On January 26, 2018 representatives from the Province of B.C. including the Honorable Bruce Ralston (Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology) and George Chow (Minister of State for Trade), visited the Gapyeong Canada Village development project in South Korea. Organized by the Province’s partners in market development, Canada Wood Korea, delegates toured the project to understand how Canadian wood products are helping meet Korean demand for healthy housing built with sustainable forest products.

The Canada Village (Daljeon Rural Housing Complex Project) is the largest wood-frame housing development in South Korea and the first joint venture between public and private enterprises in housing development. Covering 60,000 m2 of land in Daljeon-ri, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi Province, Korea’s most populous province, the development project is a joint venture between Gyeonggi Urban Innovation Corporation (GICO) as the developer and Dreamsite Korea (DSK) as the general contractor.

The project’s 154 units include 115 single-family homes, 26 duplexes and town houses, and 13 mixed-use units. All the homes were constructed using Canadian SPF lumber and with technical support from the Canada Wood Group, a government-industry collaborative backed by the Government of Canada and the Canadian Province of British Columbia. Canada Wood works with builders, developers, engineers and architects in Korea to promote the many benefits of building with high quality, sustainable forest products from Canada.

In addition to the technical support provided through Canada Wood, the Canada Village development also benefited from a donation of SPF lumber from the Province of Alberta in Canada, which was used to help construct a community centre, renamed Maple Hall as a symbol of ongoing partnership between Korea and Canada. GICO is also planning to plant more than 100 maple trees in a surrounding park, aptly named, Maple Park.

"The Government of British Columbia congratulates GICO and Dreamsite Korea on the successful completion of Phase I of the Canada Village project. B.C. and its forest industry support energy-efficient, high-quality wood-frame projects because they are an important component of housing strategies that conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We look forward to continued collaboration with GICO and Dreamsite Korea in completing the next two phases of the project.– Honourable Bruce Ralston, B.C. Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology

To demonstrate the energy efficiency of wood buildings, several of the units use semi-passive housing technology. Each house features highly insulated building designs and triple glazed windows to greatly reduce the amount of heating oil required as compared to a typical home in Korea.

To ensure the project’s success, GICO and DSK signed a formal memorandum of understanding in 2013 with the Canada Wood Group to provide both technical support for design and construction and quality assurance through building inspections. In 2017, the project won the grand prize, the Minster of Land, Infrastructure and Transport’s Award for small- and low-rise housing as part of the 21st Good Apartment Design Contest.

The project met another major milestone in July, 2017 when the Energy Efficient Exporters Alliance (EEEA), GICO and DSK signed a memorandum of understanding related to technical, training and marketing support for the construction of thirteen Super-E® and Net-Zero Energy houses to be built in the community. Homes built to the Super E standard are energy efficient, control for moisture content, provide high quality indoor air, and are built with environmentally preferable materials. The first two demonstration houses were successfully completed and certified as Super E® Houses in December 2017, with extensive technical support and quality assurance inspections provided by the EEEA and its consultants.

Canada Village demonstrates how the wood-frame building system can help Korea provide affordable, energy efficient homes, and the role that sustainable forest products from Canada can play in the development of healthy, environmentally friendly building solutions. 

"Demand is shifting from high-rise apartments in the heart of the city to low-rise, low-density housing in the suburbs, forming a slow but irreversible trend. The knowhow we acquired through the development of ‘Bukhangang Dongyeonjae’ in Gapyeong will bloom as derivative projects across the country. Thanks to the technical cooperation and support we have received from Canada Wood, these Super E houses show double the energy efficiency in comparison to regular apartments. And the completion of these two Super E Houses, in combination with the experiences gained from construction of 50 houses in Phase 1, marks the turning point for dramatically improving the energy efficiency of single family houses." – GICO CEO, Yong Hak Kim

"The Government of British Columbia and the Canadian forest industry recognize the efforts of the developer and the builder to provide energy efficient homes in the Korean residential market. We’re particularly proud to have worked with both organizations through Canada Wood Korea and to have Canadian wood used for the project. Canada Village stands as a symbol of the trust that the GICO and DSK have placed in the grade rules and quality standards for wood products sourced from Canada, and we hope the project can serve as a model for similar projects in the future." – Honourable George Chow, B.C. Minister of State for Trade

"The two Super E Houses are the first Super E spec houses for sale in Korea; the homes cost between 15 % and 30% more to build to meet Super E and Net Zero houses compared with houses that are built to code. This is against the considerable energy cost-savings that a Super E home can deliver to the owner. We will be making the energy efficacy data from the two houses available to the public so that home buyers can decide which option they prefer." – DSK CEO, Kwang Hoon Lee