Tour of Kajima Technical Research Institute

On December 9th, with senior members Secretariat Shimazu, Ishii-san, Hayashi-san, headed by Managing Directress Junko Imanishi, two former scholarship recipients, seven scholarship recipients of fiscal year 2011, and one Vietnamese foreign student of Chiba University--or a total of thirteen persons, toured the new Kajima Technical Research Institute at the Tobitakyu Kajima Corperation complex.

That day, we were kindly met at the Tobitakyu station by Jeon-san, former scholarship recipient of fiscal year 2001, who is now working at the Research Institute. Under his escort, we made our way to the Research Institute. We reached the main hall and were all already excited to be able to directly see the Technical Research Institute that has played a central role in supporting "Kajima Technology". This building was completed in November 2011, so staff members were all busy having just moved to the new facility. Nevertheless, Technical Research Institute Executive Head Togari-sama made a very clear PowerPoint presentation about the organization and overview of activities. Since the inception of Technical Research Institute in 1949, the first in the construction industry, Kajima Corporation has pushed cutting edge research and development, addressing the three sectors of "Technological development", "Technological cooperation", and "Educational diffusion", and turned into reality countless aspirations in order to always serve the new needs of its clients and society. We were moved by the slogan, which conveyed the Research Institute's ideals: "Forming Dreams".

After the briefing, we immediately started our tour starting with the Tobitakyu Technical Research Institute main building. This new research building adopts many of the research results of the research institute such as energy conservation and green architecture, creating a pleasant office environment. We were kindly shown many aspects of the building such as the insulation-enhancing green rooftop, the lighting design based on human vision and psychology, and the multi-purpose walls. I was the only one specializing in architecture among the scholarship recipients, but the tour guide made such an interesting and easy-to-understand explanation that the other scholarship students remained focused from start to finish.

Next, we took a shuttle bus to the experimental site in Nishi Chofu, where we continued our tour. Various activities are undertaken in this site, including construction building structures, earthquake resiliency, vibration reduction, materials, construction operation, and production. In the large-scale experimental building, research is made on the strength and safety of constructed structures using large-scale architecture and automatically operated oil-pressure pumps, giving a big support to "Technology Kajima". We were able to see new ideas and technology in various places in the design and construction of buildings, such as lead rubber bearings, 10,000-year concrete, and ingredients for environmentally-friendly concrete.

We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the Atsumi Foundation and Kajima Construction, for enabling us to see a Japanese research institute for world-class construction technology. We are especially thankful to Institute Head Togari-sama for kindly ensuring that the tour of the research institute was done efficiently. It was an invaluable experience for all the scholarship recipients, irrespective of specialization.

After the tour, we headed by taxi for Chofu Station and had our evaluation and year end's meeting at the "Kakureya Gohan Tsuki no En". It was unfortunate that not so many people could join us, but it was fun and filling get-together.

Photos of the Tour

(by Ho Van Ngoc, translated by M. Maquito)