Building a Disaster-Resistant City

Business Continuity Plan Initiative and Review

The Mitsubishi Estate Group has drafted a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) to prevent crucial operations from being interrupted if a disaster or accident occurs - and, if they are suspended, to enable their speedy resumption - and we established “Mitsubishi Estate Group Business Continuity Plan Guidelines” in October 2006. In December 2012, we established “Mitsubishi Estate Business Continuity Plan Documents” and the “Mitsubishi Estate Group Guide to Preparing a Business Continuity Plan Document” in light of the Great East Japan Earthquake. In addition to continually updating these items, expanding the linkages with our Framework of Anti-Disaster Measures, and ensuring the safety of Mitsubishi Estate Group customers and employees, we regularly make preparations for business continuity using the PDCA cycle approach. We will continue pushing for further improvements in order to fulfill our social responsibilities.

Building Earthquake-proofing Measures

Mitsubishi Estate has been systematically evaluating the ability of our buildings to withstand earthquakes based on the state of the damage that resulted from the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in January 1995. As a result of these evaluations, we recognized that it would be advisable to implement seismic strengthening on some of our buildings in accordance with the revised Building Standards Act (new earthquake-proofing standards). Moreover, in the pursuit of greater safety, we completed seismic reinforcement on the basis of the Act on Promotion of Seismic Retrofitting of Buildings that was enacted in December 1995, and these measures were completed in FY2002. At present, we have ensured earthquake-resistance at a level that would have resulted in little damage during the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in buildings that were constructed prior to the new earthquake-proofing standards. Even though the Great East Japan Earthquake affected some of our buildings, damage was very slight, and our buildings suffered no structural effects.

Building an Advanced Disaster-Resistant City with the Development of Otemachi Financial City Grand Cube

The Otemachi Financial City Grand Cube, an ultra-high-rise building with 31 floors above ground and four floors below ground in Marunouchi, Tokyo, was completed on April 1, 2016.
This building is unique because it was designed with advanced disaster preparedness functions that took into account the lessons learned in the Great East Japan Earthquake, which took place during the planning stage for its development. All conceivable flood damage measures were taken, such as installing flood barrier panels and water-tight doors and locating a stockpile warehouse and important offices on above-ground floors. Mitsubishi Estate has employed a full range of inventive methods in its quest to build an advanced disaster-resistant city. An urban water purification system was installed, which is a first for a private company, and a system that allows electricity, water and ventilation to function independently in the event that infrastructure stops operating in a disaster has also been installed. Having learned from heightened demand for bathing in the regions affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, Mitsubishi Estate dug out hot springs from 1,500 meters below ground and opened a bathing facility. This facility will be made available for use by disaster relief personnel in emergencies.
The company has also developed collaborative systems, such as an affiliation with St. Luke's MediLocus, an international medical facility.
One year after opening, Grand Cube was designated a disaster response base by the Council for Area Development and Management of Otemachi, Marunouchi, and Yurakucho, and it will take an important role in improving disaster resilience for the area overall.

Photo:Exterior of Otemachi Financial City Grand Cube

Exterior of Otemachi Financial City Grand Cube

Photo:Purification facility for sewage

Purification facility for sewage

Disaster Response Drills Utilizing a Live Delivery System That Ascertains Disaster Conditions

In March 2018, Mitsubishi Estate conducted disaster response drills within the Otemachi, Marunouchi, and Yurakucho areas using a Disaster Dashboard that provides a centralized means of checking for information needed to respond to disasters, such as images from live cameras set up in various places, on a website.
The Disaster Dashboard is a disaster information platform developed with the purpose of being used to ascertain conditions during a disaster, to assist people unable to get home, and to help people with injuries. It uses live images to indicate congestion conditions due to people unable to return home and the status of measures to help the injured, and it sends that information to railway and real estate companies in the area. Additionally, it can gather and display public open data (government data and railway data) available on the Internet. This is the first initiative in Japan for gathering and sending disaster-related data to such companies.
Because it is important to ascertain the local situation during disasters, we believe that the sharing of information with local businesses and disaster response centers by using the Disaster Dashboard will lead to more comprehensive and improved disaster responses in the future.

