Addressing barriers to the use of B.C. wood within door and door jamb applications
Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Since market development efforts in India began, Forestry Innovation Investment (FII) India has been conducting product trials with local manufacturers as an efficient, cost-effective...More

Since market development efforts in India began, Forestry Innovation Investment (FII) India has been conducting product trials with local manufacturers as an efficient, cost-effective way of showcasing the advantages of using B.C. wood species for furniture applications.

In an effort to expand product trials beyond the furniture space, FII India had also recognized doors and door jambs as a significant opportunity to introduce Canadian wood species as an alternative to traditional hardwoods that are declining in supply.

FII largely promoted yellow cedar for manufacturing doors (interior and exterior), door frames and windows, given its qualities of resistance to termites, rot and decay, relevant to the suggested applications. However, the fragmented nature of the industry along with the demand of varying sizes and dimensions across user segments and geographical areas posed challenges.

At the same time, while western hemlock’s finishing properties are seen as ideal for manufacturing applications in India, availability of required grades and sizes, as well as the presence of knots and resulting wastage have presented barriers to its uptake for door jamb applications. The solution was a western hemlock finger-jointed edge-glued (FJEG) panel – a ready-to-use product for manufacturing door frames that removes unwanted defects present in lumber, thereby giving a clean knot-free appearance where desired and high recovery in the production of door frames.

To introduce the FJEG panel, FII India initiated product trials with 40 well-known manufacturers in India. Collaborating with FII Vietnam, the panels were manufactured in Vietnam and imported for the purposes of the trial, with the potential to have them produced locally in India in the future. Initial results indicate a positive response to the product’s ability to optimize production by reducing wastage and speeding up the manufacturing process. Manufacturers also noted the product’s potential use in other applications such as door shutters, furniture and interior fittings.

Based on initial positive feedback, FII India is working with four Indian companies to manufacture FJEG panels in India.  Once complete, the plan is to share the Indian-made panels with a number of the same 40 companies, so that they can further assess suitability and the business case for commercial uptake of the Indian-made hemlock panels.

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Diversifying Applications for B.C. Species in Vietnam
Monday, December 14, 2020

Since entering the market, product trials have been a key component of Forestry Innovation Investment’s strategy in Vietnam. Through forming inroads with local manufacturers, the team...More

Since entering the market, product trials have been a key component of Forestry Innovation Investment’s strategy in Vietnam. Through forming inroads with local manufacturers, the team has introduced B.C. softwood products not previously well-known in Vietnam, while demonstrating the benefits of using Canadian species in a range of applications.

In an effort to expand opportunities for B.C. forest products within Vietnam’s diverse manufacturing sector, the team in Vietnam recently concluded a trial with a major producer of cable reels used within the local electric wire and cable industry. Each year, this company produces thousands of metric tons of finished product for the domestic and international marketplace.

FII’s Business Development Team in Vietnam approached the company to see if they would be interested in trialling B.C. softwood products as an alternative to traditional species. Working closely with the company, the Vietnam team was able to understand their needs and recommend the appropriate size and grade of B.C. wood that would best fit this application. 

The company was provided with a small volume of spruce-pine-fir (S-P-F) low- and mid-grades to conduct the trial.  The company was particularly pleased with the finishing properties, high strength to weight ratio of the product, the high recovery of finished components, and availability of wide widths. The possibility of securing a large volume and steady supply of S-P-F was also very attractive to this customer.

Following the trial, the team in Vietnam introduced the company to major S-P-F producers. Commercial contracts were then concluded, with firm orders confirmed for more than 400 cubic metres to support a larger-scale commercial trial.

Through diversifying product trials beyond furniture manufacturing, the team in Vietnam was able to identify another new application for B.C. species within the local market. 

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Showcasing Canadian wood within India’s hospitality sector
Friday, December 11, 2020

To showcase the unique advantages of using B.C. wood products in hospitality projects, Forestry Innovation Investment India (FII India) recently provided technical support on the...More

To showcase the unique advantages of using B.C. wood products in hospitality projects, Forestry Innovation Investment India (FII India) recently provided technical support on the construction of a wellness resort. Led by distinguished local architect, N. Mahesh, the resort features Canadian wood in both structural applications and interior fit outs, creating a calming, peaceful aesthetic.

Located on the shores of the Arabian Sea, Sitaram Beach Retreat is a premium Ayurvedic centre that offers ‘Panchakarma’ – a treatment that cleanses the body of toxins for a holistic healing experience.

The resort consists of a 1200 sq. ft. reception area and nine, 460 sq. ft cottages made with Douglas-fir. Built in traditional Kerala carpentry style[1], and using both wood-frame construction and tongue and groove building systems, each cottage has an outdoor sitting area, large guest room, bathroom and open layout, designed to create a relaxing atmosphere while allowing guests to feel close to nature. Known for designs that celebrate regional architectural building styles, N. Mahesh was able to demonstrate how sustainably sourced Canadian wood species may be used within projects that speak to traditional Indian architecture.

Building inroads with local architects, designers and manufacturers remains a strategic focus of FII India. Local demonstration projects showcase B.C. forest products in a wide variety of interior, exterior and structural applications. These efforts build strong relationships with local designers and feature the workable properties of the species – while showcasing B.C. wood products within India’s growing hospitality sector.

[1] A unique Hindu temple architecture most commonly found in the Indian state of Kerala.

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Canada Wood and China Wood Building Industry Joint Mission to Xiongan
Friday, December 4, 2020

Prepared by Yike Qin and Tianqi Song

 

On November 11, FII China and Canada Wood China (CWC) worked with the China Real Estate Association (CREA) and the Xiongan Green...More

Prepared by Yike Qin and Tianqi Song

 

On November 11, FII China and Canada Wood China (CWC) worked with the China Real Estate Association (CREA) and the Xiongan Green Development Research Institute (XAGDRI) to organize the Canada Wood and China Wood Building Industry Joint Mission to Xiongan. Affiliated stakeholders included the National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA), the Xiongan Planning and Construction Bureau (XAPCB), Global Affairs Canada and Weixun International Cooperation & Exchange Centre. 

