This Month’s Highlights
- Epiphany in Hunan
- MOHURD Minister Chen Zhenggao meets Canada’s Minister of International Trade
- Dream Home Canada Cup – competition of wood projects in culture & tourism sectors
- Interviews with Canada Wood featured in “Multinationals in China” magazine and “Construction Times”
- Three stories about wood houses
- A decade later, Canada Wood returns to Sichuan reconstruction Site
- China Economy, Construction & Lumber Shipments
- China Economy, Construction & Lumber Shipments
- CW China strengthens presence in Central China
- Chinese Delegation Interested in Hotel Construction
- Canada Wood Asian Manager’s Regional Meeting
- Premier Rachel Notley Mission in Support of the Alberta Forest Products Industry in Japan
- Result of 6th Year Inspection of Preservative-treated Canadian Species in Korea: Thumbs-Up
- Meet Canadian architecture’s unlikely new idols
- Treated Wood Technical Seminar Recognizes Need for Revision of Korean Preservation Standards
- Architects interest in Super E® House and Wood infill wall system
- South Korea Economy, Construction & Lumber Shipments
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
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. Read more
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 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. Read more
Dream Home Canada Cup – competition of wood projects in culture & tourism sectors
In recent years, the Chinese Government has encouraged the development of the third industry (Service Industry) including the culture and tourism sectors, where wood frame constructions (WFC) can fit well. WFC buildings have characteristics of being low-carbon, naturally beautiful, and environmentally friendly. As a result, there are many wood frame construction projects been built all over China. However it’s a pity that these excellent projects haven’t received great attention from the public, especially from professionals in the construction/ culture & tourism industry; therefore, they have lacked a platform to promote and advertise these projects. Read more
Interviews with Canada Wood featured in “Multinationals in China” magazine and “Construction Times”
Recently, Canada Wood China was prominently featured in two Chinese publications including the government-backed “Multinationals in China” and “Construction Times”. Media exposure such as this provides us with a great opportunity to raise awareness of modern wood designs in an effort to position wood as a legitimate alternative to concrete and steel.
In March, 2017 “Multinationals in China” magazine featured an article titled Developing Timber Architecture and Fulfilling Sustainable Development; the article was based on an interview with Managing Director of Canada Wood China Eric Wong, General Manager of FII China Lisa Dou, and Canada Wood China’s Director of Communications Lance Tao.
Three stories about wood houses
Wood house wedding
On one of our site visits we were fortunate enough to see upon arrival that the resident of the wood home was hosting a wedding. Canada Wood was welcomed to join the wedding…
Tofu guy’s wood house
One of the local men from Guanzhuang was hired by CW to help with the construction of the demo homes build his own wood framed home after learning how to frame with us. When…
Hu’s wood construction company- Dongliang Wood Structure
A few local companies began to build wood homes while CW worked in the in Qingchuan. Many wood buildings were built all around the area. But with the remoteness it…
A decade later, Canada Wood returns to Sichuan reconstruction Site
In 2008, Sichuan Province suffered a devastating earthquake. Major cities, small towns and villages sustained heavy damage by the magnitude 8 earthquake, affecting thousands of buildings. The Canadian government responded with 8 million dollars for relief efforts, Forestry Innovation Investment and Canada Wood China were assigned to build several wood demonstration projects in the area. Nearly a decade later, In late January 2017, we returned to the site to see how the wood buildings had held up. Read more
China Economy, Construction & Lumber Shipments
- China plans to build a “first-class international city” called “Xiong’an New Area” from scratch which will cover 2,000 square kilometers, making it almost 300% larger than New York City or Singapore; President Xi intends this new city to have “a beautiful environment” with high-tech industries and efficient transportation system. The first phase (time will be determined) will cover 100 square kilometers.
- Wood inventory in Taicang (along with Wanfang and Meijing) port increased dramatically (67%) from 736,000 m3 (January 2017) to 1,230,000 m3 (February 2017) (see the last chart below). Volume in March dropped slightly but is still 1,153,000 m3 which shows an unexpected trend that is very different compared to the previous year[ii]. Canada Wood will follow-up to uncover the reason behind the trend.
- GDP growth and PMI in 2017Q1 were 6.9% and 51.8% respectively which are better than forecast of most economists.
China Economy, Construction & Lumber Shipments
February economic highlights:
- China has lowered its expectation for economic growth to around 6.5% in 2017 which is still in line with analyst predictions.
- The budget deficit target is at 3% of GDP in 2017, while the target for China Consumer Price Index (CPI) is around 3% and M2 growth target is around 12%.
- The government intends to eliminate tens of millions of tons of excess capacity in coal and steel industries which would put hundreds of thousands of workers out of work.
- Analysts doubt 2017 can match 2016’s economic growth. For instance, exports will not grow significantly and currency depreciation are expected to be offset by rising wages
CW China strengthens presence in Central China
In 2017, Canada Wood China (CW China) will take the first steps to extend its reach to Wuhan, which is the economic engine of central China.
As part of its new business development plan, CW China is to support its business partners to establish a Sino-Canadian Modern Wood Construction Technology Center in Wuhan. To symbolize this commitment, on March 6th CW China signed an MOU with several Hubei-based design institutes and builders. The government of Wuhan is confident that the center will help the city position itself as a major center for design, as it pursues the title of World Design Capital 2020. Read more
Chinese Delegation Interested in Hotel Construction
China’s hotel / motel industry has experienced tremendous growth in the last decade, and today stands at 2.5 million hotel rooms. Relatively speaking however, this number is still very low as it equates to just 4 rooms per 1,000 capita compared to 20 rooms per capita in the U.S. and 10 rooms per capita in the U.K.
