Political support is needed for the further development of wood construction
In Canada, the regulations concerning wood construction will be amended by 2020 to allow for wooden apartment buildings with up to 12 storeys. “Even though the regulations have not been changed yet, we have already built wooden high-rises under special permission. The technology, materials and expertise are already there.
“With the market for cost-effective construction growing, I think that industrial prefabrication and mass production based on industrial prefabrication will cause prices to decrease quite rapidly. The same applies to the single-family housing market, where mass production of wooden elements can be combined with a customer-focused approach.”
According to Green, political support for wood construction continues to be important. “Political support is necessary in all countries, as new materials require research and development and must also be taken into account in regulations and training. When the wood construction sector develops further and its operating environment becomes more stable, it will not need the same kind of political support as in its early stages.
“Politicians are currently interested in wood construction because of its positive climate effects. The focus has shifted from favourable employment and local economic effects to ecological factors and climate change all around the world, except for the United States, where climate change is not taken seriously.”
According to Green, private construction investors have also taken an interest in wood construction in Canada. “These investors are interested in premium-quality buildings. With large companies knowing the level of housing required by their tenants, there is a market for beautifully designed, high-quality wooden buildings in North America.
“In terms of wood construction technologies and competitive bidding processes, North America is clearly lagging behind Europe. Canadians are exporting wood construction designs and materials. I wish we could be offered European wood construction solutions in return. This would be good in terms of healthy competition and functional markets.”