 

Over 35 organizations attended the program with 80 participants representing SOEs, local developers, design institutes and wood building enterprises from across China. The event was designed to collaborate with government partners in Xiongan to engage domestic companies and promote opportunities for wood construction. 

 

The ‘Hebei Xiongan New Area Planning Outline’ aims for the development of a smart city project that leverages advanced information and environmental protection technologies to embrace green, low-carbon, energy-efficient and livable concepts with high-quality public services. The program for the mission included site visits followed by a conference on advanced wood building technologies, bringing Chinese stakeholders to Xiongan to discuss how the benefits of wood construction aligned with ‘zero-waste city’ and sustainable regional development goals in Xiongan. 

 

For the site tour, mission delegates visited the Xiongan Administrative Committee (XAAC), and the Xiongan Planning Exhibition Centre with a tour arranged by the Xiongan Government Affairs Office. Participants also experienced the unmanned convenience store, autonomous vehicles and other facilities in the Xiongan Civic service Centre.

 

The conference was held in the Xiongan Design Centre, with expert speakers from a range of institutions and government partners. FII China presented The Driving Force of the Development of Modern Wood Structure in China, summarizing the progression of wood-frame construction in China, where Xiongan was highlighted as a future model for modern city construction with significant opportunities to lead in the application of modern wood structure technologies.  

 

The Hebei Academy of Building Research introduced some of the wood structure projects it has built in Hebei over the years, and the Xiongan Science and Technology Enterprise Association gave a presentation on the planning outline of Xiongan. CWC shared a detailed case study of Sino-Canadian Tianjin Ecological Demonstration Project, a significant demonstration project for Canada Wood Group in Northern China. 

 

In addition, XAGDRI gave a speech on the topic of ‘Application of Modern Wood Structure in Characteristic Township Development: From Xiong’an Perspective’. As a non-profit think-tank working under the Xiongan Group, XAGDRI stated that the structural design of wood structures is applicable to all types of constructions for characteristic township development. Associated with the development and construction model of Xiongan, the standard system and construction technology system of existing wood structure buildings would empower the large-scale promotion of modern wood buildings in characteristic towns in Xiongan.

 

NFGA introduced the application of wood structures in ecotourism development along with some iconic projects across China. Forest-related tourism has been recognized as an industry with significant potential in China. The development of ecotourism presents an opportunity for NFGA to improve the multi-functional utilization of forests and other natural resources. The adoption of wood structures in ecotourism development could be a sustainable solution to find a balance of protecting the environment and benefitting from sustainable tourism growth. 

 

For the final presentation of the morning session, the Shenzhen Institute of Building Research introduced several ongoing reconstruction projects in Xiongan. The approaches applied in Xiongan are consistent with the principals of ‘no-waste cities’, and green development. 

 

In the afternoon session of the conference, 10 of China’s leading wood building enterprises introduced their benchmark projects and presented on how they could support the development of projects in Xiongan.

 

The conference was shared online through the Tencent Broadcast application, with over 2360 viewers. Organized by FII China and CWC, and supported by XAAC, this program offered a unique mechanism for direct communication and information exchange between China’s leading wood building industry practitioners and the associated stakeholders, developers and design organizations in Xiongan. There is strong potential for wood building applications in Xiongan’s development, and through programs like this, FII China can play a major role in connecting relevant parties and reshaping public perception towards wood structures. 
 

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Province invests in mass timber project for new student housing
Thursday, September 17, 2020

Orginally posted by the Government of British Columbia

Students attending the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in the coming years will have access to hundreds of...More

Orginally posted by the Government of British Columbia

Students attending the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in the coming years will have access to hundreds of new, affordable and environmentally friendly on-campus housing beds.

“Students throughout the province have told our government the lack of affordable housing has stood in the way of their education and aspirations, and we committed to fixing this problem,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Building these new homes is answering a call to action from students and communities to support innovation and create more affordable, cleaner and greener housing.”

On Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, Mark announced the new student housing project at BCIT, valued at nearly $115 million. The Province is investing $108.8 million towards BCIT’s new student housing project as part of government’s 30-point plan on housing. BCIT is contributing $6 million towards this project. The plan includes a BC Student Housing Loan Program for public post-secondary institutions that provides access to funds to help finance student housing projects over six years. This project will be the first investment in new student housing beds at BCIT in 38 years.

The investment will support the construction of a 464-bed, 12-storey student housing project at BCIT’s Burnaby campus. The project will be designed to reflect Indigenous culture in the region, and to support Indigenous learners by providing community spaces on the ground floor. The new building will be constructed using mass timber, a sustainable product that is cost effective, quicker to build and has a lower carbon footprint compared to traditional concrete construction.

“Mass timber is key to diversifying and creating a more resilient forest sector as we work to transition to high-value over high-volume production,” said Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary for Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “It’s great to see the ripple effects from the expanded use of sustainably harvested, low-carbon wood products in B.C. buildings. It helps combat climate change and brings people back to work in forestry-related jobs, while this project creates housing for hundreds of future BCIT students.” 

B.C. is a leader in the use of mass timber as an innovative way to reduce the carbon footprint of the building sector, while supporting well-paying jobs for people in communities throughout the province. This project will also support regional economic development, creating about 700 direct and indirect jobs in local communities through the manufacturing process.

The Province’s investment means opportunities for local workers in the forestry sector, strong partnerships with First Nations and greater economic opportunity, while also making a significant contribution to advancing CleanBC. The energy-efficient design supports the Province’s commitment to CleanBC and will meet Step 4 of the BC Energy Step Code.