From a wood construction perspective, it’s encouraging to hear experts affirm that the mid-scale, low-density and budget hotel segments will see the biggest growth (see figure 1). Second and third tier cities will see the most growth due to a demand for meetings, conferences and exhibitions. New tourism projects and the proliferation of high-tech and industry parks will also drive demand for travel accommodations.
While some international budget brands such as Motel 6 and Super 8 have been very successful in China many other international budget brands are being outshined by local brands, which have been much more successful in growing their distribution. Read more
Canada Wood Asian Manager’s Regional Meeting
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. Read more
Premier Rachel Notley Mission in Support of the Alberta Forest Products Industry in Japan
On April 27th the Honourable Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta, and the Honourable Deron Bilous, Alberta Minister of Economic Development and Trade, led a mission to Japan in support of expanding economic opportunities in Japan for Alberta’s forest products sector. Canada Wood Japan coordinated a site visit to Mitsui Home Component’s state of the art panel factory located in Saitama Prefecture. A large number of Mitsui Home officials greeted the Premier’s delegation and provided a factory tour. The Premier and Minister were impressed with the mill’s scale and efficiency as well as an extensive use of high quality Alberta SPF and OSB products. We thank Premier Notley and Minister Bilous for their continued support of our key stakeholders and programs in Japan. Read more
Result of 6th Year Inspection of Preservative-treated Canadian Species in Korea: Thumbs-Up
Dr. Paul Morris, Research Leader of FPInnovations’ Durability and Building Enclosure Group, visited Korea to inspect the performance of two Canadian wood species, White Spruce and W. Hemlock, treated with ACQ and CA to CSA O80 Standards at the field testing site in Jinju city in the southern part of the Korean peninsula, with Dr. Jong Bum Ra, Professor of Gyeongnam National University of Science and Technology’s Department of Indoor Materials Engineering on March 16, 2017.
The joint inspection revealed that all the pressure-treated specimens were in very good condition both in ground contact and above ground and there were no sign of deterioration either by termites attack or decay fungus after more than 6 years, while many untreated controls failed and had to be replaced every two or three of years. Read more
Meet Canadian architecture’s unlikely new idols
Written by Alex Bozikovic, The Globe and Mail
Uros Novakovic, Nicolas Koff and Sebastian Bartnicki – who run Toronto’s Office OU – won an international design competition to plan a National Museum Complex in South Korea, a triumph that could put them on the global map of contemporary architecture.
“Canada’s architectural idols, Office OU, a trio of young Canadian architects, brings the ease and comfort of being at one with nature!” Reading this quote from a Korean news site, Uros Novakovic busts into laughter; across the cafe table his business partner, Nicolas Koff, giggles over his green tea latte.
I have to laugh as well. The two don’t seem like any sort of “idols.” They are bearded and hoodied young architects, obscure in their home city of Toronto and at home among the freelancers in this downtown café. Read more
Treated Wood Technical Seminar Recognizes Need for Revision of Korean Preservation Standards
Canada Wood Korea in collaboration with the Korea Wood Preservation Association (KWPA) held the International Technical Seminar on Treated Wood on March 17, 2017 in Seoul. Three speakers for the seminar came from Canada, Japan and Korea.
41 key stakeholders representing not only industry such as members of KWPA, Korea Wood Association, Korea Wood Construction Association, Korea Federation of Wood Industrial Society, Canadian wood product agents but also government, research and standard-writing institutes such as Korea Forest Service, National Institute of Forest Science, formerly known as Korea Forest Research Institute, and Korea Forestry Promotion Institute attended the seminar.
The first speaker, Daisuke Tezuka of Kanematsu Sustec Co. introduced overview of Japanese codes, standards, certification and quality control relating to wood preservation on behalf of Japan Wood Preservation Association. Read more
Architects interest in Super E® House and Wood infill wall system
On February 24, Canada Wood Korea held an intensive workshop for young talented architects to introduce Canadian Super-E® technology and wood in-fill wall system.
As the first speaker of this workshop, Tai Jeong of CWK introduced Canada Wood Group’s activities in Korea, trends of low energy wood houses and tall wood-mass timber structures being built in Canada. As the second speaker, CEO G.B. Kim of the Stuga Wood Construction who built the 2nd official Super-E® House certified by Super-E® Office presented the technical data that should be considered when constructing the Super-E® House in Korean climate, a mixed-temperature condition. Read more
South Korea Economy, Construction & Lumber Shipments
With hopes for an economic recovery are rising in South Korea, the Central Bank of Korea revised South Korea’s economic growth forecast in 2017 inched up to 2.6% from its previous January projection of 2.5% and facility investment to a 6.3% growth from a 2.3% contraction last year.
Amid eased political risks following the arrest of former President Park and the fixed schedule for the presidential election on May 9th, consumer sentiment and facility investment have somewhat improved with a recent upturn in exports and production and a light rebound in private consumption. However the recovery of exports could be restricted by the diplomatic row with China over South Korea’s deployment of a US anti-missile defense system (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense: THAAD) and rising security tensions with North Korea. Read more