The 8th Sino-Canadian Wood Forum held in Shanghai

By: Travis Joern

Director, Asia Market Communications, Forestry Innovation Investment

On December 15, 2022, the 8th Sino-Canadian Wood Forum was held in Shanghai by Canada Wood China (CW China) with the theme of “promoting the development of urban and rural buildings in the context of dual carbon.” The forum featured discussions on how to build sustainable and green residential environments with wood structures, and how sustainable building materials can support carbon neutrality goals. The event hosted professionals from all aspects of the construction industry, with developers and builders representing projects from across the cultural, tourism and health care industries. The forum was also broadcast online, with 80 guests on site, and more than 16,000 viewers online.

The forum was supported by local partners, including the Architectural Magazine of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Rural Development (MOHURD), the Shanghai Green Building Association, the Shanghai Society of Civil Engineering, APDC Asia Pacific Design Center, ArchDaily, China United Mooney (Beijing) International Convention and Exhibition Co. The event was also supported by industry media partners, including Urban Environmental Design (UED), CADE Architects, Youth Architecture, ZaomeDesign, Urban Design, as well as TransAxis Design Coordinates.

Opening remarks for the forum were delivered by Dave Murphy, Consul General of the Canadian Consulate in Shanghai, and Wen Linfeng, Head of the Architecture Magazine of MOHURD, along with Chen Lei, Director of the Standards and Quota Management Division of the Shanghai Housing and Urban Rural Construction Management Commission, and Bruce St. John, President of the Canada Wood Group.

The Consul General Dave Murphy noted that both Canada and China have taken positive measures to address the challenges of global climate change, with important collaborations hosted in Montreal for the COP 15 events chaired by China and hosted by Canada. The carbon emissions of the construction industry account for a large proportion of total emissions, and wood structure buildings have low carbon emissions and a wide range of benefits across the entire life cycle of buildings.

In her remarks, Ms. Wen Linfeng, the head of the architecture magazine of MOHURD, said that China has a long history with the architectural design of wood structures. In recent years, the development of modern wood structures has improved with the advancement of building standards and construction quality, which has narrowed the gap with European and American countries. Wood is a natural building material, which is renewable and can be sustainable.

The President of Canada Wood, Bruce St. John said that Canada’s forest industry highly values the close relationship it has built with Chinese partners over the last 20 years and attaches great importance to the Chinese market. He congratulated the winners of the Would Building Design competition, noting that the design and construction of modern wood structures in China has seen rapid development over the years. The Sino-Canadian Wood Forum stands as a significant opportunity to gather experts and entrepreneurs together to discuss the development of modern wood structures, to build sustainable green buildings and help work towards the goal of carbon neutrality.

At the Wood Forum, CW China signed two new MOU agreements to further advance efforts to promote wood construction in China. These agreements were signed between CW China and the China Forest Group Leizhou Forestry Bureau Company, as well as the China Forest Times Wood Structure Technology (Zhenjiang) Company. With the two MOUs cover operations across two separate regions, the scope of both agreements look to expand collaboration with the two companies across the provinces of Zhejiang, Guangdong, Guizhou, and Jilin in the promotion of wood structures, with technical exchanges on design, construction and quality assurance along with the promotion of education and training for professionals in the sector.

The final event of this forum was the 2022 Award Ceremony for the Selection of China’s Excellent Cultural Tourism and Health Care Timber Structure Projects, which aims to promote use of wood structures across the cultural, tourism and health care sectors, and enhance the awareness of all the possibilities for the engineering and architectural design of wood projects.

This was the fifth round of the Awards, with this round co-sponsored by the China Construction Industry Association, Canada Wood China and the China Modern Wood Structure Building Technology Industry Alliance. The Awards attracted the participation of many wood structure enterprises from across China and received 93 projects from 47 enterprises nationwide. The awards were divided into 9 categories, including vacation cabins, reception centers, service facilities, residential, exhibition centers, hotels, commercial centers, conference centers and innovative applications. The winning project case studies will help to promote the ongoing development of wood building designs, and foster new inspirations for innovation, so as to be more widely used in the domestic market. A separate report will be published with more details about all the winning projects, but a few sample pictures can be seen here:

1st Prize for Resort: Wanli Resort in Nanchang City, Jiangxi Province

1st Prize for Reception Center: Cocoon Restaurant in Heshan City, Guangdong Province

1st Prize for Homestay: R-Cells in Zhangjiakou City, Hebei Province

To view the full list of nominations, please visit the below link:

Keynote speeches during the forum included:
Ecological Applications of Wood-frame Buildings” by Peter Fu, Professor of Fu Guohua School of Architecture, McGill University
Overview of Wood-frame Constructions in Contemporary Chinese Architectural Practice ” by Presentation by Guo Yimin, Assoc. Professor, Department of Architecture, Southeast University
The Construction and Practice of Contemporary Wood-frame Buildings” by Presentation by Li Jie, Shanghai Chengzhi Architecture Firm
Mass Timber Construction – Recent Development in Mid-rise Buildings” by Presentation by Hercent Mpidi Bita, Founder of Timber Engineering Inc., Canada

Structural Order and Spatial Rhyme” by Presentation by Zhu Weiwei, Founder of Shanghai Green Architects Ltd.
Creation of Wood-frame Buildings ” by Presentation by Qian Mingbo, Shanghai Ruifeng Architecture Firm