The Garden, The Eco-Factory
Itagaki was founded in 1982. Our headquarters in Akabira provides a work environment that fosters concentration and craftsmanship, uninterrupted and undisturbed. It is also a space where visitors can relax, unwind and reconnect with nature. In 2008, we began limiting our use of fossil fuels and over time reinvented our headquarters as an environmentally friendly and sustainable facility with implementations such as our eco-factory, rooftop garden and solar heating.
We endeavor to coexist within Akabira's natural splendor not by blemishing its landscape but by enhancing it. Our property, lined with Spruce, Birch, Cherry and Japanese Maple trees, reflects a landscape which is distinctly Hokkaido and creates a relaxing environment for our employees to work in.
Our Rooftop Garden is also an Energy Saver
This is the first rooftop garden to be implemented in such a snowy region as Akabira.
The garden exhibits five different varieties of sedum or stonecrop including Mexican Stonecrop and Coral Carpet among others. This interspersing of different species of stonecrop allows them to flourish despite the harsh winter climate.
Grown in a highly water-retaining soil, these plants do not require any additional water other than what is naturally received through rainfall and dew. In the case of heavy rainfall, the excess water drains from beneath the soil via a styrofoam layer.
Solar Wall for Harnessing Heat
A black galvalume steel plate is installed on the west wall of the building.
In winter, warm air is generated beneath the insulated floor with the help of six electric panel heaters, using "midnight electricity" (electricity supplied at significantly lower rates during off-peak hours). Together with heat generated by floor heaters on the first floor, this warm air is then transported via ducts to the second and third floors maintaining an average temperature of 10°C across the building.
In the summer, the warm air outside enters a cooling shaft buried beneath the ground at the North side of the building and cools as it passes through before being ventilated on each floor of the building.
Through the use of solar heat, pellet stoves and a hot-water supply utilizing midnight electricity, we have learned to leverage existing technologies to help meet our goals of energy conservation and sustainability by maintaining an environmentally friendly facility.
A Space that Reflects our Creativity
Our showroom is a remarkably spacious rotunda with a high ceiling that showcases our products along the walls. Also featured as an extension of the showroom is a café and terrace overlooking sprawling rice paddies and the foothills of Akabira in the distance.
The workshop where all Itagaki's products are produced sits merely a few steps away from the showroom down the corridor. The signature sound of the craftsman's hammer striking leather trickles faintly into the showroom and fills the space connecting customers to the craft even as they browse. For our craftsmen, who are traditionally accustomed to working in seclusion, being so close to their customers fills them with inspiration.