A few comments and suggestions that may be of interest to industry…
The first few months of the calendar year proved to be extremely busy for the US program with our participation in the IBS show in Las Vegas which was immediately followed by the BIA Hawaii. While I admit there could be worse places to be in January than Vegas and Hawaii, having both events back to back provided a number of logistical and time challenges. The good news is that if you use these events as a barometer of market conditions in the US construction sector, then one could conclude that the market south of the border is finally getting better.
As discussed in the last edition of the Wood Connections, the IBS show has an impressive attendance, topping the 60,000 mark for the first time in five years. The same could be said for the Building Industry Hawaii (BIA Hawaii) trade event. While this regional event is small, interest and participation from the building community from across the Hawaiian Islands was strong. In fact, attendance at this years’ show was 20% higher than last year and up 45% over the past three years. Builders and other buyers who came by the booths were optimistic that market conditions were on the upswing and many were starting projects in the residential and light commercial construction sectors.
The Hawaiian market continues to be a prime location for BC grown softwood species including Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar (WRC), and Yellow Cedar. This was evidenced by a site visit to a new development on the Big Island of Hawaii. This project is a high-end residential development of 40 plus homes anchored by a private beach club and golf course. More impressive than the view was the use of WRC and Douglas Fir in the construction of the residences and commercial buildings. WRC is featured extensively in the project including WRC shingles in the roof, 12’’clear board and baton exterior siding, and VG WRC interior panelling; the project was a showcase for the species. The architect specified WRC in part due to the unique colour and weather resistance properties of the wood. Where structural timbers were needed, Douglas Fir was specified and is prominently featured in the golf club house and beach club buildings. See images below.
This project is expected to last for the next four to six years. There is an opportunity for BC Wood members to supply materials and finished products for this project. In fact, with improving market conditions being experienced across the US construction sector, there remains excellent potential for the BC Industry to develop and grow market share through participation in trade events such as IBS and BIA Hawaii.
For more information on these events or other opportunities in the US market, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com
By Daryl Holmes
BC Wood recently led a group of members on a market development mission to Turkey which included participation at TurkeyBuild in the capital city of Ankara. Product sectors represented included Log Home and Timber frame, Prebuilt Housing, and Remanufactured Lumber Products.
In the Turkish construction materials sector, wood products have approximately 20% market share with consumption mainly in private up-scale villas and some high end commercial resort style development. The consumption of wood in major residential housing projects and light commercial projects is low when compared to concrete and steel (for structure) or PVC (for windows/doors), however, as with most markets in the Eastern European area, the demand for wood is on the rise. Both private and public sectors in Turkey are engaged in a shift (albeit a slow shift) towards a growth in the use of wood products. Industry professionals and consumers alike have a keen interest in wood as a construction material, as was evident during the show in Ankara. The earthquake in 1999 has drawn attention to the importance of timber in construction, however; with the economic impact of the global meltdown, progress has been slow in the area of conveying the attributes of wood and educating key decision makers as to the benefits of using wood in construction. There is without a doubt, an increase in construction taking place right now in Turkey as residents look to build homes on the outskirts of some of the major cities. Accordingly, a select group of builders, developers, and importers are currently involved in projects outside of the main city centres which are being built with wood. During our stay in Turkey, we were able to make contact with many of these industry professionals and discuss opportunities for BC products.
The show itself was very busy, which in the current global market place was encouraging for the members. Although the Ankara show is a more of a regional show (with the main construction show being held in Istanbul in May), it drew attendees from all over Turkey and some surrounding countries. Numerous Architects, Engineers, Builders and Designers engaged in discussions with the BC exhibitors. The outcome of those interactions predominantly showcased the demand and desire for wood, while also highlighting the lack of distribution of products within the Turkish marketplace. In a jointly hosted event with the Turkish Timber Association, members were also able to showcase their products to key importers and building materials distributors located in and around the construction hub of Istanbul. Response from these professionals was again encouraging, as products including Western Red Cedar, Prebuilt Housing, and Log Homes proved to be of high interest for regions all across Turkey, including the coastal regions of the Black Sea.
Where do the sales prospects lie?
A clear demand for wood products exists within the Turkish marketplace. Much of the wood imported into Turkey is from surrounding markets of Russia, Ukraine, and Scandinavia. The key to accessing this demand for BC companies is securing partnership with local wood importers and distributors of other building materials. This process will take some time and investment by BC Wood members and this show in Ankara was a positive step in the right direction. Turkish building professionals are starved of opportunity to partner with Canadian companies and they are motivated to establish relationships with producers of high quality wood products. As with all new and emerging markets, finding the right partner is crucial in gaining market penetration. Turkey’s current growth is expected to continue well into the next ten years and those members who continue to put time and effort into the Turkey market will be rewarded with sales and long term partnerships.
What is the market looking for?
WRC Lumber, WRC Shake and Shingles, Hand Crafted Log Homes, MDF, Plywood, Yellow Cedar, Hemlock, Douglas Fir, and Prebuilt Homes.
How do I access these opportunities?
BC Wood will distribute the show leads via the online Wood Supply Network. For more detailed market information contact firstname.lastname@example.org more
Dan Mclean and Tanya Foster are second year Recreation, Fish and Wildlife students at Castlegar’s Selkirk College.
In the Kootenays, we live in a very lush, forested valley. Most don’t think too much about what makes up that forest, the many different types of trees. Some are quite common like the trembling aspen and Douglas fir and others quite rare like the yellow cedar. Although rare locally, it’s actually quite common on the West Coast and is an ecologically, economically, and culturally important tree. The yellow cedar has great significance for NW native peoples, dating back at least 3,000 years. They made canoes, paddles, masks out of the wood, clothing, hats, blankets, from the inner bark, and roofing material from the outer bark. Even roots were used to make baskets and cradles. It seems like nothing went to waste. They identified this tree as ‘the tree of life.’
Yellow cedar has experience a dramatic decline in Alaska and British Columbia but not due to insect or disease. The yellow cedar decline has coincided with the beginning of the current climatic warming after the 1850’s. It would appear that this tree is particularly vulnerable to climate change. This is a species that evolved when snow cover was more consistent and early snow provided an insulating blanket for their roots before winter temperatures plummeted. Global warming seems to have produced winters in some areas with less snow and therefore little to no blanket for the roots.
To learn more about Yellow Cedar, click hereread more