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 principles 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.