Trade mission to China puts spotlight on Canadian forest industry technology

Future of carbon-negative wood mid-rise buildings in China subject of MOU

MONTREAL, QC, Nov. 18, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 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.

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.

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.


Pierre Lapointe, President and CEO of FPInnovations:

"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."

Statement from the Shanghai Research Institute of Building Sciences Group:

"The project is challenging and meaningful. We believe that through innovative research and careful implementation, not only can we build the first low-carbon multi-storey timber building in China that shows how healthy and comfortable wood structures can be, but also form an international and leading technological system for 'green' wood buildings. We're thrilled about the up-coming collaboration with Quebec companies. We hope that we can offer a new showcase of sustainability at an industrialized scale for China's building industry."

Raefer Wallis, Founder, GIGABASE:

"This project is extremely significant for Shanghai and Quebec, as well as China and Canada. It helps accelerate international exchange of know-how on carbon management and ways to reverse climate change, for which Quebec is a world leading expert. It helps bring wood back into Chinese construction, where it served as the primary means of construction for thousands of years, only to be removed by the building code a few decades ago. It brings large-scale solutions that are adapted to the size of projects in China. It helps catalyze an economy for a living, renewable resource in both countries. We're proud to be bringing these world leading experts together for such a significant project."

Normand Hudon, Associate Architect, Coarchitecture:

"Coarchitecture is proud to be part of this exciting demonstration project for which innovation is one of the main objectives. We sincerely hope that this team effort with the SRIBS to help China lower its carbon footprint will be fruitful."

Alain Boulet, Manager, Wood Construction, QWEB:

"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. 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."


SHANGHAI RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF BUILDING SCIENCES GROUP is a state-owned enterprise that will serve as the chief architect, engineer and design institute to oversee the construction management of the planned building. Apart from being the building's owner and operator, it will be responsible for the research of relevant Canadian standards, methods and technologies and their adaptation to China.
GIGABASE is a Montreal-based company that will serve as the facilitator between the parties and will work with SRIBS on green metrics research, from the documentation of carbon, water, air and chemical footprints of building materials to the calculation of the building's total impact.
QWEB is a founding partner of Canada Wood and a not-for-profit organization showcasing wood products from Quebec in export markets. It will connect Quebec-based manufacturers with related products and interest to participate in the project.
Coarchitecture is a Quebec company that will provide technical support on the design of tall wood structures and green building strategies.


  • Midply Wall Construction System Chosen for Japan's Largest Wooden Building -
  • FPInnovations Welcomes New Federal Support for Forest Industry and Launch of Guide for Construction of Tall Wood Buildings -
  • The Construction of Taller Wood Buildings in Quebec – Ready to Reach New Heights -

About FPInnovations

FPInnovations is a not-for-profit world-leading R &D institute that specializes in the creation of scientific solutions in support of the Canadian forest sector's global competitiveness and responds to the priority needs of its industry members and government partners. It is ideally positioned to perform research, innovate, and deliver state-of-the-art solutions for every area of the sector's value chain, from forest operations to consumer and industrial products. FPInnovations' staff numbers more than 525. Its R &D laboratories are located in Québec City, Ottawa, Montréal, Thunder Bay, Hinton and Vancouver, and it has technology transfer offices across Canada. For more information about FPInnovations, visit:

Photo caption:

Standing (L-R): Jacques Daoust, Quebec's Minister of Economy, Innovation and Exports; Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard
Seated (L-R): Zhang Yanping, Director,SRIBS; Pierre Lapointe, President and CEO of FPInnovations; Raefer Wallis, Founder, GIGABASE; Alain Boulet, Manager, Wood Construction, QWEB; Normand Hudon, Associate Architect, Coarchitecture

A photo accompanying this release is available at:

FPInnovations MoU SRIBS

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