Printer-friendly version   




For Immediate Release
Nov. 2, 2010

Ministry of Forests, Mines and Lands
Natural Resources Canada





TIANJIN, CHINA – A groundbreaking ceremony for a mid-rise, wood-frame residential building in Tianjin marks northern China’s growing interest in Canadian wood-frame technology, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, and Pat Bell, B.C. Minister of Forests, Mines and Lands announced today. 


            The groundbreaking celebrates the signing of an agreement with the Tianjin Economic Development Area (TEDA) to collaborate on three projects that will include wood-frame systems in multi-level buildings. Located about 160 kilometres southeast of Beijing, the first project will be a 5,000-square-metre, five-storey residential building.


“China recognizes that building with wood can play a major role in its commitment to conserve energy and reduce carbon emissions,” said Minister Paradis. “Canada continues to develop new markets for wood products in China and to promote the use of Canadian construction techniques in building design.”


“This groundbreaking is one of the most significant developments since we started our China marketing effort seven years ago,” said Bell. “The four- to six-storey building segment makes up about 70 per cent of housing construction, and if we can tap into this market it will change the landscape for the B.C. lumber industry.


“Today’s agreement with the Tianjin Economic Development Group is the direct result of the Joint Working Committee we established this past March with the Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development. The B.C. delegation looks forward to our ongoing collaboration and strengthening this very important relationship.”


The Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) signed an agreement with the Government of Canada and Province of British Columbia in March 2010 to work together to promote wood-frame building technology in China. MOHURD selected the TEDA Group to build the Tianjin project. 


While the specific details are yet to be finalized, the three buildings will proceed largely on a commercial basis, which means TEDA will supply the land and cover the bulk of the construction costs. Canada and British Columbia’s contribution – worth about 15 per cent of total costs – will consist of design support, lumber materials, and quality assurance during construction.


Two office buildings will also be constructed, one roughly 4,000 square metres in size and the other roughly 1,200 square metres. Canada and British Columbia will provide quality assurance and training only.


The Tianjin Economic Development Area is a 2,300-square-kilometre zone near Beijing that is rapidly emerging as the leading region for green building and urban design. TEDA is one of China’s most advanced development zones, serving as a portal to northern China and as a hub for major international firms, research and development, high-tech manufacturing and logistics. 


Bell attended the groundbreaking ceremony while on a trade mission to China. Thirty senior executives and leaders from the forest sector are accompanying Bell to promote Canadian and B.C. lumber products and building systems.


Photos from the B.C. forestry trade mission to China are available at:




Media Contacts:

Cheekwan Ho

Public Affairs Officer

Ministry of Forests, Mines and Lands

250 387-8482

Richard Walker

Director of Communications

Office of the Minister

Natural Resources Canada


613 996-2007


For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province’s news feeds using RSS, visit the Province’s website at