OPPORTUNITIES AND PROSPECTS
WOODEN ARCHITECTURE IN KOREA
Kim, Jin Hee, MRAIC
President of Korea Wood Building Design Association
Professor of Wood Building Design Center
1. The History and Background of Korea Wooden Architecture
◦ The residential construction industry in Korea is large, high-rise building approximately 500,000~700,000 housing units per year for most of the last two decades. The Korean traditional housing structure is post and beam wooden house. But the most infrastructure, buildings and homes had been destroyed by Korean War in 1953. Only fifty years after the end of war, Korea now has a fully industrialized economy which the eleventh largest in the world. During the economy was moving, the vast majority of urban Korean architecture are designed by concrete construction and some of steel construction.
◦ Most of city dwellers in Korea are two or three generations removes from an agrarian lifestyle so, wage have risen and people have had more disposable income from their real-estate, a trend began to develop during the late 1980's towards consumers wanting to live closer to the land. This movement has come to be as "country-style housing", it means owning a home with a garden in the suburbs, whether it be a single-family house or a low-rise condominium.
◦ However, by the late 1980’s population was rapidly increasing as well as becoming urbanized, and "country-style housing" development industry was gradually increasing in raw urban land.
2. Wooden Architecture Components Wood Products
□ Korean Imports of Wood in 2006
◦ Approximately 65% of Korea' land mass is forested, totaling about 6.44 million hectares. But Korea's forest are producing just 1.2 million cubic meters of log in 1966, or just 13.6% of domestic demand, While domestic production of logs in Korea is low, as the economy has grown total consumption of logs has increased from 4.0 million cubic meters in 1970 to 8.7 million cubic meters in 1993.
◦ Therefore, Korea must rely on log imports as the raw material for its domestic wood processing industry, importing 6.8 million cubic meters of softwood logs and 1.4 million cubic meters of hardwood logs in 1996.
◦ The United States and Canada have traditionally been the principal suppliers of softwood logs to Korea. However, during the late 1980's and early 1990's rising log prices due to pubic harvest restrictions in the U.S. have provided other country, New Zealand and Russia, with an opportunity to increase their share of Korean log market.
◦ Even as Korean log imports declined by 25.8% in value since 1993, finished wood product imports have increased dramatically. Most of this rise can be attributed to increased imports of tropical hardwood species in the form of boards, veneers, finished panel products, doors and windows.
◦ This trend to value-added wood products continues to this day, and the volume of rough logs and lumber imports is shown in the below.
- Rough Wood : Approx. 750 million dollars(US)
- Lumber : Approx. 250 million dollars(US)
□ General Wooden Construction Type in Korea
◦ Traditional Wooden Architecture : Renovation for original building or new construction as traditional design
◦ Light Frame Wood House(2×4 system) : Most of new residence
◦ Non-residence (Mixed-use and Commercial, etc.) : Post and beam structure and Hybrid system with engineered wood for gymnasium in school, golf club house, education center, church, etc.
◦ Outdoor Architecture : Wooden deck, pagoda, small bridge, etc.
□ Statistics of Wooden Building Construction
◦ 2006 : Approx. 6,000 unit
◦ 2007: Estimated number, Approx. 10,000 unit
□ Building Type of Residence in Korea
◦ More than 90 % of residence are concrete apartment
- 10~15 story Apartment : 70%
- 5~10 story Apartment : 25%
- 2 story Single Home : 5%
◦ Increase up to more than 20% from present 5% for single homes and 3~4 story multi-family house by the wooden architecture.
- 20~45 story High-rise Apartment : 50%
- 3~10 story Low-rise Apartment, Villa : 30%
- 2 story Single Home, Town House : 20%
3. The Regulatory Framework for Wood Building
□ The fire resistance performance standard of light wood frame building as contained in the (Korea Standard) KS F 1611-1 and KS F 1611-3.
□ Building height made of wood construction shall be limited to 18meters and building height excluding roof shall be limited to 15meters.
□ The gloss floor are of wood construction shall be limited to 3,000㎡, and fire-partitions shall be provided every 1,000㎡. Only if sprinklers are installed for fire-protection, the gross floor area shall be allowed to 6,000㎡ . The light-frame construction shall be limited to 3 story, while with sprinkler it is allowed to 4 story.
□ The government will continue the endeavors to make builders build low density and multi-family row housing in new development
4. Existing Situation of the skilled labor and building trades
□ Since most post-War construction in Korea has been in either reinforced concrete or steel, the traditional carpentry profession there has virtually died out. At present, wood design skills in both light wood frame and heavy timber construction is not included in any of architectural and engineering curricula in school. Therefore, there is a shortage of carpenters and skilled tradesman who are conversant with both light wood frame and heavy timber construction,
□ But wood training and certification programs are being carried out Wood Building Design Center(WBDC: www.wooddesign.or.kr) at Kookmin University since 1997. The WBDC had graduated more than 2,950 students by the end of 2006. The WBDC offers a full range of learning opportunities in both full and part-time students through several different courses.
□ The Korea Wood Building Association(KWBDA: www.wooda.org) is undertaking a number of pilot programs to built labor infrastructure in the industry and skills in both light wood frame and heavy timber construction.
Among these are :
• Training by KWBDA for those seeking to apply for site supervisor / inspector qualifications for future local regional officers who would become accountable and responsible for on-site inspections.
• The KWBDA has been carried a Wood Design Technical Qulification Examination since 2004.
□ Korea Institute of Art and Design(KIAD: www.kiad.or.kr) has been opened a Wooden House Technical Study Class on 12 Dec. 2007 for the Cyber education program.
5. Prospect and Propose of Wooden Architecture in Future
□ Demographic and Social-Economic Market-Forces ;
• trend towards suburban, "country-style" housing
• institution of the 5-day workweek leading to more leisure time
• growing concern for a healthy environment and better housing
• gradual development of Korean wood construction industry
□ Government Policies Driving the Wood Construction Industry
• projecting 10 million new market housing units by 2020
• projecting 1 million new welfare housing units by 2012
• elevating the overall housing supply ratio to 116% by 2020
• new environmental legislation to improve the quality of urban life.
□ It is very important to advertise the advantages of the wooden architecture, to provide updated information and technology, and to train experts, designers and workers.
□ Therefore, Asia Forum for Wooden Architecture(AFWA) aims to establish a cooperative framework for exchanging technical information and promoting better design wooden building between Asian country in future.
[Current Use of Wood Products/Components in Korea Buildings]
￭ Korea traditional wooden building (from 1990 to 2006)
Most of building is renovation of old traditional original Korean wooden house or a few of new building
□ Low-rise Residential
Renovation of old traditional House with Light-Frame Wood System
￭ Modern wooden building (from 1990 to 2006)
The Residential building is built by light wood frame(2×4 system) and mixed-use and commercial building is built by hybrid structure combined with steel and concrete, and heavy timber or engineered wood.
□ Low-rise Residential : Light-Frame, Post and Beam Structure House
□ Non-residential (Mixed-use and Commercial, etc.) : Post and Beam Timber Structure, Light-Frame, Engineered Wood Structure House
*** Thank You *** Jin Hee Kim, President of KWBDA ***