Construction Update (Week 5)

The remaining bookshelf stacks were completed this week (inner-shelves coming soon). In order to work with the limited space we have, we decided to have one smaller stack on the north side of the library. This gives us more space for storage while allowing us to set up two tables for the study area. We made this stand-alone stack 10cm shallower than the stacks on the walls in order to give more floor space. This was due to a useful tip given to us by the NIS librarian N. M., and all thanks and credit go to him. It works as follows: Normally, the average depth of a book shelf is 30cm. Therefore, it would make sense to have a double-sided bookshelf 60cm deep (30cm for either side). However, the trick is that if you don’t build a back between the two sides, you can make it work by placing the books in a bit of a jigsaw-puzzle style arrangement such that you can safely shave off 5cm from either side and not really notice a difference or be inconvenienced by extra long books sticking out from the shelves. So this is what we did. With the limited space that we have, 10cm really makes a difference!

We also got the sash windows and door installed.

The particular windows we ordered for installation were LIXIL‘s SAMOS Ⅱ tempered fireproof glass (サーモス 強化防火ガラス) (¥72,618 x 2 = ¥145,236) in their FIX lineup of windows similar in style to the ones shown here. These are double-paned windows, which increases insulation. There were a number of window designs to choose from at LIXIL’s show room from simple single-paned windows to double-paned windows insulated with argon gas. We settled on a simple double-paned design as the more fancy ones didn’t seem to have an insulating effect proportionate to their costs. The top sections of the windows are a kind of tilt and turn window (内倒し窓) (¥55,279 x 2 = ¥110,557) often seen in some European countries. This will allow for more air circulation (especially important now with the coronavirus pandemic).

The door we chose is a simple design called N09 one-sided entrance door found here. Most doors in this series are quite simple, and therefore cheap, but well-made. The N09 has no windows or fancy decorations, and, therefore, is the most price-effective (¥133,380).

That’s all for this week. Next week ought to be a busy one if all goes to plan. There are six scheduled construction days, but I’ll try to keep up with what’s going on as best as I can.