Canada Wood and Wuxi C&D: A Collaborative Success in Wood Construction

By: Lance Tao

Export Development Program, Canada Wood Group

Wuxi, a city of 7.5 million residents, often flies under the radar for those outside China. Yet, as the third-largest city in Jiangsu Province, following Suzhou and Nanjing, it’s dreaming big when it comes to its future. With a focus on high-tech innovation and sustainable urban development, Wuxi aims to carve out a path that sets it on the pathway to a livable city.

Wuxi’s track record speaks volumes about its potential. As the former home of Suntech, once the world’s largest solar panel producer, Wuxi has deep roots in green technology. This connection explains the city’s keen interest in exploring wood construction as a viable option for its urban development projects. And for Canada’s forest industry, this presents an opportunity.

Wuxi C&D Signing MOU with Canada Wood in our Vancouver office

Real estate has long been a driving force behind China’s economic growth, contributing as much as 20% to its GDP. However, with the Chinese government now focusing on risk containment and transitioning the sector to a more sustainable size, the landscape is shifting. This transition is likely to benefit state-owned developers like Wuxi Urban Construction & Development Group (Wuxi C&D), which are better positioned to weather financial risks.

One crucial initiative in this transition is the “Urban Renewal” program, which emphasizes upgrading urban infrastructure and creating livable, resilient, and smart cities. Wuxi C&D, as a state-owned developer designated to spearhead urban renewal projects in Wuxi, has been exploring wood construction as a solution. Introduced to this concept by Canada Wood and BCFII staff, the company embarked on a trial project in 2021: a four-story glulam structured demo office building. The successful outcome led to further collaboration, including the signing of a renewed MOU with Canada Wood Group in Vancouver in 2023.

(Wuxi Wood Exchange Centre, 3,328 square meters, completed in 2021)
(Wuxi Fund Industrial Park, 12,525 square meters,completed in 2021)

The partnership has borne fruit, with Wuxi C&D establishing a specialized team for wood manufacturing, design, and construction. Their portfolio now includes a variety of wood buildings, including 27-unit structures in the Fund Industrial Park, an Innovation Centre, and a four-story Academic Exchange Centre—all constructed using Canadian lumber.

Lately, eye-catching wooden houses have started appearing along the downtown Liangxi riverside and Wuxi Canal Art Park. These buildings fit seamlessly into the cityscape, offering both aesthetic appeal and eco-friendly solutions that resonate with local residents. With their varied designs and purposes, these wooden structures showcase the versatility of wood construction, underscoring Wuxi’s dedication to sustainable urban growth.