Urban Redevelopment Project to Improve Disaster Preparedness

Mitsubishi Jisho Residence took part in an urban redevelopment project in the area around Kita-Senju Station in Adachi City, Tokyo in November 2017 with the intent of relieving the state of closely packed, decrepit buildings and improving disaster preparedness. (Completion is planned for December 2020.)
The official name of this project is the “Class I Urban Redevelopment Project in the Senju Itchome District.” The Senju Itchome neighborhood faces problems related to disaster preparedness and safety, being a district of closely packed, decrepit buildings with few open spaces, and difficult to access by emergency vehicles. Our goal is to solve these problems and create an urban area where people of all ages can live in for a long time. To do that, we are creating approximately 300 m² in open spaces and improving the area's disaster preparedness and safety by building new roads and widening existing roads throughout the project area and its vicinity. We are also upgrading decrepit commercial and office facilities and are building an urban residential complex with 30 above-ground floors and one basement level.

Image:CG rendering of the completed facility exterior

CG rendering of the completed facility exterior

Building a Near-Source Earthquake Information Network

Mitsubishi Estate has built Japan's first independent near-source earthquake information network as a comprehensive developer, with the purpose of conducting elevator safety shutdowns and preventing lock-in accidents whenever an earthquake occurs directly beneath Tokyo.
This system involves the installation of Yuremasu seismographs developed by Mieruka Bousai, in seven facilities in the Tokyo metropolitan area related to the Mitsubishi Estate Group, and it rapidly conveys seismic P-wave data measured at each facility to high-rise buildings in the Marunouchi area. The actual arrival time of the tremors and the earthquake's intensity are calculated from this P-wave data. This earthquake information is used to control elevators in four high-rise buildings within the Marunouchi area, including the Shin-Marunouchi Building, and it is useful for implementing safety measures that include emergency shutdowns of elevators in response to strong swaying.

Image:Facilities that have installed Yuremasu or use earthquake data

Facilities that have installed Yuremasu or use earthquake data

Countering Long-Period Ground Motion at Sunshine 60

The Great East Japan Earthquake, which struck in 2011, caused significant, lengthy continuous swaying of skyscrapers in the Greater Tokyo region as a result of long-period ground motion. There are concerns that damage could result from long-period ground motion that occurs during major earthquakes expected in the future.
In order to counter long-period ground motion at Sunshine 60 in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei Inc. launched a research society together with Sunshine City Corporation, the owner of Sunshine 60, and construction company Kajima Corporation, in order to research and investigate long-period ground motion, preempting the societal actions that have taken place since long-period ground motion first began to receive attention. Additionally, we developed Japan's first “damper assembly construction method” - an effective combination of three types of dampers based on the results of this research and investigation, and installed seismic strengthening measures at Sunshine 60. Construction was completed in 2016. Using this construction method, we achieved long-period ground motion countering that demonstrates greater earthquake resistance than the newest skyscrapers, and without affecting the building's tenants.

Policy Regarding Company-owned Buildings

The Mitsubishi Estate Group has established Urban Development Guidelines for the purpose of appealing urban development in the districts of Otemachi, Marunouchi, and Yurakucho that is balanced economically, socially, environmentally, and culturally. The company's barrier-free policy regarding buildings promotes “human-friendly urban development” that includes the elimination of steps at building entrances. The number of buildings in this area recognized as barrier-free under the Barrier-Free Law is now at 13 (as of March 2017).
Additionally, we conduct periodic surveys and directly incorporate feedback from disabled users into our projects in order to advance building development that can be used safely and comfortably by individuals with disabilities.

