Many older homes in Japan don’t meet modern earthquake code and have proven a major liability in deadly earthquakes like Kobe suffered in 1995. Full-scale testing to destruction at E-Defense gauges their widespread risk to society and the efficacy of reinforcing them with retrofits. Continue reading
Recently, a discussion on Linkedin came to my attention between foreign business people concerning bids to provide temporary housing for Tohoku. All shared similar frustrations that the process was far from transparent and it seemed clear to them that the Government of Japan never intended to source from any foreign bidders.
The demands seem to have been onerous: short deadlines, Japan-specific design requirements (tatami mats, electronic baths, etc), locally licensed construction partners, and very short construction turnarounds could all be interpreted as measures designed to protect the Japan Prefabricated Construction Suppliers and Manufactures Association from outsiders.