Funding student housing is part of the government’s 10-year housing plan, Homes for BC. This includes a $1.9-billion investment through the Building BC: Community Housing Fund to create more than 14,000 new affordable rental homes for low- to moderate-income British Columbians.

Since February 2018, the Province has funded an additional 2,439 student beds at post-secondary schools, compared to the 130 beds funded during the previous 16 years.

CleanBC is a pathway to a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future. CleanBC was developed in collaboration with the BC Green Party caucus and Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, and supports the commitment in the Confidence and Supply Agreement to implement climate action to meet B.C.’s emission targets.

 

Quotes:

Janet Routledge, MLA Burnaby North –

“For many people, the lack of on-campus student housing is a major barrier to opportunity. New beds at BCIT will take some of the pressure off students, while freeing up affordable rentals for people in their community. Today’s announcement is not just about student housing but also about reducing our carbon footprint. Mass timber is a sustainable and value-added product that can be made in B.C. It will create hundreds of well-paying jobs helping all British Columbians.”

Mike Hurley, mayor, Burnaby –

“By increasing affordable housing for students, we’re also taking the pressure off local rental markets, giving more options to other renters. Students have enough stress in their lives without having to worry about finding a place to live they can afford.”

Kathy Kinloch, president, BCIT –

“This investment will allow BCIT students to access sustainable on-campus housing to support their journey to a new or expanded career through an industry-relevant applied education. This new mass timber housing project is a key component of BCIT’s commitment to support the future social and economic prosperity of the province in a way that respects our spectacular natural environment.”

 

Quick Facts:

  • The Province is investing $450 million in the construction of approximately 5,000 student beds over six years.
  • An additional 3,000 student beds will be built through non-government partnerships and institutional self-financing, for a total of about 8,000 new beds by 2028.
  • As of September 2020, the B.C. government is almost halfway to its target of funding approximately 5,000 student homes on campuses throughout the province.
  • In mass timber buildings, the primary load-bearing structure is made of solid or engineered wood. These buildings can be one-fifth the weight of comparable concrete buildings, while still meeting performance standards for safety, structural resilience and fire protection.
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FII China introduces the role of wood in healthy building applications at the Second Annual China Healthy Building Conference
Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The biophilic qualities of wood materials and wood-frame construction (WFC) were highlighted at the Second Annual China Healthy Building Conference that took place on September 8, 2020,...More

The biophilic qualities of wood materials and wood-frame construction (WFC) were highlighted at the Second Annual China Healthy Building Conference that took place on September 8, 2020, at the China Academy of Building Research (CABR). This conference is the most prestigious healthy building event in China, jointly organized by seven national level organizations that are key players in the advancement of China’s healthy building development, including, the China Healthy Building Alliance, CABR, the Chinese Academy of Urban Sciences, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Building Science, Tsinghua University and Beijing University.

FII China was invited by the conference organizer to introduce the role of wood in healthy building applications. Organized with a live broadcast over WeChat with the support of lezhibo.com, the event reached more than 2.6 million views, showing a strong public interest in this area. Mr. Cui Kai, Fellow of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, also complimented WFC’s strengths with green and healthy building in his presentation that included two wood-frame public building projects in China designed by his team.   

The concept of “Healthy Building” began to circulate in China when the CPC Central Committee and the Chinese State Council issued the “Healthy China 2030 Planning Guidelines” in 2016, which is a systematic strategy to, “promote a healthy lifestyle, develop a healthy environment, and establish a healthy industry,” in the years leading up to 2030. In 2017, MOHURD issued the 13th Five-Year-Plan for building energy conservation and green development, while CABR took the lead in publishing China’s first Healthy Building Label.

At the onset of its implementation, the healthy building system was slow to progress in China due to health factors being less of a priority in the construction market. Before 2020, only around a dozen buildings applied for certification under the Healthy Building Label each year. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted people's awareness of health issues in their environment and shifted their attention towards the factors that can determine healthy living conditions.

More than ever, the topic of health is playing a leading role in the Chinese construction industry. The number of projects applying for the Chinese Healthy Building Label grew exponentially, and CABR is working on publishing 10 new specifications categorizing healthy building labels by application types such as healthy hospitals, healthy tourism and resorts, and healthy products and materials.

The use of wood in construction is proven to be an advantageous solution for people’s health and well-being, both physically and mentally. Research shows that the biophilic properties wood can have a positive influence on nerves and reduce stress levels from touch, sight and smell. Volatile substances, or the scent released by wood and essential oils extracted from wood are shown to relieve mental stress and can help soothe some symptoms of respiratory diseases. FII China will continue to advocate for its application in the Chinese healthy building system and construction sector with relevant Chinese partners.

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B.C. communities lead the way with mass timber technology
Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Originally posted by the Government of British Columbia

Thirteen B.C. communities are leading the nation as they adopt innovative and safe mass timber technology for taller wood...More

Originally posted by the Government of British Columbia

Thirteen B.C. communities are leading the nation as they adopt innovative and safe mass timber technology for taller wood buildings that are faster to build, better for the environment and create new jobs and opportunities for forest communities in the province.

“Building with B.C. wood is good for people, communities, our economy and our climate. It will create thousands of jobs, reduce carbon pollution and support forest-dependent communities,” said Premier John Horgan. “These 13 communities will help us get there faster.”

The following communities, and the University of British Columbia, have signed on to become early adopters to bring mass timber technology for buildings up to 12 storeys:

  • City of North Vancouver;
  • Township of Langley;
  • Colwood;
  • Surrey;
  • Abbotsford;
  • Campbell River;
  • Langford;
  • Richmond;
  • Kelowna;
  • Mission;
  • Victoria; and
  • Saanich.

These communities represent 35% of all housing starts in 2018 in B.C.

“The City of Abbotsford is extremely pleased to be an early adopter of mass timber for construction,” said Henry Braun, mayor of Abbotsford. “Abbotsford continues to break records year over year in new construction starts, making increased adoption of mass timber an exciting opportunity for our community.”

A 12-storey mass timber development proposal in Victoria, which also includes affordable homes, will deliver much-needed housing quicker. As the mass timber components are prefabricated off-site and can be put in place quickly, the community will also benefit from reduced traffic to the construction site and reduced noise during construction.

Forest communities throughout B.C. will see economic benefits of increased production from B.C.’s mass timber manufacturers as they develop value-added timber products and revitalize this cornerstone industry. As part of the government’s Wood First Program, this initiative will benefit forest-dependent communities by helping diversify markets for B.C. wood, both at home and abroad.

Abbotsford-based StructureCraft engineers and builds mass timber structures, manufacturing and prefabricating timber products using wood from B.C., including beetle-kill wood. The jobs created through its expanded operations are helping both the local economy and creating opportunities throughout the province.

“We are being approached by developers and architects from all over North America pursuing mass timber for projects that would traditionally be built with steel and concrete,” said Gerald Epp, president, StructureCraft. “And a lot of the wood fibre for this is coming from B.C.”

To be eligible to sign on as early adopters, local governments currently regulated under the BC Building Code need to have:

  • support from their city council and the planning, building and fire departments;
  • Level 3 certified building officials; and
  • land use bylaws for buildings higher than six storeys.

There will be further opportunities for other interested communities to get onboard.

In addition to helping to grow businesses and getting families into homes faster, mass timber construction has a reduced carbon footprint when sourced from sustainably managed forests. This will help government reach its CleanBC goals of reducing carbon emissions.

“As we continue to advance our efforts to dramatically reduce operational greenhouse gas emissions in buildings, industry must simultaneously pursue the next frontier of emissions — those that are embodied in materials,” said Christian Cianfrone, executive director, Zero Emission Building Exchange (ZEBx). “Supporting and learning from early adopters in mass timber construction is one of the most effective tools we have to catalyze embodied emission reductions at scale.”

Creating jobs, acting on climate change and building a sustainable economy are shared priorities with the BC Green Party caucus and are part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Quotes:

Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing —

“These communities throughout B.C. are showing the nation that by seizing opportunities to change how we live and work, we can put B.C. on a cleaner, more sustainable path, while also supporting forest-dependent communities. This is just one more way that our government is supporting local governments, builders, non-profits and community members to use innovative techniques to deliver the homes people need.”

Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development —

“The shift to higher-value wood products, such as the solid or engineered wood used in mass timber buildings, is a positive part of how B.C.’s forestry sector is transitioning. I’m attending the WoodRise Conference in Quebec this month where I’ll be promoting the use of British Columbia’s many value-added wood products in building construction.”                              

Quick Facts:

  • Mass timber buildings are where the primary load-bearing structure is made of solid or engineered wood. They can be one-fifth the weight of comparable concrete buildings, while still meeting performance standards for safety, structural resilience and fire protection.
  • Early adopter communities will provide feedback on changes ahead of the next major code change.
  • The 2020 National Building Code is expected to allow mass timber construction up to 12 storeys. This will be reflected in the next edition of the BC Building Code. The technology has been reviewed by the National Building Code committees as well as by experts, such as fire safety specialists, structural engineers, architects, scientists and builders.
  • The CleanBC plan was developed as a pathway to achieve the Province’s legislated climate targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by the year 2030.
  • The Province’s Wood First Program encourages innovation through value-added wood products, helping to grow local and global markets, while promoting climate-friendly construction and supporting B.C.’s forest-dependent communities.

Learn More:

Learn how changes to the BC Building Code are creating jobs and opportunities in B.C. forest communities: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019PREM0024-000383

CleanBC, B.C.’s roadmap to a cleaner future: https://cleanbc.gov.bc.ca/

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Canada Investing to Grow Markets for B.C. Wood Products
Thursday, July 25, 2019

Originally posted by the Government of Canada

The Government of Canada is investing in Canada’s resources to boost economic competitiveness while protecting our environment. By...More

Originally posted by the Government of Canada

The Government of Canada is investing in Canada’s resources to boost economic competitiveness while protecting our environment. By promoting innovative wood products from sustainably managed forests, Canada is supporting our forestry sector by expanding market access and creating jobs and economic opportunities for Canadians. 

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, today announced a multi-year investment totalling over $24 million in six wood product associations based in British Columbia to help strengthen international demand for Canadian wood products. The federal government’s partnership with industry and the Province of British Columbia in promoting this work is critical to its long-term success.

This investment includes:

  • $16,786,200 for Canada Wood Group in Vancouver — which brings together Canadian wood product associations — to help diversify and expand Canadian forest product exports to traditional and emerging offshore markets. Support will enable market research; assist in the transfer of technology; advance standards that will increase the use of wood in construction; and deliver training in wood design and construction in China, Japan, South Korea, India and Europe. 
     
  • $3,394,709 for Forestry Innovation Investment in Vancouver — British Columbia’s market development agency for forest products — to advance training, education and wood use overseas, specifically in Asian markets such as India, Vietnam and China. 
     
  • $1,925,378 for the Council of Forest Industries in Vancouver — an association that represents British Columbia’s forest industry — to help create business leads to increase the use of wood-frame construction in China, Japan and South Korea, and to reinforce the Canada Wood brand as a “go-to” source for wood construction and manufacturing technology. 
     
  • $944,028 for BC Wood Specialties Group in Langley — a non-profit trade association that represents British Columbia’s value-added wood products manufacturers — to support small and medium-sized companies in their efforts to become export-ready and facilitate business-to-business opportunities for their membership through trade shows and missions.
     
  • $926,360 for the Wood Pellet Association of Canada in Revelstoke — a member-driven organization for wood pellet producers — to advance the interests of domestic wood pellet producers, to help members grow through promoting the uses of wood pellets in Canadian and global markets, and to support market and technical research and encourage fair and open energy trade.
     
  • $33,000 for Western Red Cedar Lumber Association in Vancouver — a non-profit association representing producers of cedar products — to maintain and grow the demand for western red cedar by helping increase its online presence in a number of key international markets.

Government of Canada funding is provided through Natural Resources Canada’s Expanding Market Opportunities (EMO) program, which supports market development for Canada’s forest products industry.

Through Budget 2019, the government committed an additional $64 million over three years, starting in 2020–21, for EMO. This investment will help Canada’s forest sector continue to grow demand for Canadian wood products around the world in both traditional and emerging markets.

Quotes

“We are proud to partner with these Canadian associations who are opening doors for our wood products in international markets. This is a great example of how we are working with industry partners to create jobs and build a more prosperous future for the many Canadian communities that depend on forestry.” 

- The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi 
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources 

“Forestry remains B.C.’s largest manufacturing industry and a cornerstone of regional economies across the province. The federal government’s partnership with the province and industry is instrumental in diversifying markets for B.C.’s forest products and helps ensure the sector continues to be a leading contributor to our economy.”

- The Honourable Bruce Ralston 
BC Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology

“The partnership between the Government of Canada and Canada Wood and our funding partners has resulted in significant positive results leading to the growth of global markets for Canadian forest products. Canada Wood reflects the strength and diversity of the Canadian forest sector through a Team Canada approach that brings together industry in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and B.C. An example of our success is the 27-fold increase in lumber shipments to China, making it Canada’s largest market after the U.S. in less than 15 years. The Government of Canada’s $8.5-million commitment to Canada Wood gives certainty to build on past successes and continue to diversify Canadian forest products and energy-efficient building systems to new markets.”

- Bruce St.John
President, Canada Wood Group

“This partnership between industry and government has been extremely successful as we work together to expand and diversify overseas markets for the high-quality, carbon-friendly wood products manufactured in B.C. The long-term federal funding enables us to cultivate strong relationships with overseas customers while supporting 140,000 forestry-reliant jobs in communities across British Columbia. We look forward to this continued partnership between industry and the governments of Canada and British Columbia.”

- Paul Newman 
Executive Director, Market and Trade, Council of Forest Industries

“The federal government's announcement of funding support for BC Wood's 2019–20 market development activities is welcome news, indeed. Natural Resources Canada's Expanding Market Opportunities program will greatly benefit the many small and medium-sized manufacturers in B.C. as they work to promote high-value products, develop new export markets, grow their businesses and generate new economic benefits and employment opportunities for the province.”

- Greg Stewart 
Chairman, Board of the Directors, BC Wood Specialties Group Association

“The wood pellet industry has grown from almost nothing to 35 million tons a year globally in 25 years. Canadian pellet producers have been part of that astonishing growth from the beginning, exporting our first ship-load of pellets to Sweden in 1998. Today, Canadian pellet companies export around 3 million tons a year, contributing to Canada’s economy, jobs growth at home, forest health and the global roll-out of renewable, on-demand electricity, all while optimizing the beneficial use of waste residuals from the forestry sector. This success story has been strongly supported by the Government of Canada’s Expanding Market Opportunities (EMO) program. EMO has enabled us to be fully engaged in seeking out new customers in our export markets, carrying out market research, developing international quality standards, solving market access issues, demonstrating Canadian forest and wood pellet sustainability and many other areas of export market development. We see ongoing funding as crucial to the future growth of Canada’s share of business in key export markets, particularly those in Asia and Europe.”

- Vaughan Bassett 
President, Wood Pellet Association of Canada 

“Western Red Cedar Lumber Association (WRCLA) participation in the Canada Wood Group through the support of Expanding Market Opportunities program has allowed the high-value western red cedar (WRC) products to maintain visibility amongst a myriad of non-wood substitute products. The collective effort enables the WRCLA to utilize an extensive resource base with the use of advanced technology to reach target audiences and protect share in key offshore markets (as a result, offshore WRC shipments account for 15% of WRC exports by volume but, more importantly, 25% of total shipment value). This value factor is essential, given that the total annual Canadian softwood lumber exports are $10 billion and WRC, while representing less than 4% of volume, accounts for an impressive 12%, or $1.2 billion, of the value shipped in 2016 and 2017. As a result, WRC provides the primary justification to harvest.” 

- Jack Draper 
Managing Director, Western Red Cedar Lumber Association 

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Winners selected in CleanBC Better Buildings competition
Thursday, July 4, 2019

Originally posted by the Government of British Columbia

Eleven building projects have been selected as winners in a juried competition to support the design and construction of...More

Originally posted by the Government of British Columbia

Eleven building projects have been selected as winners in a juried competition to support the design and construction of energy-efficient buildings.

“By using more clean energy and using it more efficiently in our buildings, we’re taking action to improve air quality and reduce energy costs for British Columbians,” said Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “Part of our CleanBC plan, the Net-Zero Energy-Ready Challenge, is showcasing best practices in building design and providing support to leading innovators across the province. Congratulations to all of the final winners.”

The Net-Zero Energy-Ready Challenge (NZERC) is one of many CleanBC programs aimed at making buildings all over the province less polluting, more comfortable and energy-efficient. Net-zero energy-ready buildings are designed and built to be so efficient that they could meet all or most of their own energy consumption requirements with renewable energy technologies.

Since the competition was announced in October, 51 expressions of interest were submitted, naming more than 170 different organizations as proponents, suppliers or partners. In January 2019, 16 of those projects were selected as winners of the design incentive portion of the NZERC. The winners were then asked to submit more detailed applications for the construction incentive portion of the competition.

The $2.5-million program provides up to $390,000 in financial incentives to offset a portion of the cost to build to the highest energy performance standards.

Winners of the NZERC will showcase their winning designs and share design best practices at an open house event to take place later this year.

