The 17th International Green Building and Building Energy Efficiency Conference

By: Nancy Xie

Director, Government Relations, FII China

On May 18, 2021, the 17th International Green Building and Building Energy Efficiency Conference and New Technology and Products Expo officially opened in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. The theme of the conference this year was on “building carbon neutrality, and building a new green production and life system,” with the event being hosted by the China Society for Urban Science, the Municipal Government of Chengdu, and the China Federation of Urban Infrastructure Chamber of Commerce. With about half of China’s total annual carbon emissions coming from the construction industry, it is a crucial area for the goal of carbon neutrality.

Founded in 2005, this annual conference is one of the most authoritative academic conferences in the field of green building. As an event supported by the China Association for Science and Technology, the conference promotes the exchange and cooperation of domestic and foreign construction industries, and serves as an important platform for the advancement of China’s green building targets.

At the main forum with an audience of 3600 participants, Michael Loseth, President and CEO of Forest Innovation Investment (FII), delivered a video presentation on behalf of the Canadian forestry industry. This is the first time that FII has been invited to be a keynote speaker at such a high-profile forum. Michael’s remarks focused on the efforts being carried out worldwide to combat climate change, and the benefits offered by the use of wood in construction to reduce carbon emissions. Having the topic of wood construction being featured in the main forum was significant as it is led by government officials from departments such as the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD), the National Development and Reform Committee (NRDC), the China Academy of Engineering and Tsinghua University. The senior fellow of the China Academy of Engineering Wang Jianguo discussed practices of wood construction design in his keynote speech, reflecting the admiration for wood structures by some of China’s most influential architects.

Senior fellow Wang Jianguo presenting on wood frame construction in his keynote speech

On the second day, the conference broke out into sub-forums covering various aspects of the construction industry, to focus on different specializations. During this segment, Canada Wood (CW) China and FII China cohosted a sub-forum with the Chinese Real Estate Association (CREA) on the topic of “Modern Wood Construction and Green Habitats.”

Chen Yiming, Vice President and Secretary General of CREA highlighting the possibilities for Mass Timber construction in his opening remarks

With opening remarks delivered by Chen Yiming, the Vice President and Secretary General of the CREA, and Eric Wong, Managing Director of CW China, nine speakers covered topics related to high quality, green and livable housing as well as the sustainability of wood as a solution for carbon neutrality. With over 100 participants in the room, the sub-forum was an excellent opportunity to dig deeper into the challenges and opportunities with leading experts across the construction industry for an exchange on the latest technologies for modern wood construction, and the science behind the environmental benefits.

Throughout the conference, wood frame construction was mentioned quite frequently, indicating that the industry’s focus on the role of wood in construction is at an all time high. The event itself was also held at the Chengdu Tianfu International Conference center, one of the newest large-scale wood projects in China.

A summary of the main forum of the conference published by the organizers is available here:

The full list of presenters and their topics at the sub-forum on wood construction are:

The Evolution of Sustainable Buildings under the Vision of Carbon Neutrality by Chen Yin, Executive Director and Chief Technology Officer, Modern Land (China) Co., Ltd.

Building Green and Low Carbon House – Research on Green Housing Design and Construction Methods by Zhang Hong, Deputy Director of Habitat Committee of China Real Estate Association; Professor and Doctoral Supervisor of School of Architecture, Southeast University

Building Green Habitat System and Enhancing Green Livable Quality by Zhu Caiqing, Secretary General of Habitat Committee of China Real Estate Association

Practice and Thinking of Green Housing and Public Construction by Meng Quansheng, General Manager of Shanghai JAZ Build Technology Co., Ltd.

Exploration and Reflection on the Design of large-span Wood Structures by Feng Yuan, Chief Engineer, China Southwest Architecture 

Innovation and Practice of Prefabricated Wood Structures by Wang Jie, Chairman of Nanjing Changjiang Urban Architectural Design Co., Ltd.

Building with wood: A sustainable solution to carbon neutrality by Travis Joern, Director of Corporate Communications, FII China

The Development and Future Trends of China’s Modern Wood Structures by Yang Xuebing, Deputy Director of Committee of Timber & Complex Materials Structures, China Association for Engineering Construction Standardization Application of Net-zero Energy Technology in Wood-frame Construction by Steve Ross, Senior Director, Technical Services, CW China