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For Immediate Release
Nov. 6, 2010

Ministry of Forests, Mines and Lands
Natural Resources Canada





CHENGDU, SICHUAN, CHINA – Construction of a three-storey, wood-frame building with retail shops on the ground floor and primary school classrooms on the upper two floors, signals the growing acceptance of Canadian wood frame technology across China, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, and Pat Bell, B.C. Minister of Forests, Mines and Lands announced today.


The 800 square-metre “Market Street” project is being built by Beijing New Building Materials, one of the largest providers of building materials in China, using Canadian building technology and B.C. wood products. The project in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, is scheduled for completion in April 2011.


“China is the fastest growing export market for Canadian wood products but most of these sales have been in coastal regions, such as Shanghai,” said Minister Paradis. “Promoting our wood products in other parts of the country will create new customers and generate more consistent, long-term demand.”


“Market Street is particularly significant because it is a project where the developer saw the commercial potential for wood-frame construction in a sector that doesn’t build with wood,” said Bell. “And it is a bonus that the building is in central China – an obvious growth area for B.C. forest companies that are quickly establishing themselves in coastal and northern China.”


The three-storey layout is typical of the mixed-use buildings in many Chinese cities. It is designed to show local developers and businesses that hybrid, wood-frame buildings are structurally sound, cost competitive with concrete, brick and steel construction, and energy efficient.


“Introducing wood-frame construction into China’s mid-rise commercial sector is a game-changer for our industry because their current level of construction activity is twice that of Canada and the U.S. combined,” said Bell.


Canada’s contribution to the Market Street project is $250,000, which includes design support, quality assurance and B.C. lumber materials. China will provide the land, the builder, non-lumber construction materials and all supporting infrastructure to the site.



The Chengdu project is the final phase of the Wenchuan reconstruction program announced in 2008 by Canada and B.C. to support reconstruction following a devastating earthquake. The $8-million program has used wood-frame building systems to rebuild two schools and is currently building an elderly care centre.


Bell commented at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Market Street project. Bell is on a trade mission to China with 30 senior executives and leaders from the forest sector to promote Canadian and B.C. lumber products and building systems.


Beijing New Building Materials is also building a wood-frame building in Beijing as part of a separate agreement with Canada and B.C.


Canada, the Province of British Columbia, and forest industry trade associations have been jointly marketing lumber products and technology in China together for the past seven years. Canada is now the largest supplier of softwood lumber to China, having surpassed Russia in the first quarter of 2010. China is now B.C.’s largest and fastest-growing offshore market for wood by volume.


Photos from the Market Street groundbreaking ceremony and the B.C. forestry trade mission to China are available at:






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



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