CSR Information

Contributing to a Low-carbon Society

The largest environmental impact for a home builder is related to the environmental impact during the use of the homes that are delivered.
While Japan has slowed the trend of increasing CO2 emissions in the household sector, the country has relatively high standards and properly adhering to gradual energy-saving standards has become mandatory even in new housing.
The Sumitomo Forestry Group is striving to standardize homes that realize Net Zero Emission Housing (ZEH), which is a household that has no primary energy consumption.

Meeting Customer Expectations to Reduce the Environmental Impact

The Sumitomo Forestry Group provides energy-saving homes as well as homes with better environmental friendliness by responding to the needs and expectations of customers, which connects to improve quality and to a reduction in the environmental impact.

For example, a full survey of living conducted in 2013 by the Ministry of Land Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism showed safety in earthquakes, the space and layout of the house and crime prevention as some of the elements thought important in housing.

Sumitomo Forestry has worked to improve technology in custom-built wooden houses such as the release of the Big-Frame Construction Method (BF Method), the first wooden beam Rahmen structure in Japan, in 2005 as a way to respond to these expectations.

We further evolved the BF Method with the release of The Forest BF throughout Japan (excluding Okinawa) in April 2017.

Moreover, we have adopted versatile partitions that do not require structural materials to build a structure in addition to flexibility in the ceiling heights and even broader openings. This will enable to change room plans with less waste when accommodating different life stages in the future to live with aging parents or sending off grown up children.

ZEH can also be realized by combining high efficiency water heaters with solar power generation systems in addition to providing insulation efficiency that surpasses the local standard values.

In the future, Sumitomo Forestry will continue to provide high quality homes that benefit both customers and the environment through this type of development.

80% ZEH Promotion by 2020 and Start LCCM

Sumitomo Forestry has set a ZEH promotion target of 80% by 2020 and has already achieved 32% adoption rate as of fiscal 2016*. Japan has set a target to achieve zero emission in standard new housings by 2020 and achieve zero emission on average in new housings by 2030. Sumitomo Forestry is contributing to the realization of this national goal.

Sumitomo Forestry is engaged in the development of Life Cycle Carbon Minus (LCCM) housing as an attempt to reach negative CO2 emissions across the entire life cycle of a home from construction through disposal by using environmentally sound equipment such as solar power systems.

Custom-built wooden houses that utilize wood as a renewable resource can substantially reduce CO2 during construction compared to steel or reinforced concrete structures. Wooden houses are the perfect for LCCM from a perspective that takes into account everything from before construction to after the house is built. We are aiming to realize comfortable LCCM homes while reducing the CO2 emissions of the home itself as well as during occupancy.

ZEH standardization target and results (including Nearly ZEH)*
  FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020
Japan
(Excluding Hokkaido and Okinawa)
Target 5% 35% 45% 60% 80%
Results 32% - - -
Hokkaido Target 1% 3% 5% 10% 51%
Results 0% - - -
  • * Custom-built base

Concepts of ZEH

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Comment from Employee in Charge of LCCM Housing Development

The Tsukuba Research Institute has been conducting researches at experimental facilities that were constructed on its premises since 2013 as an effort to develop LCCM houses. LCA results have shown the benefits of using timber in reducing the CO2 emissions of the building itself at the experimental facilities built of various timber. We have successfully introduced new technologies to the market that were implemented and tested in our experimental facilities such as the Air-Dream Hybrid and thermal insulated shoji sliding screens. The Air-Dream Hybrid has a cooling function using outside air when the temperature outside is low such as on summer nights and the thermal insulated shoji screens both heighten the insulation efficiency at openings and secure brightness indoors. We are advancing technological development related to more active use of energy such as the use of electricity produced from solar power generation systems inside of the actual home while cooperating with the verification business of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) since fiscal 2016.

Takaaki Nemoto Team Manager Housing Group, Tsukuba Research Institute

Takaaki Nemoto
Team Manager
Housing Group, Tsukuba Research Institute

Experimental facility utilizing timber

Experimental facility utilizing timber

Experimental facility utilizing timber

Storage water heater and energy storage system

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CSR Report2017