Social issues YKK AP takes on and corresponding products / Products to Address Climate Change and Disasters
The environment around us sees major change on a daily basis, such as climate change and disasters, demographic changes, COVID-19 countermeasures, and accompanying lifestyle changes. As YKK AP engages in sustainability management, we are committed to deploying products and services that address social issues. We will expand products and services that build better society and work toward solving social issues.
Products to Address Climate Change and Disasters
Among various social issues, responding to the significant climate change and intensifying disasters in recent years is an urgent priority. To contribute to a sustainable society and the safety and security of the people who live in it, YKK AP is engaging in product development and business efforts to address climate change and disasters.
The effects of climate change on people's lives
In recent years, the climate change resulting from global warming
is significantly affecting people's lives all over the world.
As one effect of climate change, the typhoons making landfall in Japan show a trend of growing larger and affecting a wider area. In 2018, Typhoon Jebi marked a maximum instantaneous wind speed of 58.1 m/s and produced powerful winds across Japan, breaking maximum daily wind speed records at 78 AMeDAS locations.* Typhoon Faxai in 2019 was also extremely large scale, producing a maximum instantaneous wind speed of 57.5 m/s. These typhoons caused severe damage in regions where they made landfall.
Japan is also known for its frequent earthquakes. Recent years have seen many large earthquakes of 6 or greater on the Japanese seismic scale, and the 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes and the 2018 Hokkaido Eastern Iburi earthquake marked 7 on the same scale.
In response to the increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters, YKK AP created the Disaster-Resilient Technology Office as part of the Research & Development Division in April 2020. We are working to develop technology for verification in disaster-like situations and disaster preparation in order to clarify and visualize damage, transmit information useful for safety, and develop products to respond to disasters.
* Source: "Typhoon Number 21 Brings High Winds and Storm Surges to the Kinki Region on September 4" Weathernews, September 7, 2018 (https://jp.weathernews.com/news/24664/)
Products for typhoon/hurricane response
"GR wind-resistant shutters," a new product designed for typhoons with wind resistance performance to
withstand wind pressure (negative pressure) under wind speeds of 62 m/s, feature wind resistance of 1,200 Pa
(negative pressure), 1.5 times that of standard shutters. In addition, the shutters can prevent window glass
from breaking even if a 2 kg piece of wood propelled by strong winds hits it at a speed of 44 km/h. The
high-performance carport "Leonport neo GR," designed with large-scale typhoons in mind, features more
columns and beams for increased wind resistance to withstand typhoons and strong winds, as well as
resistance to snow load to address heavy snowfall.
In overseas markets, we offer the hurricane-resistant product brand "ProTek®" in the U.S.A. We also offer "StyleGuard®" hurricane-resistant products for residential homes in coastal areas. These products are designed and tested to comply with the International Building Code (IBC) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) hurricane requirements.
Taiwan is beset by frequent, large-scale typhoons, and damage from water leakage around windows and doors is common. In response, we developed "YRB-A" high water tightness sashes with industry-leading watertight performance. We are working to deploy products that meet customer needs in each region.
Minimizing earthquake damage
We are also working to produce earthquake countermeasure products for the Japanese market. Conventional
seismic retrofitting can lead to more walls and fewer windows, but we have developed "FRAME Ⅱ" to
enable seismic retrofits without reducing windows and add thermal insulation around the windows at the same
In an earthquake, there is also a risk of the door frame warping and preventing the entrance door from opening, trapping occupants inside. We offer seismic resistance and security features that allow entrance doors for multi-family residences to open and close even if the door frame is deformed in an earthquake.
Disaster-Resilient Technology Office initiatives
With disasters such as strong winds, torrential rain, and earthquakes in mind, the Disaster-Resilient
Technology Office studies damage during disasters, laws, regulations, and guidelines related to disasters,
and trends in technology to address disasters.
In addition, it conducts verification by recreating disaster situations to confirm how products are affected. The verification results are then examined to extract issues and help in technology development.
Helping old residences outperform new construction
It is said that there are approximately 62 million units of single-family home housing stocks in Japan. As
circulation and utilization of these homes becomes a social issue, renovation that adds performance and
value that exceeds new construction is gaining attention as a way to address this. The key points are
"thermal insulation," "earthquake resistance," and "disaster prevention"-reducing health risks to residents
from extreme heat in the summer and temperature differences in the winter, making preparations for
large-scale earthquakes, and protecting the home from natural disasters that are growing in scale.
YKK AP is cooperating with regional construction firms that build housing all over Japan to advance the "Renovation Demonstration Project for the Housing Performance Improvement" to add value that exceeds new construction to existing housing stock. We completed 2 projects in FY 2017, 4 in FY 2018, and 4 in FY 2019, receiving top honors in the open division for the "2019 Renovation of the Year" awards. In FY 2020 we renovated 4 secondhand single-family houses and demonstrated performance levels that exceeded standard new construction in terms of "thermal insulation" and "earthquake resistance."
This article was written in August 2021.