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Hiraiwa: the comprehensive construction company

Article - July 28, 2023

Serving local residents, government offices, major general contractors and many others, Hiraiwa aims to work as a close partner in clients’ construction projects.

“BIM allows us to present our proposals using perspective and  computer graphics.”

Toshikazu Hiraiwa, CEO, Hiraiwa Construction Co., Ltd

Remodeling, retrofitting, and reconstruction are pushing the construction industry towards a more sustainable, safer future. Construction companies must be able to guarantee strong life cycles for their new builds whilst offering clients the opportunity to retrofit older buildings with the latest technology.

Japan’s Hiraiwa offers customers a one-stop shop from design to construction and maintenance, priding itself on the safety provided by its innovative technology. Founded in 1946, Hiraiwa recognized the need for repair works in the industry before its rivals, establishing its renewal division some 20 years ago with a focus on eco-friendly methods. This renewal work includes the retrofitting of Hiraiwa’s tailor-made anti-seismic solutions, helping its customers meet Japan’s strict seismic regulations. As President Toshikazu Hiraiwa explains, the company’s work goes beyond simple building safety: “It is not only making certain that buildings can withstand high-magnitude earthquakes but also paying attention to the surrounding infrastructures. For example, we are promoting disaster prevention planning including a storehouse for emergency supplies and an electric supply system in case of a blackout and securing enough space for evacuation.”

Hiraiwa applies the same quality from its retrofitting to its new designs, employing industry-leading technology to ensure worker safety and customer satisfaction. Through its Building Information Modeling (BIM) system, which incorporates CG animation and VR, the company ensures there is no discord between the client’s idea of a project and the proposal at the design stage.

Mr. Hiraiwa says the system has created a smoother workflow because it avoids “a long process of frequent correspondence and less efficient implementation”. Among the residents, government offices, and general contractors to have benefited from this technological approach are several nursing homes, with Hiraiwa determined to serve the needs of Japan’s aging society.

Advanced systems such as BIM require technicians of the highest quality, and Hiraiwa employs talented workers from across Asia at its construction sites, to ensure not only efficiency but also safety, using technology to prevent disasters and minimizing the workers needed at excavation sites.

Not only has the company incorporated talent from abroad, it has also expanded beyond Japan’s shores and into Vietnam, where it offers Japanese quality service with local market knowledge. For now, its customer base is primarily other Japanese companies which have relocated to Vietnam and need factories or warehouses. However, there is an increasing demand across Vietnam for higher quality construction solutions, and Hiraiwa has positioned itself to provide these solutions as demand continues to grow in the future. This higher quality construction also reduces the long-term life-cycle costs of a project for clients, and as Mr. Hiraiwa points out, this in turn reduces carbon dioxide emissions proactively.

Hiraiwa is not only at the vanguard of the construction industry in terms of the technology it uses, but also with its working conditions. The company is intent on reducing working hours and improving its employees’ working environment, with compensatory days off, a No Overtime Day, and a five-day working week policy. Hiraiwa hopes flexible and diverse working styles can attract the best workers, be they domestic or international; men or women. Mr. Hiraiwa says: “We will be able to support social development by our active employment of women, the elderly, and foreigners, providing various opportunities to motivated people. It is a revolutionary approach, especially for SMEs like Hiraiwa.”

This approach is part of Hiraiwa’s wider mission to be a good neighbor, providing efficient, safe, and high-quality construction through modern technology which is bringing construction into the digital age.