Smart City Solution
- LED Base Light
- LED Downlight
- LED High Bay
- LED Spotlight
- LED Staircase Light
- LED Emergency Light
- Facility Energy Monitoring System, "WeLBA Series"
- Wood Louver (CLT) + Vertical Greening
［Last updated on: November 27, 2019]
ICT strategy center for realizing a sustainable smart city
Japan is troubled by a shrinking labor pool because of the country's falling birthrate, aging population and less jobs being created in the manufacturing industry. Aizuwakamatsu City in Fukushima Prefecture is no exception and, wanting to do something about it, the municipal government has undertaken their "Aizuwakamatsu Smart City" project.
Their goal is to maintain a stable population of about 100,000, which is needed to sustain the vitality of the local area, through urban development, human resource training and job creation. So far, in cohort with businesses and the University of Aizu, which opened in 1993, the municipal government has poured its efforts into congregating the analytics industry and ICT companies.
Analytics are used to solve problems in the environmental, medical care, agricultural and many other fields by analyzing massive amounts of information. It is drawing attention as a core technology even for cyclical economies and an essential tool for building the infrastructure environment for the various projects within the Aizuwakamatsu Smart City. Moreover, the human resources who do the work are in demand. Luckily, the University of Aizu is tops in Japan for both the number of researchers and students in the computer sciences, but disappointingly about 80% of their graduates have to hunt for jobs outside of the prefecture.
Activity wing (left) and office wing (right) connected by a covered passageway. Wooden lattices gently control the line of sight of the first floor curtain wall.
Multipurpose use envisioned for the activity wing
This project laid the groundwork for reversing that and steering Aizuwakamatsu into a desired future by building an office that will serve as the strategy center for all of that said above. The plan is to draw businesses from the ICT industry, have them take on and train university students and, in the process, create new and advanced models for utilizing them as human resources. This will hopefully interest and attract other industries, and establish a self-sustaining cycle of regional regeneration.
To solicit and field proposals, a "business portal" approach with which the building owner solicited and managed tenants was adopted over having the municipal government do it. The selected proposal came from a consortium of five local businesses. For the design and construction work, contractors were involved from the design stage in what is referred to as "Early Contractor Involvement" while AiYUMU Co., Ltd. was placed in charge of everything from operation and management to attracting businesses as the holding company.
* The above floor plan is based on drawings from the planning stage, therefore details differ from the actual building.
A place for gathering intellectual minds from around the world and educating students amidst interactivity in the area
AiCT Smart City was named through a contest. The facility itself consists of a 3-story office wing of steel construction and a single-story activity wing made of wood. The office wing has CLT exteriors and wood interiors, some of which originated from locally sourced materials. The activity wing used local lumber products for the structure and its interior and exterior finishing materials.
A terrace is located between the activity and office wings to keep them functionally separated and provides space for socializing and enjoying the four seasons of Aizuwakamatsu. The office wing is to the rear where it is away from the road and has column-free rental rooms with a 15 m span that are designed to facilitate layout changes using movable separators and partitions.
Moreover, every floor has a lounge that functions as a semi-public space where tenant-businesses can interact. In order to temper the exposure to direct sunlight, vertical louvres made of CLT are installed on the first to third floors on the west side of the building. Sunlight exposure is additionally controlled by greening, as evergreen vines of Asian jasmine are grown between louvres.
A total of 17 tenant-businesses from inside and outside Japan have been decided, including a venture launched by the University of Aizu and the world's largest consulting firm, Accenture plc.
As Takeo Shirai, President of Shirai Architects & Engineers, Inc. and Vice-President of AiYUMU, explained, "This project was realized because of the collaboration of local businesses, financial institutions and the power company. It covered a wide gamut from design and supervision to operations and successfully drew many global businesses. I am looking forward to the students from the University of Aizu utilizing the incubation function of this facility to develop global business as a venture company."
Lounge where tenant-businesses can collaborate
Sunlight control on the west side using wooden louvres and vertical greening
iD series LED base lights for luminating column-free rooms of 15 m span
Mt. Bandaisan seen from a 2F office
Wooden louvres covering the curtain wall on the west side of the office wing
Vertical greening using Asian Jasmine and a watering system
Terrace between the office wing (left) and activity wing (right)
Outdoor trees lit up in the evening
Self-sustaining cycle envisioned by AiCT Smart City
* DMO: Destination Management Organization