A delegation from China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) visited Tacoma, Washington-based APA-The Engineered Wood Association and toured wood-framed building projects in Seattle on September 11, 2017. The delegation, led by Director General Yu Binyang, was the highest level foreign government group to visit APA in recent years. In addition to APA, the trade visit was hosted by the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Lab (FPL), located in Madison, Wisc. Representatives from the City of Bellevue, Wash. Planning and Development Department and U.S. Embassy Agricultural Trade Office in Beijing were also present.
The visit comes as China begins to formulate the nation’s timber structure construction development plan as part of the 13th Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development. In a meeting held at APA headquarters in Tacoma, Director General Yu Binyang and other MOHURD representatives discussed opportunities and challenges around building with wood in China. Considerations included the importance of sustainability, green building, codes and standards, and further development of trade relations with the U.S.
“We were very pleased to host this Ministerial delegation from the People’s Republic of China,” said APA President, Edward Elias. “The caliber of this mission, in both the quality of participants and content, demonstrates the effectiveness of APA’s efforts to expand the interests of the North American wood products industry within this key Asian market.”
The delegation toured APA’s 42,000-square-foot research center and observed a full-scale glued laminated timber (glulam) bending test, wood structural panel shear wall cyclic load test, and a cross-laminated timber (CLT) shear strength test. They also toured a wood-framed podium building currently in the framing phases of construction in Seattle, Wash., and the Bullitt Center, also in Seattle. The Bullitt Center is a net zero energy green building that was constructed in 2013.
In addition to providing design recommendations and product support in the U.S. and Canada, APA and its member manufacturers work with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service to promote the export and use of engineered wood products in international markets.