First Modern Wood and Bamboo Structures and Human Habitat Forum Held in Beijing

By: Yike Qin

On July 6, the first Modern Wood and Bamboo Structures and Human Habitat Forum was held in Beijing. The event was co-organized by China Real Estate Association (CREA), International Centre for Bamboo and Rattan (ICBR), China National Forest Products Industry Association (CNFPIA), Research Institute of Wood Industry of the Chinese Academy of Forestry (CAF), and China Wood Protection Industry Association (CWPIA). Under the broader context of China’s double carbon objectives, the five co-organizers signed an MOU and launched a Joint Committee during the forum, with goals of leveraging influential industry platforms to collectively promote the use of natural building materials and advance modern wood bamboo construction applications and green human habitat. FII China is a supporting partner of both the forum and the Joint Committee, which are a direct outcome of the official cooperation relations established between CREA, FII China, and Canada Wood China in 2020.

The forum attracted unprecedented presence of senior government officials and top-notch experts across the housing and construction, forestry, and industry sectors to jointly support wood construction development in China. Mr. Yang Baojun, Chief Economist of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) delivered opening remarks where he commended the Joint Committee as an innovative move for cross-ministry efforts to address climate change and achieve China’s carbon peak and carbon neutrality goals.

Mr. Yang Baojun, Chief Economist, MOHURD

Modern wood and bamboo structures, as an innovative form of green building technology, has important environmental benefits in decreasing carbon emissions, carbon storage, energy efficiency, recycle and reuse, and waste reduction. Promoting wood and bamboo applications is conducive to the high-quality development of green building applications.

Mr. Su Zuyun, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Development and Reform, National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA), congratulated on the establishment of the Joint Committee and expressed commitment to supporting high-quality development of the wood and bamboo industry.

Mr. Su Zuyun, Deputy Director-General, Department of Development and Reform, NFGA

China is the largest wood manufacturing country in the world. In the 14th Five Year Plan period (2021-2025), we should accelerate the development of modern forestry system and continue upgrading the forestry industry.

At the launching ceremony of the Joint Committee, Mr. Chen Yiming, Deputy President and Secretary-General of CREA offered concrete advice for the development of wood construction in China.

Mr. Chen Yiming, Deputy President and Secretary-General, CREA

The Joint Committee represents the collective effort of the five organizations. To accelerate the development of China’s modern wood and bamboo structures, we should adhere to the six principles of “solid foundation, steady progress, diverse forms, improving quality, deeper understanding of building materials, and optimizing design”.

The Joint Committee, originally initiated by CREA and with endorsement of the four top national industry associations and research institutes, represents industry-wide consensus on promoting wood and bamboo structures to improve urban and rural living environment and advance high-quality development. With the support from multiple ministries, highest-caliber experts, and shared commitment to a green and low-carbon future, the Committee is set to unveil a new chapter for building with wood in China.

The morning session of the forum also featured keynote speeches delivered by top-level experts including Professor Wang Jianguo, Senior Fellow at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Mr. Fei Benhua, Senior Director of ICBR, Mr. Yu Wenji, Director at the Center for Reorganized Materials, NFGA, and Mr. Liu Nengwen, President of CWPIA, covering a spectrum of angles for wood construction in the areas of design, materials optimization, and the wood supply chain respectively. 

In the afternoon session, speakers from the government, academia, and the business community shared perspectives on wood construction from various aspects including development, design, project case studies, standards and regulations, as well as health features. They include Mr. Wu Zhen, Director at the Center of Technology and Industrialization Development, MOHURD, Professor Zhang Hong, Southeast University, Mr. Ma Heng, former Director of Regulations and Standards of the Fire Bureau, Ministry of Public Security, Professor Gao Ying, Beijing Forestry University, and Mr. Ni Jun, Chairman of Crownhomes. Jason Li from FII China, introduced Canadian best practices and latest trends in mass timber and taller wood construction.

Wood is increasingly recognized in China as a natural building material offering distinctive value from aesthetic beauty and health benefits to smaller carbon footprint. In line with China’s carbon reduction agenda, the joint committee mechanism with collective endorsement from the strongest and most influential industry platforms further leverages the synergies between natural building solutions and sustainable human habitat to contribute to China’s green and high-quality development and commitment to improving its people’s lives.