VANCOUVER – Senior Chinese housing and urban-rural development officials are meeting with their Canadian counterparts in Vancouver this week to discuss how B.C. wood-frame construction can help solve China’s housing and building needs, Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Minister Pat Bell announced today.

Through a joint working committee, B.C. will share its expertise in wood-frame building design, advanced wood technologies and the environmental benefits of building with wood, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficiency.

China is interested in expanding wood-frame construction to meet its national goals of reducing carbon emissions in new housing projects through greater energy efficiency and more use of sustainable building materials, such as wood.

Reflecting the importance of this relationship to China, Qiu Bao Xing, Vice Minister of the Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, is attending the meeting. This is his first visit to Canada.

China is now B.C.’s second-largest foreign market for wood products after the United States. In the first two months of 2011, China accounted for more than 28 per cent of all wood exports, continuing the pattern of sales doubling every year.

For the past five years, B.C. and the provincial forest sector, with the support of the Canadian government, have been aggressively marketing B.C. wood products to China. Activities have included demonstration buildings, trade missions, technology transfer and training, and the Canada-B.C. Wenchuan Earthquake Reconstruction Projects to help rebuild public facilities destroyed in the May 2008 earthquake.

To demonstrate the benefits of wood-frame construction in China, B.C. and Canada are currently co-sponsoring construction of two apartment buildings in Tianjin, one of China’s leading regions for green building and economic development.  The project is designed to show Chinese officials how Canadian building technology can be applied to meet China’s targets for energy-efficient building construction with a low carbon footprint. The buildings are expected to open in the fall.

Read the official news release.