B.C. trade mission members today travelled southwest of Beijing to see how the neighbouring province of Hebei has embraced lumber to become one of China's leading jurisdictions in wood-frame construction.
Hebei is one of the first to start using B.C. lumber to manufacture its own wood products for building and housing construction. Three truss plants have opened around Hebei in the past five months, including one in Shijiazhuang that can produce trusses for 400 apartment buildings per year.
Hebei's next major wood project is a Building Science Research Centre for the provincial Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development. The centre's dormitory, auditorium and lobby will feature 3,600 square metres of wood-frame construction set to begin next month.
Before touring the research centre construction site, B.C. Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Minister Pat Bell renewed acquaintances with Vice-Governor Enhua Song to discuss other collaborative projects to further promote wood-frame construction in Hebei.
University of British Columbia representatives also signed an agreement that will see UBC and Hebei share research on wood product applications and engineering.
- With a population of about 9.4 million, Shijiazhuang is the capital and largest city in the Province of Hebei.
- Hebei has a population of 70 million people and a provincial GDP of over $240 billion per year - the sixth-largest in China.
- As a result of the relationship with Vice Governor Song, between 20 to 30 commercial projects in Hebei are using wood-frame construction.
About the future research centre
- The dormitory in the Building Science Research Centre will be four storeys - three floors of wood built on top of one concrete storey. The auditorium and lobby will both be two storeys - one wood on top of one concrete.
About the truss plant
- The Shijiazhuang truss plant is a joint venture between Perfect Homes of Beijing and a Shijiazhuang-based general contractor.
- An eight-hour shift at the Shijiazhuang truss plant can produce wood roof trusses for 400 homes per year. That is enough lumber to cover 20,000 square metres of roof area.
- Hebei's first truss plant opened in November in 2010 in Lang Fang, the second in December 2010 in Shijiazhuang and the third recently started to roll in Xingtai.
- Shijiazhuang began using B.C. wood products to renovate apartment buildings in 2009, with a two-phase, re-roofing project that involved 50 roofs in the first phase and another 100 roofs in the second stage.
- Photos of March 2011 trade mission to China:
- Concept drawing of Hebei provincial research centre:
- Video and photos from November 2010 Lang Fang truss plant opening ceremony: