SEOUL - B.C. wood-frame construction took centre stage in South Korea today, with the official opening of the GICO Community Centre.
Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson cut the ribbon for the project, which is the centrepiece of a 141-unit wood-frame housing complex in Daljeon-Ri, a community 65 kilometres east of Seoul.
The GICO community centre demonstrates to South Korean political and business leaders the many benefits of building with wood, including sustainability, environmentally friendly building practices and energy efficiency. The community centre is being named “Canadian Maple Hall” in honour of the Canadian contribution to the project.
The event was the highlight of a busy day meeting with prominent Korean business and political leaders to promote B.C. wood products on the final day of the 2014 Forestry Asia Trade Mission. Thomson was also a keynote speaker at a green building seminar in Seoul, where he highlighted the many positives of wood-frame construction. Wood in-fill wall construction has particularly strong potential in the South Korean market, especially for mid- to high-rise apartment and office buildings.
The day began with Thomson joining other dignitaries at a wreath-laying ceremony at the Gapyeong Canada Monument. The monument honours the sacrifice and bravery of Canadian soldiers during the Korean War, particularly at the pivotal 1951 Battle of Gapyeong.
Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations -
“B.C.’s growing business relationship with Korea makes it a fitting place to wrap up the 2014 Forestry Asia Trade Mission. The community centre at the Gapyeong Project showcases the opportunities that exist for B.C. wood and wood-building technology in Korea.”
The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario -
“We are deeply honoured by Korea’s decision to name the new GICO community centre the ‘Canadian Maple Hall.’ Collaborating with the Republic of Korea in building the centre allows Canada to demonstrate the energy-efficient qualities of our wood-frame construction methods. Korea is currently the fourth-largest offshore market for our nation’s forest sector, and projects such as this one help to further strengthen the economic ties between our two countries.”
- South Korea is B.C.’s fifth-largest market for wood products. The recent Canada-Korea free trade agreements will eliminate tariffs on lumber by the end of 2017.
- The Gapyeong Daljeon Rural Housing Project is located in Gyeonggi Province, which is an official “sister-province” to British Columbia.
- The full 141-unit housing complex is scheduled to be completed by December 2015.
- GICO is a provincial public corporation that manages land, housing and new city developments for Gyeonggi Province and is the second-largest such corporation in South Korea.
- Gyeonggi, which surrounds the City of Seoul, is South Korea’s most populous province and home to about 20 million people.
Photos from the 2014 Forestry Asia Trade Mission are online at: http://ow.ly/CrS0Z
Follow the trade mission on Twitter @BCJobsPlan: https://twitter.com/BCJobsPlan #TM2014
BC Jobs Plan: www.bcjobsplan.ca
Building our Natural Advantage: Forest Sector Strategy for British Columbia: www.for.gov.bc.ca/mof/forestsectorstrategy/
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations