Staying Connected: FII India Presents Its First Webinar on ‘Wood in Structural Use’

Educational seminars and training workshops are two key tools used by the Forestry Innovation Investment (FII) team in India to inform local manufacturers, stockists, architects and other key stakeholders on the merits and applications of B.C. wood species. Through this approach, FII India is able to expand knowledge and build demand for B.C. forest products across strategic markets in India. In 2019-20, 26 educational events were held, generating 1,114 business leads.

In recent months, due to COVID-19 and required limitations on social gatherings, FII India has not been able to conduct these in-person training sessions. To adapt to this new environment and to continue connecting with local stakeholders, the team in India has substituted traditional seminars with a series of webinars.

On May 27, 2020, FII India hosted its first webinar on ‘Wood in Structural use: Advantages and Benefits’, targeting and inviting 35 strategic partners consisting primarily of architects, real estate developers and hospitality sector professionals.

The theme of the webinar tapped into India’s growing interest in the use of wood in structural applications, with topics covering the different methods of building with wood, as well as the environmental, cost and timesaving, building efficiency and safety benefits associated with wood in construction. Several esteemed projects across the country that FII collaborated on were highlighted throughout the webinar to demonstrate examples of impressive wood buildings. Different types of Canadian wood products were also presented in respect to their unique properties and suitability for a variety of applications, with Spruce-pine-fir (S-P-F) highlighted as the ideal species for structural applications due to its great strength-to-weight ratio, dimensional stability and outstanding working properties.

Following the webinar, a survey was sent out to all attendees, with results demonstrating the success and impact of the event. Over 83 percent of respondents said they were very likely to recommend Canadian wood in their future projects. Outside of structural applications, respondents also noted interest in using Canadian wood for outdoor applications (pergolas, gazebos, decking, cladding), door frames, and doors and windows.

Given the success of this online event, FII India’s webinar series is set to continue with topics covering furniture, door and window manufacturing, as well as a highly focused follow-up webinar on Wood in Structural Use, further detailing techniques for building with wood.

By shifting their strategy to accommodate the need for remote engagement with stakeholders, the FII India team has been able to continue to build their brand within key markets and educate local stakeholders on the benefits of building with B.C.’s versatile and sustainable forest products.

To view a recording of the webinar, click here.

Western hemlock finds artistic expression in furniture manufacturing in India 

Over recent years, India’s furniture sector has become much more customer-focused. Now more than ever, customers are experimenting with new styles and viewing furniture as a lifestyle statement and extension of the homeowner’s personality. Besides, families living in urban areas are being drawn towards furniture styles that are light, modern and easy to move – a shift from past preferences for dark, heavy tones. 

In response to this shifting customer preference, furniture manufacturers across India are tailoring their products to meet the growing demand for light, modern and expressive styles.

To tap into this new trend and to showcase how B.C. species may be used in modern, stylish furniture applications, FII India has partnered with Bramola – a high-end furniture manufacturer in Delhi – to develop an exclusive range of furniture using western hemlock. 

Bramola is known for turning pieces of furniture into works of art by employing local artisans to embellish individual pieces of furniture with carvings and colourful paintings. Bramola’s artful ranges of hand-crafted and hand-painted wooden furniture are highly sought after by high-net-worth Individuals (HNIs) in India. 

To encourage Bramola to consider using western hemlock for future furniture applications, FII provided Bramola with the technical assistance and materials needed to develop a line of western hemlock furniture in hopes that Bramola would recognize its favourable properties over traditional species.

Bramola responded by developing an artistic range of indoor furniture made with western hemlock that included a sofa, chairs, a console, chests of drawers, side tables and more. The highlight of the range was an oval centre table with a Mandala (tribal art) hand-painted pattern. 

The eye-catching range of furniture was then displayed at the IndiaWood 2020 Trade Show in March. While the furniture drew favourable response for its beautiful patterns and design, it also showcased Canadian wood species as an option to supplement Bramola’s use of Teak and other traditional hardwoods. The fact that Canadian wood species are certified and come from sustainably managed forests also appeals to India’s increasingly environmentally conscious consumer demand for products made with eco-friendly raw materials. 

By demonstrating how western hemlock may be used in Bramola’s stylish furniture applications, FII not only opened the door to future orders from Bramola, but also showcased how B.C. species may be used to create modern, expressive furniture styles currently sought-after by Indian consumers.

Wood in Manufacturing—Capacity Building

Three key markets have a strategic focus on wood in manufacturing (WIM): India, China and Vietnam. The WIM strategy targets high potential end-use segments, such as indoor and outdoor furniture manufacturing, interior finishing products and the door and doorjamb industry.  While the strategy is most advanced in India, efforts are expanding in China, with exploratory work underway in Vietnam.

To support in-market capacity building for working with B.C. species, Forestry Innovation Investment (FII) Vancouver collaborated with the Canada Wood Group and teams in India, China and Vietnam to develop two tools for use within these markets; an illustrative guidebook on B.C. Interior wood species and lumber grades, and an informative video on B.C. wood in manufacturing. Both tools work to expand the knowledge and use of B.C. softwood products within the WIM sector.