CleanBC is a pathway to a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future. The Province’s CleanBC plan includes raising standards for new construction and encouraging energy-saving improvements in homes and workplaces.

CleanBC was developed in collaboration with the BC Green Party caucus and supports the commitment in the Confidence and Supply Agreement to implement climate action to meet B.C.’s emission targets.

The final 11 winners of the NZERC Construction Incentive are as follows:

  • Corvette Landing, Esquimalt, Standing Stone Developments
  • The Narrows, Vancouver, 51565 BC Ltd
  • Vanness, Vancouver, Community Land Trust
  • OSO, Golden, Viddora Developments
  • 825 Pacific, Vancouver, Grosvenor Americas
  • UVic Student Housing/Dining, Victoria, University of Victoria\Skeena Residence , Kelowna, UBC Properties Trust
  • SFU Parcel 21, Burnaby, SFU Community Trust
  • 2150 Keith Drive, Vancouver, Bentall Kennedy
  • Peat Commons Phase 2, Langford, Peat Commons Inc.
  • Carrington View – Building A, Kelowna, Highstreet Ventures

Quotes:

George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy –

“Our government is committed to making the buildings people live and work in more comfortable, more affordable and less polluting. The Net-Zero Energy-Ready Challenge is helping drive world-leading innovation and inspiration in the building and design industry that will help us make every new building built in B.C. net-zero energy-ready by 2032 and support good jobs for today and tomorrow.”

Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing –

“Not only are these buildings meeting and exceeding our environmental targets, but many are creating much-needed housing for people throughout the province. We’re also seeing a number of developers using mass timber construction in order to achieve net-zero energy performance, which is why we are also making changes to the B.C. Building Code to encourage more mass timber buildings in B.C.”

Christian Cianfrone, executive director, Zero Emissions Building Exchange –

“The number and diversity of projects pursuing the highest level of the BC Energy Step Code under the Net-Zero Energy Ready Challenge confirms that we have the expertise and solutions to build low-carbon buildings today. We look forward to extracting the lessons learned from these early adopters and further building capacity to accelerate cost-effective solutions for future projects.”

Quick Facts:

  • The Province has set a goal that all new buildings in B.C. must be net-zero energy-ready by 2032. In partnership with industry, utilities and local government stakeholders, the Province developed the BC Energy Step Code as a pathway to reach that goal.
  • The Net-Zero Energy-Ready Challenge is administered by the Integral Group and is funded through the Innovative Clean Energy Fund for $1 million and Forestry Innovation Investment for $200,000, for a total provincial contribution of $1.2 million. Additional funding of more than $1.3 million is provided by Natural Resources Canada.
  • The NZERC program was first launched by the provincial government at a seminar held at the Urban Development Institute on Oct. 10, 2018.

Learn More:

More details about British Columbia’s commitment to better buildings can be found at https://cleanbc.gov.bc.ca/

For more information about NZERC, visit: https://betterbuildingsbc.ca/new-construction/better-buildings-bc-program/

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China recognizes WFC in new Green Building Standard
Thursday, June 6, 2019

Originally posted by Canada Wood Group

Wood Frame Construction Technology (WFC) has officially been recognized for the first time by China’s Green Building Evaluation Standard as...More

Originally posted by Canada Wood Group

Wood Frame Construction Technology (WFC) has officially 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. This is another milestone for WFC in China on the government regulations front after a series of prefabrication policies favourable to wood has been published in the past few years.

The newly revised standard, printed in May and scheduled to be implemented in August 2019, includes WFC as one of the three building solutions along with concrete and steel systems. It awards credits to wood frame solutions for being an innovative construction technology. The new standard introduces the entry Certified Level making it aligned with the LEED certification system and offering more accessible eligibility. This also means that green building standard is likely to be implemented as de-facto compulsory measures in the future.

In 2006, the Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) released its first Evaluation Standard for Green Building, otherwise known as the Three Star System. Different from LEED’s total points rating system, the Chinese system requires that a building must obtain a certain number of points in all rating categories to qualify for a star rating.

Based on the 2006 Evaluation Standard for Green Building, MOHURD further revised the document the standard in 2015, vowing that 30% of all newly constructed buildings will be green by 2020. However, the 2015 revision still did not specify whether WFC was considered a green building solution.

In recent years, unremitting lobbying efforts by Canada Wood China contributed to the official recognition of WFC in a series of policies and industrialized construction standards. MOHURD realized that WFC should also be a part of green building policies and standards, and started working on revising the Three Star System again in 2018, merely three years after its second iteration.

The standard is expected to be revised again in 2020. Canada Wood China will maintain close communications with MOHURD to ensure the inclusion of WFC content in the revised standard.

 

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Government launches initiative to renew B.C.’s Interior forestry industry
Friday, April 5, 2019

Originally posted by the Government of British Columbia

The British Columbia government is launching a regionally driven renewal of the province’s Interior forest industry, aimed...More

Originally posted by the Government of British Columbia

The British Columbia government is launching a regionally driven renewal of the province’s Interior forest industry, aimed at developing a competitive, sustainable future for forest companies, workers and communities.

In announcing the renewal initiative during a speech to the Council of Forest Industries (COFI), Premier John Horgan said he already has written to the chief executives of Interior forest companies, inviting them to lead the process with government and to partner with labour leaders, First Nations and communities to chart a sustainable path forward. While focusing on the entire Interior forest industry, individual strategy discussions will be carried out in each timber supply area (TSA).

“This will be a local process, led by those who are committed to the future of forestry in their regions, and who are willing to do the tough work to create a shared vision of a prosperous, competitive industry,” Premier Horgan said. “We will expect the results to maximize the potential of the existing timber supply, maintain jobs, incorporate First Nations’ interests, and address the economic, cultural, recreational and other uses of B.C.’s land base.”

