The system, called Moen Wood, was developed by one of Japan’s largest construction companies Takenaka Corporation and it has been used to build Japan’s first large fire-resistant wooden commercial facility in Yokohama, says the newspaper.

In total some nine buildings have been constructed using Moen Wood and a further seven are being planned.

Moen Wood is the result of a long research project into giving wooden structures high levels of fire resistance and is seen as a route to building higher buildings in wood.

Beams and columns consist of a structural glulam core incorporating metal hardware connections to maintain high structural performance. A fire-resistant layer of mortar surrounds this core protecting the glulam and metal connections, with a surface layer of wood to maintain the exterior timber aesthetics and provide a further protecting charring layer.

Takenaka can trace its roots back to 1610 and on its website claims to be the oldest company of its type anywhere in the world.