China Makes Historic Strategic Move

Xi Jinping announces Xiongan New Area of Hebei Province as part of a measure to advance the development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. 

In April, China announced it will establish the Xiongan New Area in Hebei Province, as part of measures to advance the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

What is Xiongan New Area (XNA)?

On April 1st 2017, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CCCPC) and State Council announced to establish a new satellite metropolitan district in Xiong’an., the Xiongan new area is comparable to the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and the Shanghai Pudong New Area. According to the official circular, the new area will initially cover around 100 km2 and will be expanded to 200 km2 in the mid-term with plans for further expansion of 2,000 km2 in the long term.

The move is a “major historic and strategic choice made by the Central Committee of China’s Communist Party State Council with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core,” said the circular, which described the decision as “a strategy crucial for a millennium to come.” [1]

What are the main functions of Xiongan New Area?

  • Help phase out functions from Beijing that are not related to the capital
  • Explore a new model of optimized development in densely-populated areas
  • Restructure the urban layout in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region
  • Build Xiongan into “a demonstration area for innovative development
  • The area feature geological advantages, convenient transportation, an excellent ecological environment, ample resources and lots of room for development

Xiongan is located approximately 100 kilometers southwest of downtown Beijing, the Xiongan New Area covers the counties of Xiongan, Rongcheng and Anxin, and is home to Baiyangdian, one of the largest freshwater wetlands in North China. 

Significance? One of the reasons for developing the Xiongan district is that the region would serve as a high-technology hub for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (Jing-Jin-Ji) metropolitan region. In fact, the government is looking to use the most advanced world-class standards and technologies to build the city; Xiong’an will serve as a so-called “iconic project” for the township initiative. The interest in showcasing cutting-edge green technologies may open opportunities for CW China to introduce wood technologies to this massive development.

Xiongan District

[1] From China Daily:

Canada Wood Asian Manager’s Regional Meeting

Group photo in front of the 2X4 elderly care project under construction in Kanagawa Prefecture

A Canada Wood Asian manager’s regional meeting took place in Japan from April 25th to 28th. At the meeting, 15 persons from 5 countries (Canada, China, Korea, Indian and Japan) gathered to familiarize themselves with their colleagues and sister markets to exchange information and best practices for developing opportunities and expanding international markets for Canadian wood products. Of the three full days that the manager’s spent together for meetings, presentation and brainstorming sessions, one day was set aside for the group get out of Tokyo to visit Polus Tech’s Post & Beam Pre-Cut Manufacturing Plant in Ibaraki Prefecture, Mitsui Home Component’s 2×4 & Truss Component Manufacture Plant in Saitama Prefecture, and last but not least a tour of a 2,200m² three-storey 2×4 fireproof elderly care facility under construction in Kanagawa Prefecture, designed by Issiki Architects & Partners, constructed by Nagai Construction Co., Ltd. and the structural materials supplied by Wing Co., Ltd. I would like to take this opportunity to thank these Japanese companies and their staff who generously took time out of their busy schedules and hosted our group.

MOHURD Minister Chen Zhenggao meets Canada’s Minister of International Trade

On April 24th in Beijing I joined Minister François-Philippe Champagne’s delegation for a remarkable meeting with MOHURD Minister Chen Zhenggao.   The meeting was noteworthy as Minister Chen had wood construction as his sole discussion item.  Nor was he interested in talking generalities, his aim was to identify go-ahead strategies to accelerate the uptake of wood building nationally.

Minister François-Philippe Champagne’s delegation meeting with MOHURD Minister Chen Zhenggao.

Minister Chen noted that the current situation where China consumes 60% of global concrete and 50% steel production was unsustainable – ‘leveling mountains to build houses was a crime’.  The Minister was impatient and anxious to see greater progress materialize from joint Canada-China activities promoting wood construction.

The meeting was noteworthy as Minister Chen had wood construction   as his sole discussion item

Discussion covered latest trends in tall wood and mid-rise construction.  An update on NRCan participation in Tianjin’s Binhai eco-district and the potential to replicate this green building development elsewhere in China highlighted.

