The Fifth Sino-Canadian Wood Forum, with the theme of Wood in Future Buildings and Manufacturing, organized by Canada Wood China, was held at Shanghai Hongqiao Marriott Hotel on November 11. Doug Donaldson, British Columbia (B.C.) minister of forests, lands, natural resource operations and rural development, led a delegation that included senior executives of B.C forest companies and associations. The event attracted 200 local industry professionals including industry association, university professors, designers and developers.
“China is a very important export market for forest products,” Donaldson said in remarks to open the forum. “Through agencies such as Canada Wood, government and industry will continue to invest in China’s market development to expand wood use.” With 28 percent (over CAD$4 billion) of the province’s total forest product exports destined for China in 2018, up from only 5% (CAD$691 million) in 2003, it is B. C’s second largest export market.
Zhang Zilong, executive deputy secretary-general of the Shanghai Construction and Development Association, said: “In the past few years, the Shanghai Construction Association worked with Canada Wood China to explore modern wood construction’s applications in prefabricated buildings. Shanghai is the first city in China launching building codes and standards for wood constructions. With the development of modern wood construction, and the improvement of codes and standards we hope modern wood-frame constructions can be applied more in public facilities and housing renovations.”
In recent years, the Chinese government’s policies encouraging low-carbon, energy-efficient and prefabricated construction created vast market potential for wood-based buildings and designs, and the associated growth in engineered wood applications. British Columbia (B.C.) of Canada, with its abundant, yet sustainable forest resources and experience in modern wood structure construction, shares with China common goals in dealing with climate change and environmental protection. The forum served as an excellent platform for Canada and China to jointly explore business opportunities that are suitable for wood-frame construction and manufacturing.
Four Chinese industry experts shared their market insights on the latest trends and opportunities related to wood construction. This included sustainable forest management, adoption of wood-frame constructions around the country, development of glulam’s certification systems in China, as well as growing opportunities to reposition Canadian lumber in the high-end furniture market. In addition to the Chinese market, a Canadian expert from Sidewalk Labs shared advanced experiences on how to use modern construction methods (say mass timber constructions) to tackle big urban issues such as cost of living, transport and carbon emissions.
Five long term partners of Canada Wood China were awarded plaques during the forum for their continued leadership in contributing to the commercial advancement of innovative construction technologies using Canadian wood products. They are:
BSD-TEDA Investment Development Co. Ltd.
Plaque awarded for leadership and support in championing Canadian wood construction technologies in the Tianjin Binhai Sino-Canadian Low Carbon Eco-District Demonstration Project.
Shanghai Electric Matechstone Engineering Group
Plaque awarded for leadership and support in developing prefabricated wood wall systems to deliver an innovative solution for high-performance energy-efficient construction.
Suzhou Crownhomes Co. Ltd.
Plaque awarded for leadership and support in adopting and developing wood construction technologies and applications in China.
College of Civil Engineering, Tongji University
Plaque awarded for leadership and support in R&D of wood construction technologies, and training of future wood construction professionals.
Jiangsu Urban and Rural Construction College
Plaque awarded for leadership and support in vocational training for the Chinese wood construction industry.
At the last session of the forum, senior management representatives from Canada’s major forestry companies had a panel discussion on the supply and demand of timber in Canada, forest certification, wood applications in construction and the furniture market. They said China was a key market for Canada and see the potential of wider applications in mass timber, infill walls and in the industrialised construction and resort sectors. This, they added, aligns with China’s ambition for realising green development and energy efficiency. The company representatives also expressed their willingness to continue to invest and work with Chinese partners to remove market barriers and advance wood use in China.