Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 11:05 EDT

Forest products industry set to be bigger player in global construction

February 14, 2013

MONTRÉAL, Feb. 14, 2013 /CNW/ – Canada’s forest products industry can
uniquely respond to emerging trends in the global construction industry
by offering new customized wood products and pre-fabricated solutions
of the highest environmental quality. If the industry takes up the
challenge, it could gain a larger slice of the estimated $8 trillion a
year global construction market that is growing at 8% a year.

The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and its partners at
FPInnovations undertook the Construction Value Pathways initiative to
explore opportunities for forest products companies to diversify,
transform and add value beyond their traditional markets and products.

“Our study identifies different ways that Canada’s mills can work
directly with builders and architects to devise new innovative products
and approaches that are environmentally attractive.” says David
Lindsay, the President and CEO of FPAC. “This will help the Canadian
forest products industry reach our Vision2020 goal of generating
another $20 billion in economic activity through new products and
markets by the end of the decade.”

“This is a time of significant change in the construction industry.”
says Jonathan Westeinde, founder of Windmill Development Group and
external project lead on the initiative. “Urbanization and
intensification are driving a higher demand for multi-residential units
globally. There is an increasing trend to retrofit and renovate
existing homes and buildings in mature Western markets where growth is
slowing. The skilled labour shortage and desire for green building
solutions are also changing the landscape.  This study suggests that we
can set our sights on working closely with the construction industry
and be a world leader in a wide range of building systems.”

Reinventing, redeveloping and re-engineering the forest products supply
chain will allow for the production of emerging wood-based products and
systems that can equal or surpass the performance of other construction
materials. This includes multi-functional panels, next generation
engineered wood products, fibre-based insulation with structural
properties, and pre-fabricated solutions for non-residential

“The Construction Value Pathways report provides considerable
opportunity to diversify and transform an important sector of the
Canadian forest industry”, stated Pierre Lapointe, President and CEO of
FPInnovations. “Supported by science-based innovation, changes to codes
and standards and the development of new materials and fully integrated
systems will position the industry to become a world leader in the
fields of multi-family residential and tall wooden buildings.”

FPAC is calling on federal and provincial governments to revamp building
codes to allow wood buildings up to six storeys by 2015 and 30 storeys
by 2020 right across Canada.

FPAC provides a voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, and paper producers
nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental
affairs. The $57-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2%
of Canada’s GDP and is one of Canada’s largest employers operating in
hundreds of communities and providing 230,000 direct jobs across the


Source: PR Newswire