(Left to right) Canada’s ambassador to Beijing, John McCallum, MOHURD Minister Chen Zhenggao and Minister François-Philippe Champagne.

Minister Chen was interested in understanding height and area limits for wood construction under current Chinese codes. Recent work by FPInnovations classifying building height distributions in key Chinese provinces and potential greenhouse gas mitigation was discussed.  M. Chen was impressed and requested more details.

Minister Champagne thanked MOHURD for recent promulgation of the tall wood building code and ability to build up to 5 stories of pure wood construction.  He noted GHG alleviation would be considerably improved if the permissible heights for wood buildings were raised to 8 stories or higher;    contingent on progress in fire safety research and future code design.

Both Ministers agreed that training initiatives in both wood construction and forestry should be stepped up.  Canada needs to develop additional pathways into the Chinese education network in order to cater to both practitioners and students.

NRCan Minister Jim Carr is scheduled to meet with M. Chen in early June opening the way for further dialogue.

Tianjin’s Binhai eco-district featuring wood construction.

Epiphany in Hunan

Epiphany – a sudden, intuitive perception or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience

Canada Wood Wood-frame training is in high demand.

Last week I had my first opportunity to journey into the centre of China to Changsha in the Province of Hunan.   Hunan is celebrated as the home province of Mao Zedong and played a central part in the revolutionary war.  Heretofore Canada Wood (CW) has had minimal contact with industry in Hunan.

CW visited Hunan at the invitation of the Central South Forestry University, an institution expanding its curriculum and research on wood structures.  The event was a workshop with speakers drawn from CW, local government and Chinese designers and building firms.

Interest was high and speakers were passionate about wood and in discussion excitement was palpable.  Most surprising was the number of active local wood-frame companies and designers encountered that Canada Wood had no idea existed.   Several were operating factories prefabricating wood components.  One firm operating in the

    When the audience was asked how CW might support industry in this region, training was the top request. 

remote far west of the province annually consumed 10,000 m3 of Canadian SPF lumber constructing light-frame structures.   A Changsha-based architect displayed numerous sophisticated resort developments built using prefab wood systems.

When the audience was asked how CW might support industry in this region, training was the top request.  Consumer demand in central China is real and growing but industry knowledge and capabilities are lagging.  When we indicated CW could host one of our 3 week CW College hands-on training events locally, applause and big smiles broke out amongst the builders and designers.

Epiphany:  there’s a lot more happening with wood out in the regions of China than we realize.  It’s crucial to expand activities beyond the Beijing-Shanghai axis.

2017 China International Exposition of Housing Industry & Products and Equipment of Building Industrialization

In order to thoroughly implement the spirit of the 18th National Congress of the CPC and the Fifth Plenary Session of the Eighteenth Central Committee, we will accelerate the transformation of economic development mode, build a resource-saving and environment-friendly society, strengthen international exchanges in the housing industry, fully demonstrate domestic and international residential energy saving, The Ministry of Housing and Urban and Rural Development Technology and Industrialization Development Center (Housing and Urban and Rural Construction Department of Housing Industry Promotion Center), China Real Estate Association, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, China Architecture Culture Center and Beijing Municipal Housing and Urban Construction Committee will be held in October 20-14, China International Exhibition Center (New Museum) held the “15th China International Housing Industry and Construction Industrial Products and Equipment Fair” ( Referred to as “China live Expo”).
The current China Expo will highlight the international, science and technology and professional, focusing on the latest domestic and foreign residential technology and parts, focus on the province to save energy-saving residential housing complete sets of residential industrialization technology, publicity affordable housing low-carbon construction results , To guide the quality and performance of residential upgrading, and promote the transformation and upgrading of China’s housing industry and sustainable development. The current China Fair will be the first seven successful display of “China tomorrow home” model room on the basis of the “China tomorrow home 2016” theme demonstration, and at the same time organize promotional activities. The current China Fair will also focus on the demonstration of the national housing industry modernization pilot cities and national housing industrial base demonstration results, and the continuation of passive housing products demonstration demonstration. During the Expo, will hold the national construction industry modernization exchange will be more than 20 Chinese and foreign series of technical exchange activities.
We invite your organization to participate in this event!