China pushes to increase wood construction

China is committed to increasing the use of wood in future construction, as set out in a directive signed by China’s Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, Chen Zhenggao. This is the first time that China has issued a directive to increase wood construction, and it represents a major breakthrough for the technique in the world’s largest construction market. The directive states that the use of wood is to be increased in contexts such as rooftop extensions, curtain walls, tourist facilities, schools, hospitals and other official buildings.

China’s decision is welcomed by Jan Söderlind, International Director at Swedish Wood and Chairman of European Wood:

“This official support for growth in wood construction in China is great news. The decision will have a significant positive impact on the Chinese wood market, although the effects may not be immediately visible.”

“The decision is based on a growing environmental awareness in China. The country faces considerable challenges in the environmental field, something that China’s government is well aware of. Wood is a renewable construction material that can help to reduce their impact on the climate,” says Jan Söderlind.

European Wood, a European collaboration within the sawmilling industry, has worked closely with the Chinese planning authorities to pass on information about norms and standards for modern wood construction. This work has been running since 2005, and has involved study visits, committee work and demonstration projects.

These standards and regulations are now in place, putting China in a strong position to invest in wood construction. Jan Söderlind is confident that this decision will have a highly positive effect on the European sawmill industry and European wood exports over the longer term.

The Chinese authorities are now working on a detailed plan that will include tax incentives and financial instruments to promote a rise in wood construction. An expert committee will be appointed and tasked with assessing, monitoring and taking decisions on key projects within wood construction, including demonstration projects in various forms. New codes and standards will also be drawn up to facilitate the industrialisation of wood components in buildings.

For more information:
Jan Söderlind, International Director, Swedish Wood and Chairman European Wood
+46 70 211 04 22

Press contact:
Camilla Carlsson, Communications Manager, Swedish Wood
+46 72 702 79 65

European Wood
European Wood is mandated by the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois) to represent the European sawmill industry on regulatory issues, codes and standards, in order to support the development of building with wood (BWW) in Asia, mainly China. European Wood was formed in 2004 and consists of wood organisations in Europe.

Swedish Wood
Swedish Wood spreads knowledge, provides inspiration and encourages development relating to wood, wood products and wood construction. The goal is to increase the use of wood in Sweden and in selected international markets through information and inspiration. Swedish Wood also aims to highlight wood as a competitive, eco-friendly and sustainable material.

Swedish Wood is a department within The Swedish Forest Industries Federation (the organisation for Swedish pulp, paper and woodworking industries, Swedish Wood is supported by the Swedish sawmill and glulam industries.

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