2021 Sino-Canadian Wood Forum

By: Travis Joern

Stakeholder Communications Director, FII China

The seventh Sino-Canadian Wood Forum, with the theme of Wood Industries Revitalizing China, was held by Canada Wood China (CW China) on January 18, 2022. The Wood Forum was cohosted with the China Construction Industry Association (CCIA), with the support of the Embassy of Canada in China, the International Green Building Alliance, the Professional Committee of the Urban-Rural Integration and Development for the China Urban Science Research Association, the Jiangsu Construction Industry Modernization Innovation Alliance, the Jiangsu Modern Wood Structure Industry Alliance, the Nanjing Tech University and the Nanjing Forestry University.

Due to restrictions on events for COVID-19 safety policies, the event was organized as an online broadcast in partnership with Sohu live. Sohu is a leading internet media company in China. It was listed on the NASDAQ in 2000, served as the internet content service provider for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and was the first mobile news app to reach 100 million users in China. The broadcast was distributed through multiple platforms with Sohu Video, Jiaodan video, and Wechat live broadcast, reaching more than 2.51 million viewers. The audience included local industry professionals such as government officials, industry associations, academics, designers, engineers, wood traders, developers, and media partners.

The event topics focused on rural development, innovation in cultural and tourism industries, carbon neutrality, the green development of construction industries and the promotion of wood building applications for rural revitalization. The topic of rural revitalization represents an important policy direction for China, related to the common prosperity campaign. Rural China includes the 1,494 county-level governments across China, which is the 3rd tier of regional government administration below provinces and municipalities. The population of a county can range from 100,000 to 2 million residents, with most counties having a population around 400,000 to 700,000. This rural area covers close to 40% of the population in China, which represents almost fifteen times the total population of Canada.

A(left) Jean-Christian Brillant, Minister (Commercial) of the Canadian embassy in China, and (right) Don Kayne, President & CEO of Canfor, and Chair of COFI give opening remarks

The opening remarks for the Sino-Canadian Wood Forum were delivered by Wang Xiulan, Deputy Secretary General of China Construction Industry Association, Jean-Christian Brillant, Minister (Commercial) of Canadian Embassy in China and Don Kayne, President and Chief Executive Officer of Canfor, and Chair of Council of Forest Industries (COFI).

A Senior Fellow of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Wang Jianguo, gave a keynote speech on the “Practical Exploration of Wood Structure Architectural Design and Construction.” With the challenges of global climate change, exploring low-carbon solutions, energy efficiency, sustainability and environmentally friendly building materials have become a top priority for countries around the world. He highlighted that modern wood construction follows the trend of promoting the application of green building in China, and shared the technical aspects of the wood construction design of the 10th Jiangsu Horticultural Exposition, which has received the 2020 National Green Building Innovation Award.

Three Sino-Canadian Modern Wood Demonstration Construction Projects were awarded plaques during the forum for their contribution to the advancement of innovative construction technologies using Canadian wood products. They are:

Senior Fellow Wang Jianguo giving a keynote presentation

Changzhou Nearly Net Zero Energy wood-frame project for the Jiangsu Urban and Rural Construction College
This project is a two-storey guesthouse with a light wood-frame structure covering a building area of 592 m2. Glue-laminated timber was used in the main hall and the entrance. It is China’s first wood-frame nearly net-zero energy project, which serves as an important milestone for the government’s endorsement of wood’s contribution to energy efficiency in the construction sector.

Wuxi Xuelang Data Innovation Centre
The project consists of three connected five-story hybrid buildings for a commercial office, with two floors in concrete and three floors built with GLT post and beam, light wood frame flooring and interior walls. It is part of a large development project called the Xuelang Data Small Town located in a zone called Taihu New city. This project has showcased to local authorities and industry professionals the possibilities for modern wood construction in new urban commercial developments

Shandong Tourist Center
This project was initiated by the local government in the county of Yangxin in Shandong province. It is part of a pilot area for the rural revitalization initiative that follows national policies to build environment-friendly, low-carbon and sustainable developments. The structure is one storey with a partial two storey area that was constructed with GLT and light wood frame interior and exterior walls with a total construction area of 3,530 m2. This project will serve as a strong case study for CW China to showcase to local government authorities to promote the benefits of wood materials and increase the application of prefabricated wood construction across other counties.

Seven speakers shared their market insights on the latest trends and opportunities related to wood construction. The potential for the wider application of wood-frame construction in non-residential projects and in rural revitalization aligns with China’s ambition to achieve higher standards for energy efficiency and low carbon development. CW China will continue to build on these success stories and cooperate with local partners to remove market barriers and advance the use of wood building solutions in China.

The full list of speakers and their presentation topics includes:

  • Practical Exploration of Wood Structure Architectural Design and Construction,” by Wang Jianguo, Senior Fellow of the China Academy of Engineering
  • Development Trend of Rural Cultural Tourism and Recreation Planning” by Na Kunpeng, Executive Deputy Director, Urban-Rural Integration Development Committee, China Urban Science Research Association
  • The Explanation to General Specifications for Wood Structures” by Prof. Lu Weidong, Director of Academic Affairs Department of Nanjing Tech University, President of Jiangsu Modern Wood Structure Industry; President of Modern Wood Structure Industry Alliance, and Vice Chairman of International Green Building Alliance
  • Development and Application of Durable Wood Products in the Construction of Beautiful Countryside” by Yang Xiaojun, Deputy Director, Department of Timber Architecture, Nanjing Forestry University
  • Building with Wood-A Sustainable Solution to Carbon Neutrality” by Travis Joern, Director, Corporation Communications, FII China and Vice-Chair of the CanCham Shanghai
  • Developing Green Construction, Contributing to Rural Revitalizing” by Wang Yuqiang, Deputy Director of Yangxin County, Binzhou City, Shandong Province
  • Reducing Carbon with Data Standards for the Built Environment” by Stanton Wang, President of RESET
  • Sincere Elaboration of Modern Structure Construction” by Meng Quansheng, Chief Architect, Shanghai JAZ Build Technology