To further expand opportunities for B.C. forest products within the Vietnam market, Forestry Innovation Investment (FII) Vietnam collaborated with Bac Hung–one of the largest local producers of high-end saunas.
Looking for a material that was well suited to Vietnam’s luxury hotel and resort sector, the FII Vietnam team introduced Bac Hung to multiple grades of western red cedar (WRC) and western hemlock for trial.
The outcomes of the trials were highly favourable, with Bac Hung finding many benefits to both WRC and western hemlock, especially in comparison to the species the company was using previously. WRC proved to be particularly suited to use within saunas, with its resistance to warping under heat and humidity, pleasant aroma and ability to heat up and cool down quickly. WRC is also highly resistant to decay and comes in a variety of aesthetically appealing hues, making it attractive to the high-end resort segment. Western hemlock also proved to have good insulating properties, is non-resinous, has a beautiful light color and appearance, and is cost-effective for sauna construction due to its strength and density.
Following the success of the trials, Bac Hung placed orders for WRC shipments from Canada, as well as domestic orders for western hemlock coming from local stockists. Moving forward, FII Vietnam will continue to provide technical and marketing support to Bac Hung to ensure momentum continues for the use of B.C. softwoods within Vietnam’s growing sauna manufacturing sector.