UPM donates composite decking for temporary housing in Japans earthquake area


(UPM, Helsinki, Finland, 18 October 2011 at 11.00) – UPM has donated its UPM ProFi Deck composite to architect Shigeru Ban’s temporary housing project for Japan’s earthquake victims. The multi-storey container temporary houses are built in Onagawa town in north-east Japan. This area was one of the worst hit by the tsunami in spring 2011.

Shigeru Ban’s Container Temporary Housing project will provide homes for almost 200 families. The first houses were ready at the end of September, and construction work is aimed to be completed in mid-November when all the new inhabitants move in.

“Shigerun Ban offered us a great opportunity to help the earthquake victims in Japan. The project also allows us to showcase the exceptional properties of UPM ProFi at a time when the Japanese market is opening its door to UPM composite”, explains Markku Koivisto, Director, UPM ProFi.

The site will include nine blocks of three-storey buildings comprising a total of 188 apartments. There will be a market-like shopping facility, library and art hall in the middle of the blocks.

The container temporary housing is built from recycled and recyclable materials. The main structures of the apartments are assembled from old shipping containers piled up on top of each other, held up by steel poles and linked by corridors and doors. The houses are quick and easy to assemble and disassemble. This technique is the ideal solution for a housing system that has to be set up fast, yet with care. The houses can also be stored for re-use in another location.

The corridors and outside decking are built from UPM ProFi Deck composite. Manufactured from recycled materials, UPM ProFi is very weather-resistant and easy to maintain. The interiors and basic furniture will also be designed by Shigeru Ban’s team using recycled wood, corrugated board and paper cores.

The Container Temporary Housing project is a successful continuation of UPM’s collaboration with Shigeru Ban in the 21st century. Shigeru Ban has used UPM ProFi before, for example in Artek’s pavilion and in Artek’s 10-Unit System chair. In 2010, Shigeru Ban also used UPM ProFi for the balconies on the Metal Shutter House in New York City.

UPM has two sales offices and 19 employees in Japan. The Paper, Label and RFID sales office is located in Tokyo, while the Timber and Plywood sales office is based in Sendai City in the centre of the north-east coast, which was severely hit by the earthquake.

Read Akiko Ando’s (Office manager, UPM Japan, Tokyo) UPM Viewpoint blog post at www.upm.com > UPM Viewpoint

Upload photos of the container temporary housing at www.upm.com > Media > Media Centre > Images > Other images. All photos by Shigeru Ban Architects.

For further information please contact:
Mr Markku Koivisto, Director of UPM ProFi Business Area, tel. +358 40 861 2852


UPM leads the integration of bio and forest industries into a new, sustainable and innovation-driven future. Our products are made of renewable raw materials and are recyclable. UPM consists of three Business Groups: Energy and pulp, Paper and Engineered materials. The Group employs around 24,500 people and has production plants in 16 countries. UPM's annual sales exceed EUR 10 billion. UPM's shares are listed on the Helsinki stock exchange. UPM – The Biofore Company – www.upm.com 

The UPM ProFi business area develops, produces, markets and sells high-quality composite products for a variety of end uses. UPM ProFi is an innovative and environmentally friendly material that uses recycled paper and plastic from label stock production as its main raw material. Further information is available at www.upmprofi.com

As one of the main corporate sponsors for World Design Capital Helsinki 2012, UPM will manufacture a WDC-pavilion made from its durable and recyclable wood products and composites. The temporary pavilion will be built in spring 2012 in an empty lot between the Design Museum and the Museum of Finnish Architecture in Helsinki.

UPM, Corporate Communications
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