Sanyo Homes aims to break new ground in Portland
By Christina Williams
Editor, Sustainable Business Oregon
Example of a Sanyo home in Osaka, Japan.
Japan-based Sanyo Homes Corp. has its sights set on the Portland market and is currently in talks to build trial houses here this year.
Evolved from a company that has been building houses since 1969, Sanyo Homes in its present form was established in 2002 and is based in Osaka. The 646-employee company specializes in building eco-friendly houses and condominium buildings that also employ the latest in earthquake-proof building technology. To date, the company has built 80,000 homes, mainly in Japan.
"Portland places emphasis on environment, sustainability and eco, which are the keywords in our business, too," said Hideo Nakai, overseas manager for Sanyo Homes, in an email interview. "Also, one of our major shareholders, Sanyo Electric started manufacturing key components of solar power generation in Salem recently. Since then, we started communications with officials from the state of Oregon and the cities of Portland and Salem and we have noticed that they are very supportive, professional and business-oriented."
Nakai said he expects a groundbreaking on an initial trial project in the Portland area this year. He added that the company would consider opening a U.S. office if the market develops for Sanyo Homes.
The recent massive earthquake in Japan was a test for the few Sanyo Homes built in the quake-effected region. The homes use a hybrid quake-resistant technology that relies on a steel-trussed frame and other features to prevent damage.
Nakai said that Sanyo Homes in the quake zone had "no problems" while "nearby houses built by other companies" were visibly damaged by the earthquake.
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