Hello – you’re in the right place, but Uh-Arc by Architect Kamitake Tetsuya 「上竹 哲也」 is no longer available as it was. Don’t worry, though – we can still show you some similar alternatives that you can check out before you go, if you’d like.
living 8 「リビングエイト」is a custom home designer and home renovator founded by architect Nakayama 「中山 隼」, promoting the use of natural, locally-sourced materials in making homes more comfortable and energy efficient.
Sikikobo Co., Ltd is a Koriyama-based multi-regional builder and designer of traditional homes and buildings using new technologies (such as AirPass) and locally-sourced natural materials. They combine Japanese tradition with newer technologies and methods to create comfortable, eco-friendly, and energy efficient builds.
KMEW provides eco-friendly building materials for environmentally-conscious builders, construction companies, and designers. They provide roofing, siding, materials for exteriors and interiors, among other home improvement supplies and building materials.
Yoshizumi Builders is a family-run company with over 50 years of experience in building homes. They specialize in helping families design comfortable, eco-friendly, and energy efficient “living homes” using natural materials, designed in collaboration with the future owners themselves from start to finish.
Simple MODERN HOUSE is a resource for prospective homeowners who want to design and build a modern, eco-friendly house. They provide access to a variety of builders, designers, and everything you need to know about designing and building an environmentally-friendly home and everything it entails.
TIP: Looking to do some home improvement and have a more energy-efficient, eco-friendly home? Live in the UK? Be an informed consumer and make smart decisions with free tips, guides, and double glazing quote comparisons from Honest John – The Consumer Champion.
Thinking of renovating your apartment or condo unit? Limia.jp talks about the different natural materials you can use, along with their features and benefits.
The Nikkei publishes this excerpt from the University of Tokyo’s Associate Professor Masayuki’s book “Eco-House of Lies”.
Irorio’s Guangyuan Akira (広元 晶) writes about Amsterdam-based Fiction Factory’s “Wikkelhouse”.
Almost everyone would agree that energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly homes are a net positive for everyone involved: homeowners save more money and live more comfortably, and the decreased carbon footprint provides a positive, long-term effect for the environment that everyone can benefit from in many ways. Most nations around the world accept this, and an ever-increasing number are doing what they can to promote and incentivize green living and eco-friendly homes. Among the world’s most developed countries, though, is an outlier: Japan.
Despite being one of the world’s most energy efficient countries, Japan’s housing industry is at odds with the rest of its brethren among developed nations, in that planned obsolescence is the norm – it is expected – and that Japanese homeowners are, for the most part, fine with it, in what is effectively (and appropriately named) a disposable home culture.
The amount of energy consumed and waste produced by the constant building and tearing down of homes and housing is significant, to say the least, and for all of Japan’s technological prowess, the challenge of eco-friendly living in Japan is mostly of the cultural sort. Let’s take a look at three specific aspects of that challenge.
After the second World War, the Japanese government was faced with the massive task of having to rebuild a devastated nation’s infrastructure and housing its displaced citizens and survivors. The initial focus was on quantity over quality, which addressed immediate concerns, but resulted in many structures being of poor quality, being built to last just between 20-30 years, and having to be torn down and rebuilt again, which eventually became an accepted standard – for both the housing industry and the people it served.
Throughout the decades, though, the Japanese government has come quite the way as it continues to update and revise its building code, shifting emphasis toward higher quality, more energy-efficient buildings and increasingly incentivizing energy efficiency. However, it may take a while before the effects of these regulations and incentives can be seen on a significant level.
With the average home being built to last just about 30 years, Japan’s housing industry is in an almost-perpetual boom, which stands in stark contrast to other developed nations. Profit remains a strong motivator for the industry’s behavior at large, despite the government’s building code revisions and regulations.
That being said, some builders and construction companies are starting to champion eco-friendly living by designing and building energy efficient houses that make use of locally available materials, specifically promoting “100-year” houses to market their quality and durability.
Finally, the most important aspect that needs to be addressed when it comes to Disposable Home culture: the homeowners themselves. Japanese society at large has come to accept and expect to have their homes torn down and rebuilt every generation or so. This is reflected in how they value land ownership more so than they do the structures built on them. It’s hard to blame them, since a good number of all the homes built in Japan steadily decrease in value over the years, and by the end of a thirty-year period, most are practically worthless. This has also led to dwellers having not much in the way of maintaining their homes in the same way other homeowners do as say, in Europe or the United States, where some of the most valuable homes are those that have remained standing for decades, or centuries, even.
Why maintain a house that’s going to be worthless in just a few decades, when you could put that money toward the new house you’ll be having built after?
In any case, only time will tell how effective Japan’s efforts to drag its housing industry into the more modern, eco-friendlier era will be.
References: “Japan's disposable home culture is an environmental and financial headache” – Elisabeth Braw, The Guardian, accessed August 23, 2016; “Greening a Giant: Shrinking the Footprint of Japan’s Building Sector” – Carol Smith, United Nations University, accessed August 23, 2016; “Housing in Japan”, Wikipedia, accessed August 23, 2016.