Sino-Canadian Eco-District

China’s Model for a Sustainable Urban Revolution


Binhai Tourism Area, Tianjin, China


50,000 m2




Tianjin Architecture Design Institute

The Tianjin Sino-Canada Low Carbon Eco-District Demonstration Project, China’s first large-scale community-sized demonstration area for wood construction, aims to adapt Canadian best practices in sustainable urban planning, community infrastructure, mixed-use, waterfront development buildings. Additionally, the project integrates innovative Canadian products, services and technologies like wood in construction, energy efficiency, alternative energy, and clean waste-water technologies.

Wood-Frame Townhomes

Composed of 300 townhomes, this large-scale development showcases various forms of wood building including light wood frame, hybrid systems, and mass timber. Of these, 100 units were designed to fit Canada’s Super E® specification. The Super E® method, which was designed to provide the market with an enhanced green form of housing, minimizes energy consumption by combining airtight, highly insulated assemblies with energy-efficient doors and windows.

C-MaRS office Building

The C-MaRS Centre project consists of three four-storey office buildings, each with prefabricated energy-efficient wood infill walls made from Canadian lumber. The Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development’s involvement in the eco-district project has enabled buildings like this one to be legally approved as test cases, which creates an opportunity to demonstrate wood-construction designs that go beyond the current code limitations. The centre is a business incubator, built in co-operation with Toronto-based non-profit organization MaRS Innovation (MI). The centre, which has been supported by Canada Wood China since its design stage, duplicated MI’s experienced model to create an innovative incubator with Chinese characteristics.

Wood Science Centre

The Wood Science Centre is a two-storey glulam structure building completed in June 2017. Built with Douglas-fir glulam and cladded by western red cedar panels, the centre showcases Canada’s advanced wood construction technology, production, and sustainable forestry management. The centre also serves as the sales centre for townhouses on the site.