Number of buildings recognized as barrier-free under Barrier Free Law

13 buildings and projects

Aiming for Disaster-resistant Condominiums (A Mitsubishi Jisho Community Initiative)

If condominium elevators are halted due to an earthquake, then even if a water station is installed nearby, getting to and from the water station requires using the stairs, and simply carrying the water becomes a difficult task. For high-rise condominiums, elevators are a basic part of the infrastructure just like power, gas, and plumbing.
However, the response of elevator maintenance companies to earthquakes is to prioritize the restoration of public buildings (hospitals and government buildings). Restoration of condominiums is low on the order of priority. Additionally, even though total mobilization of elevator maintenance workers working in shifts takes place when earthquakes occur, recovery does not take place in a timely manner.
Accordingly, Mitsubishi Jisho Community examined the possibility of changing current elevators to make them more resilient in the face of disasters. The results have shown that with equipment changes, elevators can be equipped with earthquake self-diagnostics and temporary recovery capabilities.
Using these capabilities greatly reduces the length of time needed for recovery after an earthquake. (At present, if an earthquake occurs, elevators are not restored to operation until elevator maintenance company workers have carried out inspections. However, auto-recovery in as little as 30 minutes will be possible once these capabilities are put into use.) The results produced by this investigation also enabled us to determine that roughly 400 of the 4,000 elevators managed by our company can be equipped with these capabilities, and we are able to offer them to our customers at any time.
There have been serious concerns that condominium residents could become “high-rise refugees” after an earthquake, so our customers are very pleased to receive such timely proposals from our company.

Photo:A Mitsubishi Jisho Community employee

A Mitsubishi Jisho Community employee

Improving Our Earthquake Response Measures

Mitsubishi Estate has introduced a damage level evaluation system that ascertains a building's damage condition during an earthquake based on data from seismographs installed at several locations inside buildings, and then rapidly determines whether continued use is possible or not, and we have been installing it in skyscrapers in the Otemachi, Marunouchi, Yurakucho, Yokohama, and Aoyama areas beginning with the Marunouchi Building, the Shin-Marunouchi Building, and the Marunouchi Park Building. Additionally, Mitsubishi Estate and Mitsubishi Jisho Property Management have introduced additional center functionality that enables data monitoring in buildings where it is installed. Due to the experience of the Great East Japan Earthquake, we are also pushing to include, as part of our response measures, reinforced communication equipment (digital MCA wireless) in each company facility to deal with congestion of the general phone system and comprehensive spaces for people who are unable to return home.

Photo:Damage Level Evaluation System

Damage Level Evaluation System

Initiatives for Building Safety Management

Mitsubishi Estate has established a Building Safety Management Office within our Office Building Management Department, and we have partnered with Mitsubishi Jisho Property Management and other group companies to continuously carry out daily inspections and safety inspections at buildings all across the country that are managed and operated by the Mitsubishi Estate Group. Additionally, we carry out centralized management of activities and data at each location, including safety inspections and improvements, sharing accident data within the Mitsubishi Estate Group and providing instructions and support as necessary.
We collect building-related accident data, including data from other companies, in order to rapidly investigate the cause of accidents and determine whether or not corrective measures are required. Based on our experiences from the Great East Japan Earthquake, we organize this data according to what responses have been taken, what reinforcements are needed, and what items need to be reviewed, and we push for ongoing improvements to our safety response measures. We have also created Building Safety Design Guidelines that contain standards independently established by our company, stricter than the Building Standards Act and other laws and regulations that are applied right from a building's design stage in order to preemptively avoid accidents, and we periodically conduct reviews of these guidelines.

Wider Availability of AEDs in Buildings

Mitsubishi Estate has had AEDs (automated external defibrillators) installed in each of our buildings' Disaster Management Centers since 2004, and emergency aid using AEDs becoming more widespread, we began adding additional AEDs to entrance lobbies and other locations in the buildings we own in March 2009, in order to make them more widely available to all tenants and area visitors. Going forward, we will continue to increase the number of AED installations in the new buildings we construct.

Photo:AED installed in a first-floor lobby

AED installed in a first-floor lobby