Canada Wood Today | The Canada Wood Group

Canada Wood Active in Chinese Eco-City Development

Paul Newman

By Paul Newman

Executive Director - Market Access and Trade, COFI Vancouver

November 8, 2012

Meeting with MOHURD Vice-Minister Qiu Baoxing who attended the MOU signing.
Left – right: Dr. Wang Youwei – President, China GBC; V-M Qiu; Ms. Lisa Bate – Chair, Canadian GBC; Paul Newman – President, Canada Wood Group; Fred Spoke – Managing Director, Canada Wood China.

In his final address to the People’s Congress during the 18th Party Congress in Beijing on Nov 7th, President Hu Jintao underlined China’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  China is serious about tackling climate change.  As part of its strategy to address the challenge China is creating plans and technology to develop “ecocities” across the country.  These new communities will minimize the environmental fall-out of urbanization and provide new dwellings for the millions of rural migrants.  Concepts and technologies to be employed include urban planning, efficient transportation, district energy and waste water strategies.  Moreover use of renewal materials and energy efficient construction are integral.

On September 27th in Tianjin, I signed a 3-way MOU with MOHURD sanctioned ‘China Green Building Council’ and Canada’s own green building council.    This agreement commits the parties to cooperate in the development of national standards to define and put in place solutions for ecocity creation.   In particular Canada Wood will be assisting in providing wood-frame solutions which meet MOHURD goals for energy efficiency and renewables.   Work on seismic design is deemed especially important as mid-rise wood –frame does not yet have in place criteria to govern its structural design.   Pending relaxations to the national fire code should significantly expand options for use of wood from a fire safety perspective. 

In a nutshell, to make a major break-through in China, wood –frame construction has to be a part of the larger strategy to tackle climate change and address societal needs.   This agreement with China should help confirm recognition that wood technology is a fundamental element of China’s green future.    Our MOU is rolled up in the work-plan of a larger ‘ecocity’ agreement signed between Natural Resources Canada and China’s Ministry of Urban and Rural Development signed in March of this year.