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Taiwan Tech Students Build Wooden Structure with Japanese Master Carpenters
 
 
China Times
 
  
Eye-opening — Taiwan Tech collaborates with Tokushima Prefecture of Japan in building the Sustainable Smart Campus Data Exhibition Center on campus. The university’s Japanese collaborator contributed building materials and sent professional carpenters to Taiwan to teach the techniques of mortise and tenon as well as material handling. (Image by Taiwan Tech)
 
Building a wooden structure with Japanese master carpenters! Taiwan Tech has been collaborating with Tokushima Prefecture of Japan in building the Sustainable Smart Campus Data Exhibition Center on campus. The university’s Japanese collaborator contributed the wood used as building materials and sent professional carpenters to Taiwan to teach the techniques of mortise and tenon as well as material handling. Taiwan Tech students also got the chance to observe the entire process of unique wooden construction techniques.
 
The main structure of the Sustainable Smart Campus Data Exhibition Center has been designed and constructed by Tokushima Prefecture. The majority of the building materials being used is cedar wood from Tokushima, which is rarely seen in Taiwan. Deputy Governor of Tokushima Prefecture Kozo Kumagaya (熊谷幸三) also came to Taiwan Tech in person to witness the cooperative efforts.
 
Taiwan Tech pointed out that a special drying method was employed to prepare the lumber. In this method, the leaves are left attached to the branches after the trees are felled, and the logs are placed in the woods for several months so that they can dry out slowly, producing beautiful shades of color and reducing desiccation cracks. Compared to drying the material in a machine, this technique can significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions, reflecting the concepts of energy saving, carbon reduction and sustainable development.
 
President of Taiwan Tech Liao Ching-Jong said that the wood used as building materials for the Sustainable Smart Campus Data Exhibition Center came with complete production documentation, which allows faculty members and students to study such phases as logging, processing, assembly and construction, utilisation and so on. They are also able to examine the carbon footprint of wooden structures, building techniques, maintenance and architectural design, making it an invaluable learning opportunity.
 
President Liao mentioned that in addition to participating in foundation laying, assembling the wooden structures, interior design, roof laying and other construction processes, students were given the chance to assist in keeping engineering records and to observe Japanese master carpenters’ advanced techniques in mortise and tenon, construction methods and material handling. In the future, interested students will also have the opportunity to do an internship in Japan to study advanced techniques.
 
 “It is something you don’t see every day, a rare opportunity!” says Taiwan Tech graduate student Weng Yu-Xiu of the Department of Architecture, who also added that textbook knowledge is difficult to absorb, whereas hands-on participation in the construction process greatly enhances comprehension. Another student, Xu Wei-Ting, also stated that in contrast to making drawings in class, on-site participation provides a clearer idea of the building procedure. To him, it is a rare opportunity to learn from Japanese master carpenters these particular wooden construction methods which are seldom adopted in Taiwan.
 
Taiwan Tech pointed out that smart meters and lighting control systems will be installed progressively in the Center, and real-time status and statistics of the school’s energy consumption will also be exhibited, making the Center a venue for data presentation on Taiwan Tech’s sustainable smart campus. It will help develop the concept of sustainability on campus and serve as an exhibition venue for research and development results in fields like green energy and creative lifestyle.
 
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