As I keyboard this, it is the seventh anniversary of the passing of my Uncle Neil Momb. I had reminded his daughter, my cousin Amy, of how I loved her Dad’s ability to make profound statements with a smile.
Back in 2014 I wrote a couple of articles about my uncle’s adventures in building in Japan, which began here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/07/framing/. In the article, I mentioned his being a great photographer, but what I failed to mention was my Uncle Neil studied photography under the tutelage of the famous American photographer and environmentalist Ansel Adams (read more about Ansel Adams here: https://anseladams.com/ansel-adams-bio/).
The pioneering work done by my Uncle Neil, in exposing the Japanese culture to Western wood construction methods and technology has paved the way for numerous opportunities for American businesses.
Among those – Hansen Pole Buildings.
I received a notice last summer from Kishida with the Cabinet Secretariat of the Contract Award Committee of the Government of Japan. In the notice was the selection of Hansen Pole Buildings to be a supplier to the Government of Japan.
To give an idea of Japanese expectations, here is a brief description of timber which is grown and harvested in Japan: Due to advanced drying technology, Japanese timber can be worked to precise tolerances and is not prone to the normal drawbacks of timber, such as splitting, shrinking and warping. Regular and continuous branch removal from the sapling stage ensures the logged timber is attractive and free of knots.
When I was in the prefabricated light gauge metal connector plated truss industry, there were times when the mills I normally purchased truckloads of lumber from were producing only what was known as “J grade” or more appropriately “JAS Machine Graded Timber”. On occasion we would be shipped dimensional lumber which had both grade stamps on it for Japan as well as the typical MSR (Machine Stress Rated https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/12/machine-graded-lumber/) stamps which we were used to seeing.
Does this mean Hansen Pole Buildings is going to suddenly begin shipping post frame buildings to Japan? Highly unlikely, as it would bring with it a plethora of challenges and complexities in terms of language, as well as both Code and quality issues.
But, it was a feel good moment, which also brought back warm fuzzy memories of my uncle.