Canada Wood Seminar Inspires Mass Timber Use in South Korea’s Building Sector

By: Tai Jeong

Country Director, Canada Wood Korea

On June 5, Canada Wood Korea presented at a technical symposium at Dankook University. This hybrid event, organized in collaboration with the Architectural Institute of Korea (AIK), the Korea Institute of Building Construction (KIC), the Korea Land and Housing Corporation (LH), and Dankook University’s Wood Construction Innovation Research Institute, underscored the significance of timber construction policies, the potential of Tall Wood Mass Timber construction, and case studies of medium to large-scale wood-frame buildings.

Canada Wood Korea, in partnership with AIK and KIC, is leading the charge in promoting mass timber construction in South Korea. These partnerships aim to enhance industry knowledge of mass timber technology. Canada Wood has established technical cooperation agreements with KIC and AIK to support their member firms—key players in South Korea’s construction sector. Both organizations have created dedicated committees to advocate for mass timber and sustainable building practices.

Congratulatory Remarks by Chairs of AIK and KIC

AIK, founded in 1945, represents 27,000 members, including architects, academics, and researchers. KIC, established in 2001, encompasses over 5,000 members from leading construction firms. Together, these institutions play a crucial role in advancing timber construction in South Korea.

The symposium highlighted South Korea’s recent regulatory changes that lifted height and floor area restrictions for wooden structures, aligning with the nation’s ambitious 2050 carbon neutrality roadmap. This shift has sparked keen interest among major construction firms and architectural offices. Participants included 368 professionals—architects, engineers, researchers, builders, educators, and public officials—reflecting the growing commitment to timber construction across the industry.

In his opening remarks, Jin Cheol Park, President of AIK, celebrated the symposium’s collaborative nature, especially with LH Corp., a key player in South Korea’s housing sector. Park emphasized the role of wood-frame construction in significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing earthquake resilience, expressing hope that the symposium would foster progress towards carbon neutrality.

Han Seung Lee, President of KIC, echoed these sentiments, highlighting the construction industry’s crucial role in achieving carbon neutrality through wooden construction. He pledged KIC’s continued efforts to promote timber building practices as a central strategy for sustainable development.

The symposium featured five prominent speakers, including Tai Jeong, Country/Technical Director of Canada Wood Korea, who presented on the performance and regulatory aspects of mass timber construction in Canada. His presentation, developed by FPInnovations, provided a comprehensive update on the sector’s advancements.

Tai Jeong, Country Director of Canada Wood Korea gave the audience a presentation on mass timber development in Canada

Seong Sik Park, Senior Research Fellow at LH Urban Housing Research Institute, contrasted South Korea’s lack of specific timber construction policies with those of leading nations. He stressed the importance of wood in achieving carbon neutrality in the construction sector and discussed LH’s research on developing wooden flooring that meets noise standards for apartments.

The journey towards embracing mass timber in South Korea signifies a pivotal shift towards sustainable construction. The symposium played a key role in bringing together all the major players in the industry, fostering collaboration, innovation, and a shared vision for a carbon-neutral future.