Community-based design-build・Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan・New Solid-wood (Ita-kura) Heavy-timber (Minka) Homes・Renovations・Natural・Healthy Architecture

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Yuu Philosophy

Building Your Home


First, we work with the client to make a realistic overall plan and timetable, taking financial issues into account.

We discuss in detail the whole family’s living style, and create a summary of each person’s requests. The design period involves a high level of participation by the clients, and takes approximately 3-6 months.

We hope that our clients will attend our regular events, including open house events both for homes under construction and for finished homes, consultation events, and our regular seasonal festivals.

This is a good way to both get a feeling for the Yuu style, and to get ideas of things you might like. We also welcome the general public to our events; please check the “News” list on our homepage.
2Site Selection
Site Selection:photo
We advise the client on location and orientation, depending both on the client's needs and preferences, and on the characteristics of the site.
3Site Evaluation
Site Evaluation:photo
We evaluate the soil and geology of the site, as well as the surrounding environment. In this step, we determine the stormwater runoff treatment method, the availability of water, sewer, gas, electricity and other utilities, and any legal restrictions that may exist (setbacks, zoning restraints, or right-of-way issues).
4Basic Contract
Basic Contract:photo

A basic contract is agreed and signed for design and construction.

The contract will encompass a preliminary architectural plan, including the type of structural materials. At this point, the drying of the heavy timber structural members can begin.

Basic Design:

Drawings and models will be used to determine the floor plans and elevations.

Working Drawings (Construction Documents):

This is a set of detailed drawings that will be used by the carpenters and other artisans during the construction phase. These documents will specify all the fittings, such as appliances and equipment, as well as surface treatments.
6Cost Estimate
This cost breakdown, based on the Construction Documents, will serve as the final construction cost quote. It will document in detail all the elements of the construction, from the number of columns to the type of paint.
7Construction Contract

This is the official contract authorizing construction of your home.

This will include a detailed agreement about warranty, as well as liability insurance.

This is the process of obtaining building permits from the relevant government agencies.

9Greetings to neighbors
We will individually greet and notify the neighboring landowners and residents before the start of construction, in the traditional way. (This is not in lieu of the traditional greeting before moving in, after construction is completed.)
10Jichin-sai (Groundbreaking Ceremony)
Jichin-sai (Groundbreaking Ceremony):photo

This is a traditional ceremony to express a hope for the safe completion of the construction and the lasting happiness of the occupants.

The actual position of the buildings is delineated for this ceremony.
This ceremony is almost entirely a cultural tradition rather than a religious rite, but may be performed either by a religious practitioner or in a non-sectarian way. Participation does not imply any religious affiliation, but the ceremony is not mandatory by any means.
11Shaping and cutting the lumber
Shaping and cutting the lumber:photo

Ground sills (sole-pieces), columns, beams, and other structural members are shaped and cut. This work is generally all done off-site. The structural members are then trucked to the site and fit together, a process that often takes about a week.

12Topping Out (Ridgepole Raising) Ceremony
Topping Out (Ridgepole Raising) Ceremony:photo

The sole-pieces, columns, beams, and other structural members have been put in place, and the shape of the building is set.

The “Ridgepole Raising” ceremony is to celebrate the completion of the roof frame and to express a hope for the successful and safe completion of the building. This ceremony is not mandatory.
13Building Envelope (Building Enclosure)
Building Envelope (Building Enclosure) :photo
Construction of the building envelope begins with the roof. Next, the outer walls are filled in, then the floors, and finally the inner walls. Once these are completed, work can begin on interior finishes such as plasterwork, and fixtures (toilets, sinks, etc.) can be installed. Various stages of construction can be seen in the “Current Projects” section of this website.
14Project Completion
Once all the work that is included in the written contract is completed, the building must be inspected by the relevant government agencies, and a “certificate of inspection” must be obtained to verify conformance with laws and regulations. In addition, the architect and construction manager will inspect the building carefully to ensure that all construction has been completed as per the drawings, and that there is no construction-related damage (scratches, etc) and the building is clean.
When the inspection process has been satisfactorily completed, the house will be presented to the new residents.
16User Instructions
User Instructions:photo
The new residents will be instructed on how to use the various features of the house, and procedures necessary before and after the move-in.

Proper maintenance of your new home will extend its useful lifetime and preserve its beauty.

Architectonic Atelier Yuu strives to maintain a lasting relationship with our clients; we will periodically inspect your building for you to ensure that there are no problems. In addition, we hope you will join us for our regular “Thank-you” events, as well as our other events.