Victoria, we use a blended cement replacing approximately 20% of cement, the primary ingredient in concrete used in foundations of homes, with fly ash (ash produced when burning charcoal) and blast furnace slag (byproduct separated from iron ore in the iron manufacturing process in blast furnaces). The blended cement reduces CO2 emissions by about three tons per home in the construction stage.

Japanese housing generally uses multi-layered glass, but this is not common practice in Australia due to the cost. More than 80% of the new housing uses single-pane glass. However, in 2018, we were the first in Victoria to make multi-layered glass a standard specification to increase the insulation efficiency of homes*3.

We are also actively working to improve airtightness. The homes built by our Group company have shown airtightness three times higher than the average home in Australia shown by airtightness inspections conducted in 2017*4.

Henley Properties is taking advantage of the know-how cultivated in efforts to develop energy-saving housing over many years in a wide range of endeavors. As interest in realizing a sustainable society grows worldwide, Henley Properties is striving to develop housing with a high-level of energy performance by continually conducting improvements of materials and equipment as well as surveys of performance.

*1 An evaluation metric of the energy burden for heating and cooling the inside of a building in Australia. Insulation, windows, the type, size and orientation of the building, and the climatic zone are all items included in this metric. The highest rating of 10 stars indicates that no heating or cooling whatsoever is needed to maintain a comfortable indoor living environment. Five stars indicate that the building has high insulation performance, but that a minimum of energy is required for heating and cooling. The five star standard specifications pioneered by Henley Properties brought competitors to do the same. As a result the government of Victoria enacted policy to make five stars the standard. Thereafter, Henley Properties leading the environmental performance standards in the Australian housing industry through efforts that including raising the internal standard to six stars, which then led Victoria to also raise their standards to six stars.

*2 Environmentally-friendly housing expected to have an energy-saving effect of more than 70% compared to conventional housing.

*3 Multi-layered glass is effective in improving insulation efficiency of homes by limiting the thermal reflux to approximately 35% less compared to veneer glass.

*4 The average value for Henley Properties is 5 ACH where the average housing in Australia is 15.4 ACH (ACH is an index that indicates the air leakage per hour at a 50 Pa indoor-outdoor air pressure difference. The lower the value the higher the airtightness).

Henley Properties Home

Henley Properties Home

Inspection of Airtightness Performance

Inspection of Airtightness Performance

 

Received Five Star Housing Award for Providing Valuable Housing in Hong Kong

Soeng Jyu / 2GETHER, a multi-unit housing complex project jointly developed (25% owned by Sumitomo Forestry) from October 2013 to December 2017 by Sumitomo Forestry and HKR International Ltd.*, received a Five Star Housing award in the Housing category at an evaluation conference of the Hong Kong Professional Building Inspection Academy 2018.

Developed and sold in Hong Kong's Tuen Mun area, Soeng Jyu / 2GETHER (completed in December 2017) is a 25-story condominium complex (comprising 222 housing units, one day care center and a commercial facility [approximately 1,900m²]). In Hong Kong, which has a low rate of architectural greening, the complex received high praise for incorporating green walls as part of a highly environmentally conscious design.

Also, in Hong Kong, where homes are typically small, the building features a sophisticated level of completeness and the functionality of a fully appointed clubhouse exclusively for residents. These are among the features that earned praise for the project as one effort to help solve the societal problem of the supply of valuable housing.

Other features that helped earn the award include clearly delineated traffic flows among residences, the daycare center, commercial facility, clubhouse and parking lot, for a high level of security.

* The Hong Kong Professional Building Inspection Academy (BIA) has been holding evaluation conferences since its founding in 2012 in order to provide comprehensive evaluations of structures throughout Hong Kong with attention to the perspectives of those who use newly constructed buildings, the degree of completeness of buildings, their levels of sophistication, and the environment. Honoring the Most Outstanding Building Development and its Developers

Exterior view

Exterior view

Clubhouse

Clubhouse

Green wall surfaces

Green wall surfaces

 

Collaborating to Build Affordable Housing Model Homes in Myanmar

SumitomoForestry worked with the Japan-Myanmar Association for Industry of Housing and Urban Development (JMHU)* and the Myanmar Construction Entrepreneurs Association (MCEA) to provide technical assistance and donations necessary to construct model homes of affordable houses (homes that are affordable for even low-income earners).

In Myanmar, where housing shortage has become a social issue, this project was aimed at building model homes for affordable housing while disseminating Japanese housing construction technical capabilities, quality and building materials. The model homes were built in the Mingaladon Township in the Yangon suburbs. Forty-two Japanese companies that are JMHU members donated money, housing materials, technological support or other forms of assistance. As a chairman member of JMHU, we did the basic design of the model structure, supervised construction and provided other support in an effort to help raise living standards and realize a more prosperous society in Myanmar.

* JMHU was dissolved in March 2019 upon the formation of the new Japan International Association for the Industry of Building and Housing (JIBH). In addition to taking over the projects of the former JMHU, the newly organized JIBH also hosts seminars and mutual exchange visits to exchange information with various related countries. At the same time, it joins together with government, administrative and private sectors in countries overseas to provide unified support for the development of the construction and housing industry.

Affordable houses built in Myanmar

Affordable houses built in Myanmar

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Sustainability Report