This renewal strategy comes just months after government launched a similar initiative for the coastal forest industry. But the Interior industry faces its own unique challenges – after years of enhanced cut levels when the pine beetle epidemic was at its peak, the industry is now facing significantly reduced timber supply and record wildfire seasons, as well as lower prices for Western spruce, fir and pine lumber. This initiative will focus specifically on ways to increase value-added production from a reduced wood fibre supply.

“Enhancing competitiveness for our forest industry means shifting some production from high volume to high value,” Premier Horgan said. “It’s a step forward that we all must take if we want a future defined by opportunity and sustainability.”

“This process will empower regions to maintain forest-industry competitiveness within a framework that is locally led and collaboratively driven, leading to a secure future for forest-dependent communities by building, creating and innovating using B.C. wood,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

To help increase market demand for value-added production – and as part of the CleanBC plan to reduce climate pollution – government announced earlier this year that it was changing the building code to allow the construction of wood buildings up to 12 storeys, using fire-resistant engineered wood.

The Premier announced that government is taking the next major step by requiring engineered wood to be used wherever possible for the construction of two major projects: the new Royal BC Museum in Victoria and the new St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.

“This is the beginning of the change our forest industry needs,” Premier Horgan said. “We have committed $20 billion in public infrastructure over the next three years – schools, housing, hospitals and more. I have directed that all these projects consider the use of engineered wood as a primary building material, whenever and wherever possible.”

Where local coalitions and commitments emerge at the TSA level, government will enable a facilitated planning process, provide capacity support to First Nations, and deliver analytical resources to assist local coalitions in developing a vision for industry competitiveness and transition, and community economic stability.

“There’s no question this will be a period of unprecedented change, but British Columbians are ready to meet that challenge,” Premier Horgan said. “People in this industry are proud of where they live and what they do, and our government will work with them every step of the way to make sure they have a secure future in the communities they call home.”

Revitalizing the forest sector is a shared priority with the BC Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Learn More:

Premier John Horgan’s letter to the B.C. Interior forest sector:
https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Premiers_Letter_to_Forest_Industry.pdf

Cumulative percentage of merchantable forest volume killed since 1999:
https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Cumulative_Forest_Killed_by_Pine_Unit_with_Fires.pdf

Mountain pine beetle-affected timber supply areas:
https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/TSA_MPB_AFFECTED_MAP.pdf

Interior harvest in pine beetle affected timber supply areas, 1999-2018:
https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Interior_Harvest_in_MPB_Affected_TSAs.pdf

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B.C. invests $7.9 million to continue advancing wood use and growing global market
Thursday, April 4, 2019

Originally posted by the Government of British Columbia.

To create and support good jobs in British Columbia’s forest sector, government is investing $7.9 million to promote and...More

Originally posted by the Government of British Columbia.

To create and support good jobs in British Columbia’s forest sector, government is investing $7.9 million to promote and grow markets for B.C. wood products at home and abroad.

Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, made the announcement in his opening remarks at the annual Council of Forest Industries conference.

“Advancing new products and markets for B.C.’s world-class wood products supports good jobs in over 140 communities throughout British Columbia,” said Donaldson. “Advancing innovation in wood products and wood technology supports our strategy to maintain B.C. jobs in B.C.’s forest sector.”

Fifteen industry trade associations and research institutes were selected to receive funding and deliver programs that will advance market development or wood innovation programs on behalf of government and industry. Forestry Innovation Investment, the Province’s market development agency for forest products, manages B.C.’s contribution to the selected programs, with additional funding provided by the federal government, through Natural Resources Canada, and B.C. industry.

“This partnership between industry and government is critically important as we work together to expand markets for the high-quality, carbon-friendly wood products that are manufactured in communities throughout B.C.,” said Susan Yurkovich, president and CEO, BC Council of Forest Industries.

A total of $7.9 million will be made available, with $5.8 million committed to activities that work to expand markets for B.C.’s wood products in Asia and North America. The remaining $2.1 million will be delivered through research, marketing, education and capacity building dedicated to the innovative use of wood and wood building systems in B.C.

More than 7,000 businesses in British Columbia are supported by B.C.'s forest sector. Provincial revenue generated through forestry is key to ensuring that public services, such as education, health care, and infrastructure, are delivered throughout the province.

Quick Facts:

In 2018, B.C. exported $14.89 billion in forest products (lumber, pulp and paper and other wood products), which represented 32% of B.C.'s total exports.

B.C. communities are incorporating wood innovation into public buildings, helping lower society’s carbon footprint and deliver value for taxpayers.

Wood products from the Province's sustainably managed forests help tackle climate change by being a renewable building material and a means to store carbon.

B.C. is internationally recognized as a centre of excellence for wood building and design expertise, and B.C.’s architects and engineers are recognized as global experts in taller and larger wood construction.

As of 2017, wood has over 90% market share in five- and six-storey, mid-rise residential buildings in the province. For low-rise commercial buildings such as stores, restaurants and office buildings, as well as public institutional buildings, wood has over 30% of the market share.

Learn More:

For a comprehensive information resource featuring the facts and science about wood species, sustainable forests, product manufacturing and building innovations in British Columbia, visit: naturallywood.com

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Code changes create jobs, opportunities in B.C. forest communities
Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Original news release posted by the Government of B.C. on March 13, 2019

Forest communities will see more jobs and opportunity from B.C.’s proactive adoption of building code...More

Original news release posted by the Government of B.C. on March 13, 2019

Forest communities will see more jobs and opportunity from B.C.’s proactive adoption of building code changes that allow the safe construction of taller wood buildings.

“Companies like Structurlam are leading the way with innovative engineered wood products that create jobs in the forest sector and opportunity for people in communities throughout B.C.,” said Premier John Horgan. “Changes to the national building code that allow for taller wood buildings take effect next year, but we’re not waiting to get started. Our government is ready to work with communities to build safe, secure and green tall wood buildings that will create jobs, grow B.C.’s value-added sector and realize our low-carbon future.”

