Monday, February 09, 2009

Good News for B.C. Wood Producers


BEIJING – The Shanghai government has formally approved a B.C.-designed roofing system as part of a plan to renovate 10,000 city apartment buildings in the lead-up to the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, Forests and Range Minister Pat Bell, and Ida Chong, Minister of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development, announced today.

“Shanghai officials have recognized that building with wood is cost-effective, energy-efficient, and good for the environment,” Bell said. “With this approval, B.C. wood producers now have access to a market for as many as 10,000 new roofs over the next two years.”

The approval applies to a wood truss roofing system designed by Chinese officials in collaboration with B.C. Forestry Innovation Investment, the Province’s international marketing agency for B.C. forest products, provided engineering assistance, access to B.C. lumber, and demonstration sites donated by B.C.

“China represents the greatest growth opportunity for B.C. forest products of any market around the world,” said Chong, who is Minister responsible for the Province’s Asia-Pacific Initiative. “And with government and industry working together, we’re quickly establishing B.C. as the leading supplier of high-quality lumber and wood products.”

In the first nine months of 2008, exports of B.C. wood products to China were more than for all of 2007 and were valued at more than $166 million.

The Shanghai Light Wood Roof System Cost Quota is a guideline for government-funded construction projects aimed at levelling the playing field in the tendering process. It establishes the price for labour, some materials and also sets timelines for construction with different construction materials. The system is designed to work in lock step with the Wood Truss Standard Drawing Manual, due to be issued later this month.

For the past five years, the Province and forest sector, along with the federal Canada Wood Export Program, have targeted China as a major growth market for forest products. The renovation market, in particular, has been identified as having high growth potential due to a deteriorating infrastructure of apartment buildings and medium-rise housing.

Several wood-frame public buildings are being built as part of the Wenchuan earthquake reconstruction program funded with $8 million contributed by Canada and British Columbia. Through the earthquake project, Chinese officials in the central part of the country are learning more about the benefits of wood-frame construction and Canadian advanced wood technology.


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