 

The Interior Wood Species and Grades Book

The Interior Wood Species and Grades Book serves as a guide to understanding B.C.’s Interior softwood species, their most successful applications and the lumber grades typically available for export within each species group. The book includes at-a-glance descriptions, illustrations and full-page photos of Interior Douglas-fir and Spruce-Pine-Fir (S-P-F) lumber and their primary grade characteristics.

This publication was developed in response to a need identified during a collaborative strategy session by in-market team leaders and is intended as a guide for buyers, users and specifiers to help identify the grade of B.C. interior wood species that best meets their requirements. The development and promotion of this document seeks to showcase the versatile and aesthetic properties of B.C. wood species for use within India, China and Vietnam.

Phase 2 will incorporate the development of a Coastal species grades book which will include western hemlock, western red cedar, yellow cedar and Coastal Douglas-fir.

Download the Interior Wood Species and Grades Book here.

 

The Story of B.C. Wood in Manufacturing Video

Another initiative to support cross-market collaboration was the development of the video, The Story of B.C. Wood in Manufacturing. The video tells the story of B.C. wood, from planting a seedling to manufacturing and shipping lumber, while highlighting the B.C. forest sector as a sophisticated and interconnected industry of sustainable forest management and wood processing.

Developed for use in Vietnam, China and India, the video serves as a promotional and informative tool to expand the awareness and use of B.C. softwood forest products within WIM sectors. The video has been translated and is available in English, Mandarin and Vietnamese languages.

Watch The Story of B.C. Wood in Manufacturing video here.

Showcasing Canadian wood at the IndiaWood 2020 Trade Show

Double Tongue and Groove house (1)

With 75,000 visitors and a focus on wood innovation, IndiaWood 2020 was the perfect opportunity to raise the profile of higher-value Canadian wood products in India.

 

Historically, wood in construction in India has been largely limited to posts and beams and roofing. FII India set a new trend at IndiaWood 2020 by displaying two complete wood homes in the Canadian Wood booth, made by local Indian firms and featuring B.C. species. The resort-style homes demonstrated Wood Frame Construction (WFC) and Tongue and Groove (T&G) styles of building using Canadian Spruce-Pine-Fir (S-P-F). Leading manufacturers based out of Mysore and Delhi were partnered with to create these eye-catching display homes with supervision, improvisations and technical support from the FII India team.

 

Both homes boasted impressive features, exemplifying key benefits of building with wood. The T&G house was assembled onsite in less than 12 hours and featured a double-laminated wall structure, adding to strength, stiffness, wall span and insulation values. This house also showcased timber doors and frames in high-quality, fine-grained yellow cedar. The WFC house was the first modularized, North American-style construction introduced in India and was designed in modules for easy transportation.

 

Each home featured furniture made with western hemlock – a species of Canadian wood that’s evolving into a preferred choice of furniture manufacturers in India due to its even colour, excellent machining properties and ability to finish naturally or be stained to meet design preferences.

 

Along with promoting B.C. wood, the two homes highlighted how wood construction can meet the emerging needs of the resort and vacation home sectors.

 

India’s hospitality industry is becoming increasingly interested in designing eco-friendly resorts by using wood in structural applications. The display homes helped showcase wood’s advantages in structural applications, such as its impressive strength to weight ratio resulting in less intrusive, lower-cost footings and foundation work and shortened building time.

 

The home’s demonstration of the eco-friendly and aesthetic qualities of Canadian wood also helped tap into the growing trend of wood use in India’s vacation home sector, as high-net-worth individuals (HNIs) are looking to make lifestyle statements by owning sustainable, eco-friendly second homes.

 

The innovative approach of the wood home display generated significant foot traffic and interest from IndiaWood 2020 attendees, raised the profile of higher-value Canadian wood products in India and further built on the positive perception towards the Canadian Wood brand in India.

 

ABOUT CANADIAN WOOD INDIA

In partnership with the Government of Canada, FII India was established to capitalize on emerging opportunities for B.C. wood products. The India team is focused on generating increased awareness of B.C. softwood species through research, outreach, promotion and education activities. This is supported by an expanded program of commercial product trials and demonstration projects that showcase the use of B.C. species across value-added applications such as doors, windows, architectural millwork and furniture. Potential in construction applications is also being explored.

 

A New Way to Stay Tuned on Market News from China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and India—Canada Wood on Twitter and LinkedIn

Canada Wood on Twitter and LinkedIn

Canada wood is focused on diversifying markets for Canadian wood products. To deliver results Canada Wood Group actively promotes and supports the innovation in manufacturing and increased uses of wood in building design and construction. We also expand export opportunities for Canadian wood products in traditional and emerging overseas markets, including China, Japan, South Korea, India, Vietnam, and Europe.

There have been many new and exciting developments: China Wood Frame Construction Technology (WFC) has been recognized for the first time by China’s Green Building Evaluation Standard as a viable solution for the country’s green building credit rating. Korea has celebrated urban regeneration with the completion of its tallest hybrid wood building.  Japan is anticipating an increase in supply and demand for wooden large-scale buildings due to favorable Building Standard Law amendments. These are just a few of the new developments and there are many more to come in the future.

To better communicate and highlight key overseas developments like these, Canada Wood is now posting on Twitter and LinkedIn. Be a part of the conversation and follow Canada Wood.

Follow Canada Wood Group on Twitter: @wood_canada
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