Eligible local governments throughout B.C. are invited to become early adopters of mass-timber technology for construction of buildings up to 12 storeys, up from the current allowance of six storeys.

A mass timber building is one where the primary load-bearing structure is made of either solid or engineered wood. Encapsulated mass timber is where the mass timber components are surrounded by fire-resistant materials like drywall.

“Mass timber technology allows faster construction where large sections of a building can be manufactured in a plant and then assembled on site,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “The faster we can deliver the homes that people need, the better for communities right across B.C.”

Mass timber buildings can be one-fifth the weight of comparable concrete buildings, while still meeting performance standards for safety, structural resilience and fire protection. Studies have shown the environmental benefits of using mass timber. The estimated carbon benefit from the wood used in the Brock Commons building was equivalent to taking 511 cars off the road for a year. The development of innovative and cost-effective low-carbon building solutions — like construction using mass timber technology — supports government’s CleanBC goal of making every building more efficient, while creating more jobs and economic opportunities for people, businesses and communities.

The federal 2020 National Building Code is expected to allow mass timber construction up to 12 storeys, and will be reflected in the next edition of the BC Building Code. The technology has been reviewed by the National Building Code committees, as well as by experts such as fire safety specialists, structural engineers, architects, scientists and builders.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing staff will contact local governments with a request for expressions of interest and detailing the next steps for any local governments interested in this voluntary program.

Creating jobs, acting on climate change and building a sustainable economy are shared priorities with the BC Green Party caucus and are part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement. 

Quotes:

Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development —

“Today’s announcement acts directly on my mandate letter commitment to expand B.C.’s innovative wood-products sector and will help create more jobs and new markets for B.C. wood products.”

Hardy Wentzel, chief executive officer, Structurlam —

"Structurlam is proud to be a leader in the North American mass timber industry. We're thrilled to be providing a sustainable and innovative construction solution and setting the bar for quality in an industry that is reshaping skylines. The building code changes announced at our flagship Structurlam facility in Penticton today will further support our ability to fuel the economy and create jobs through mass timber.”

Lynn Embury-Williams, executive director, Canadian Wood Council/Wood WORKS! BC —

“Wood WORKS! BC is proud to support the Government of B.C. as it moves forward and provides early opportunities for municipalities to build taller and faster, using wood. We look forward to assisting those municipalities and project teams requiring information and support to move ahead with this exciting opportunity.”

Gord Ditchburn, president, B.C. Professional Fire Fighters Association (BCPFFA) —

“B.C. firefighters are pleased to welcome the great potential that mass engineered timber construction will bring to our province. We support a building code process that balances the efficiencies and progress of industry with the needs of public safety and first responders. Wise decision-making means having everyone at the table and the BCPFFA has appreciated being involved. Including firefighter safety as an objective of the 2020 National Building Code is imperative to maintaining this balance.”

Quick Facts:

  • Any local government currently regulated under the BC Building Code is eligible, provided:
    • there is city council support for the initiative;
    • the planning, building and fire departments are supportive of participating in the process;
    • the lead building official holds a Level 3 Certification from the Building Officials’ Association of BC; and
    • the jurisdiction’s land-use bylaws support buildings greater than six storeys in height.
  • B.C. has obtained permission from the National Research Council to use the encapsulated mass-timber construction provisions from the 2020 National Building Code through a jurisdiction-specific regulation.
  • Mass timber buildings meet or exceed performance standards for safety, structural resilience and fire protection.
  • Other benefits to using mass timber construction include reduced traffic to a site, reduced waste and reduced noise during construction.
  • British Columbia is already home to Brock Commons at the University of British Columbia, which was the world’s tallest mass-timber building when it opened in 2017, and the Wood Innovation Design Centre in Prince George.
  • Compared to other materials, wood is a more environmentally friendly option, potentially reducing the carbon footprint in construction when sourced from sustainably managed forests.
  • The CleanBC plan was developed as a pathway to achieve the Province’s legislated climate targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by the year 2030.
  • The Province’s Wood First Program encourages innovation through value-added wood products, helping to grow local and global markets, while promoting climate-friendly construction and supporting B.C.’s forest-dependent communities.
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Strengthening markets for B.C. forest products
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Celebrating another year focused on growing and strengthening markets for B.C. forest products, the 2017/18 Year in Review reports on progress made towards growing and strengthening...More

Celebrating another year focused on growing and strengthening markets for B.C. forest products, the 2017/18 Year in Review reports on progress made towards growing and strengthening markets for B.C. forest products.

Highlighting many of the forest sector market development activities that we are involved in around the world, it also draws attention to the achievements of FII, as well as Canada Wood and our many program and association partners in the U.S., China, Japan, South Korea and India. The report also speaks to progress being made in advancing innovation in the use of wood here at home, and efforts to position wood as a preferred, environmentally responsible, low carbon building solution.

This report is an important reminder of the partnerships that are crucial to our market development programs at home and abroad. The contributions and support by the Canadian Government—particularly Natural Resources Canada and Global Affairs Canada—as well as the forest industry, trade associations and research institutions, are instrumental in these accomplishments.

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Wood Innovates BC drives innovation in wood design, building and manufacturing
Thursday, April 12, 2018

This one-stop platform, hosted by naturally:wood, profiles the latest B.C. expertise, wood design resources, events and workshops, to encourage exchange on technological developments,...More

This one-stop platform, hosted by naturally:wood, profiles the latest B.C. expertise, wood design resources, events and workshops, to encourage exchange on technological developments, research, building and manufacturing efficiencies and innovations. The latest trends and topics surrounding the advancement of wood use are featured in addition to a project gallery, case studies, mass timber technical guides, a directory of local suppliers and upcoming events.

Explore Wood Innovates BC

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