Osaka Headquarters Factory Tour with Barry Meyer, Arcspec

Osaka Headquarters Factory Tour with Barry Meyer, Arcspec


In October 2023, CERACLAD invited Barry Meyer, our partner and President of Arcspec, along with his team, and a team from Bray Architects to tour our headquarters in Osaka, Japan.

Barry is the President at Arcspec, a Distributor that works with CERACLAD in the Libertyville, Illinois area. 

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Thank you Barry for carving out some time for me to interview you on your trip and for joining the CERACLAD Factory tour last fall.

What impressed you the most about the CERACLAD factory and R&D center?

Barry: While on the factory tour, we noticed how everything was very clean, and organized. My team and I always love going to a fiber cement factory. When you take a tour of a factory while wearing a pair of new shiny shoes, you don’t expect them to stay that way by the time you leave. So it was a surprise to see that they were still clean by the time we left. The people there were highly enthusiastic and the information was top notch.
My team and I found the R&D center excellent, it was a very good tour. Same comments as the manufacturing plant, definitely worth seeing


What was the highlight of the Japanese architecture tour and Panasonic showroom visit?

Barry: While we were in Osaka, we went down a river walk to a famous poured concrete Library. The finish quality of the concrete and lines were beautiful, everyone knew who the architect was. The structure is the aesthetic itself and it was near perfect. There was a lot of colonial American architecture along the walk and seeing it compared to the modern structures was really interesting to see. The temples were outstanding, but maybe we went to 1 too many.

How about the Panasonic showroom in Tokyo?

Barry: The Tokyo Panasonic show was ok, there was lots to see but I don’t think it focused on the KMEW/CERACLAD wall panels. I don’t think this was necessary to see since it was more focused on housing market.


What was the most fun thing that you did while sightseeing?

Barry: The temples were good. We went to the Tokyo tower and that was interesting. Just to be able to see the size and spread of the city of Tokyo, all the tall buildings and people living there is unbelievable. Doesn’t matter whether you see it on a clear day or at night. We got to experience this sight at night. Comparing the two cities and thinking about how big NYC is, Tokyo is about double it's size.

Another part of the tour was the high-rise expressway through the city, the elevated roads that run 80 feet over another highway and underneath that, just running through buildings was crazy to see. We took a couple Ubers that cut through these highways, they even bank the highways so the cars can still go 50 mph. We really enjoyed that and was some neat stuff you don’t see here in the states. Tokyo’s city was more first world there than what you see here in the States.


 What do you consider to be the most important factor when deciding on an exterior design?

Barry: Depends on who we are talking about and working with. For an Architect, it's the esthetic. For the General Contractor and the Owner, you can count on it being focused on budget. The General Contractor is responsible for value engineering things to keep the Architect’s design under budget.



It was a pleasure to have you and the rest of your team on our Factory Tour. We always enjoy working with your company and look forward to many more years of projects with Arcspec. We greatly appreciate your honest feedback and partnership in this industry.

More Episodes

 Episode 1: Jared Smith


Episode 2: Ken Hayes


Episode 3: Susan Jones


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