In the spring sunshine, this traditional family home has an almost timeless dignity and aesthetic unity. Yet the interior is bright and welcoming, flooded with sunlight and well insulated, with all the amenities one would expect in a contemporary home built to a high specification. As part of the Shinchiku-Sokkurisan house remodeling business, Sumitomo Realty & Development has been tastefully renovating traditional wooden houses to satisfy contemporary standards of comfort and convenience since 2000. Making good use of traditional techniques, the company has remodeled more than 4,000 traditional homes, many of which are distinctive examples of vernacular architecture.
“Traditional techniques used to endow a building with resistance to earthquakes are very different from modern ones,” explains Hideo Nagumo. He continues, “For example, in old houses pillars are braced so that they can withstand tremors. If remodeling were done in a rash, insensitive manner without a proper understanding and appreciation of traditional methods, that earthquake-resistant function would be lost.”
Masato Yamaguchi observes, “Most timbers used for old houses are incredibly robust and their strength has increased over the years. Sumitomo Realty & Development adds functionality while making use of these precious resources.” This superlative remodeling work draws on the accumulated experience gained through the Shinchiku-Sokkurisan business whose track record is unsurpassed. The company created a manual based on the knowledge of various techniques compiled in the course of remodeling 120,000 houses since the start of this business. The training is based on this manual and remodeling of traditional houses is led exclusively by those engineers who have earned the “Traditional House Meister” in-house qualification.
Gen Motoi says, “We can identify which pillars and fittings should be retained and help customers protect their assets. That’s our strength, too. Our customers’ evident delight and the pride they take in their remodeled ancestral homes are the source of my own happiness.”
The house remodeling business, which leads to the reduction of environmental impacts and ensures the preservation of traditional techniques, is a focus of high expectations.