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Trade mission to China boosts Canadian tech

Nov. 18, 2014, Montreal –The Canadian forest industry is poised to benefit from a trade mission to China that added momentum to a strategic push to promote Canadian technology and forest products companies.

FPInnovations and three other Quebec-based organizations have signed a memorandum of understanding to participate in a feasibility study for the construction of a six-storey wood-frame building and a 12- to 15-storey research and testing tower out of wood or hybrid systems, to be built in Shanghai, China.

The MOU was signed on October 26 in Shanghai with China’s Shanghai Research Institute of Building Sciences Group (SRIBS) and Quebec-based companies FPInnovations, GIGABASE, Quebec Wood Export Bureau (QWEB), and Coarchitecture.

“Thanks to years of intensive multidisciplinary research, FPInnovations has the innovative know-how in building tall with wood, which resulted in innovative wood construction systems such as the Midply Shear Wall System, and novel products like the Technical Guide for the Design and Construction of Tall Wood Buildings in Canada, the Cross-laminated Timber Handbook, and the Guide for Designing Energy-Efficient Building Enclosures,” said Pierre Lapointe, President and CEO of FPInnovations.

FPInnovations will provide scientific and technical support on the design of medium to tall wood structures and application of the Quebec building code in China. FPInnovations has been leading the way in providing better understanding and knowledge related to the performance of wooden and hybrid structural components and systems under various loads and environmental conditions.

The accord was signed during the weeklong trade mission that started on October 25, led by the premiers of Quebec, Ontario and Prince Edward Island. Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard was present at the signing, along with Quebec’s Minister of Economy, Innovation and Exports, Jacques Daoust.

The planned building is envisioned to be designed and constructed to be carbon neutral, aiming towards carbon negativity. The feasibility study aims to analyze the strategies to achieve this goal. The building will be constructed on the SRIBS campus in Xinzhuang, a town located in Shanghai’s Minhang District.

“The Canadian wood industry is at the crossroad of a new market trend where we will see more and more value added wood products being sold in China,” said Alain Boulet, Manager, Wood Construction, QWEB. “A six-storey wood frame building project in Shanghai will open doors for the main markets of China’s residential five- to six-storey buildings, which represents the biggest share of the residential market. The use of wood frame structures will also allow China to reduce their environmental footprint for future housing developments. QWEB is honored to be part of this project that will not only help China reduce its environmental footprint but will also have a positive impact on the Canadian wood industry.”

FPInnovations has been active in China for the past decade, with its Advanced Building Systems group significantly contributing to the development of the Chinese Timber Structural Design Building Code in 2004. It also has a long history of collaborating with partner university networks in Canada and overseas, including China’s Nanjing Forestry University, Tongji University and the Chinese Academy of Forestry.

FPInnovations’ international collaboration on research, codes and standards and participation on technical committees help the Canadian industry maintain markets and develop new ones for Canadian wood products by ensuring that building standards are consistent with Canadian products and building approaches, as well as promoting the use of Canadian-designed wood construction systems in world markets.

November 19, 2014  By  Andrew Macklin

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