Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
CTBUH Research Division in Japan:
Meetings with Designers and Façade Consultants
April 16 – 23, 2018

See more on the research project
See more about the CTBUH Research Division
See more on CTBUH Research Division's Trip to Japan

TOKYO – CTBUH Research Division had meetings with architectural and engineering design companies and façade consultants during its trip in Japan, in order to meet experts in the façade field that are contributing for the research project, Cyclone Glazing and Façade Resilience for the Asia-Pacific Region.
First, they discussed the role of designers and of the façade consultants operating in the Japanese market. Angela Mejorin consulted the various parties interested in the results of the activities from the first stage of the research. The complete study, along with the article featured in the most recent CTBUH Journal, was shared with the meeting participants. These materials led to a valuable discussion of the best practices when it comes for strong winds-resistant curtain walls in the contemporary construction market in Japan.

Architecture exposition featured at the NIKKEN SEKKEI LTD Tokyo Headquarters during April and May.

Hiroaki Kunitsu, Senior Structural Engineer at NIKKEN SEKKEI LTD, kindly  hosted CTBUH and Shuji Miyamoto, Trosifol, at their Headquarters in Tokyo. Hiroaki Kunitsu gave a presentation and showed several projects that Nikken Sekkei designed in Japan and Tetsuo Tsuchiya, Chief Architect, gave a presentation on one of their projects, the Tokyo Sky Tree, which is the tallest tower in Tokyo. He presented the façade conception of the building, its design characteristics, and its unique safety performances and maintenance procedures. Nobuyuki Mori, Senior Expert of the Engineering Department, explained the best practices for building design in strong wind locations like Japan. Finally, Kazuhiko Yoshida, Architect of the Façade Engineering Section, and Kohei Shintani, Structural Engineer, discussed the safety precautions they take for the glazed building envelopes of their projects.

Next, Shuji Miyamoto introduced Angela Mejorin to the entire Façade Engineering Department of ARUP Japan. Susumu Matsunobu, the Façade Unit Leader of the Tokyo Office, presented the role of the façade consultants in new Japanese developments and typical request from principal clients. Furthermore, he explained the minimum design parameters for the projects they are involved in and the additional features they often provide to the building envelopes they design. This meeting aimed to discuss the different requirements and testing procedures in the façade design for the various Asia-Pacific jurisdictions focused on in this research (Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, and the Philippines). Sasha Tsai, Façade Engineer, briefly compared and contrasted her experiences in Japan and Hong Kong.
ARUP Façade Unit met CTBUH at its Tokyo Office. From right to left: Susumu Matsunobu, Façade Unit Leader; Wataru Kashima, Façade Engineer; Sasha Tsai, Façade Engineer; Angela Mejorin, CTBUH Research Assistant; Hiroshi Amano, Façade Engineer; Katsuya Sakurai, Façade Engineer; Yuki Uehara, Façade Engineer.
The research trip to Japan was the occasion for the Research Division to have a debate with the Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei Inc at their Tokyo Head Office about their standard procedure for the tall building façade design. In Japan, the official definition of tall building is ‘a building higher than 60 meters’. Emi Honda, Chief Architect, and Yusuke Hotta, Chief Engineer, illustrated how they define the local pressures on the building envelope, in order to provide the necessary information to the façade suppliers and let them delineate the curtain wall typologies. The Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei Inc representatives explained their role and responsibilities with the client for the curtain wall design, product approval process and installation procedure. Angela Mejorin asked some questions about their latest projects, such as The Park House Harumi Towers.
CTBUH is working at the technical publication, entitled ‘Strong Wind- and Cyclone-Resistant Façades: Best Practices’, and aims to collect project information for the ‘Building Case Study’ section from the three companies mentioned in the report.

Toranomon Hills, Tokyo

Street view of Tokyo with Atago Green Hills in the background