Born in Canada, Made in India!

Forestry Innovation Consulting India, better known as Canadian Wood, is rekindling interest in wooden architecture in India and supporting furniture manufacturers with knowhow

A single-storey resort-style WFC house displayed at IndiaWood 2020 used SPF in structural framework, including stud walls, floor joists and roof members. The house was embellished with furniture made using Western Hemlock and Douglas-Fir, both Canadian wood species known for their looks, properties and workability.

India has a rich history of architecture with wood. Its heritage is adorned with several awe-inspiring examples of wooden architecture that integrated the use of this natural material in the design and built in the most innovative styles.

These time-tested creations have withstood diverse climatic conditions and are a testimony to the sheer resilience of wood as a building material over several centuries. The different construction methodologies of these structures adopted by regions to suit varied conditions and local needs are worth noting.

Building with wood is quicker than conventional materials. It is also an eco-friendly material, thus making it not only good for the environment, but also for the health of the occupants.

Over time, the art of designing and building with wood was lost due to many factors, including excessive deforestation. But many present-day architects and designers, real estate developers and hospitality industry professionals in India are rediscovering wood for its beauty, benefits and ease of working.

FII India

“It is interesting and heartening to see that architects, developers and the hospitality industry are increasingly looking at building country homes, farmhouses and resorts with wood, in addition to emphasis on the use of wood in re-man applications,” says Mr Pranesh Chhibber, Country Director, Forestry Innovation Consulting India Pvt. Ltd. (FII India), better known as Canadian Wood.

“It is this trend that encourages us at Canadian Wood to increase our efforts directed at sharing of best practices, organising seminars, and training workshops for our stakeholders.”

All these activities focus on manufacturers and contractors to be able to execute such projects with local skill and expertise, thereby making them commercially viable, he says.

FII India is a crown agency of the government of B.C., mandated to promote B.C. forest products in offshore markets. Established in 2013, it is actively engaged in educating the wood industry about Canadian wood species through various initiatives, including sharing of best practices in re-man and structural applications of the species.

Canadian wood products are legally sourced certified wood. They are seasoned, sized, and graded, making it almost ready-to-use lumber for the woodworking industry in India.

The first ever project in India supported by Canadian Wood using curved Douglas-Fir glulam beams, designed in India and made in Canada. It has come up on the campus of CEPT University, Ahmedabad. While the arches were the focal point, the workshop also featured extensive use of Douglas-Fir, Western Hemlock, and Yellow Cedar in a range of re-man applications inside the workshop.

 

Technical competence

The team at Canadian Wood is a well-qualified group of professionals. For structural applications, Canadian Wood extends technical support by suggesting appropriate species and grades most suitable to the type of construction chosen or preferred.

These include tongue-and-groove (T&G), wood frame construction (WFC), posts-and-beams, or even hybrid method – use of wood in tandem with local stones or bricks.

Canadian Wood also assists the woodworking industry in India by providing technical support and suggesting appropriate species and their grades for a variety of re-man applications such as indoor and outdoor furniture, doors and door frames, windows and window frames.

In addition, these experts also guide Indian manufacturers in interior applications such as panelling, handrails and balustrades. Canadian Wood also extends support on other outdoor applications such as cladding, decking, pergolas, gazebos, and even saunas.

Sustainable source

Ease of access to certified wood from the Canadian province of British Columbia (B.C.), harvested from sustainably managed forests, presents the woodworking industry in India with an opportunity to make an eco-conscious choice that also resonates with end users, both for structural and re-man applications.

Few places on earth can truly match the diversity of Canada’s vast forests and long-term source of supply of wood to fibre-deficit countries such as India. Canada is home to roughly 10% of the world’s total forest cover and zero deforestation for well over two decades.

In particular, British Columbia is home to 40 tree species and 14 bio-geo-climatic zones. Also, only 10% of the world’s forests are certified, whereas Canada has 37% of the world’s forest certification.

Canada has 170 million hectares of forests certified to at least one of the two internationally recognised certification programmes: the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).

From planting forests to harvesting and manufacturing lumber products, the forest sector in B.C. is a sophisticated and interconnected network involving sustainable forest management and wood processing.

As one of the largest producers of softwood in the world, B.C. Canada’s lumber products are used in a wide range of applications around the world, showcasing their aesthetic and versatile qualities that include strength and durability.

This tongue-and-groove cottage was recently displayed at IndiaWood 2020 and assembled on site in less than 12 hours. The double T&G construction was advised for enhanced durability. The cottage also showcased doors and door frames in Yellow Cedar, a species of Canadian wood known to withstand natural elements very well and being resistant to termites and decay.

 

Made in India

Canadian wood species have been successfully employed by the best of manufacturers within the woodworking industry in India across a range of applications. Canadian Wood provides basic technical support and hand holding on projects and also arranges technical expertise on fee to pay basis.  

“Under the new normal during Covid-19 days, we have stepped in with informative webinars to continue work with our target audience and stakeholders,” says Chhibber.

“We are proud to share here some of those projects undertaken in recent times, including the two-resort style houses displayed at the IndiaWood trade show earlier this year in March 2020,” he adds.

Canadian Wood worked very closely with leading  manufacturers in the re-man industry such as Artius Interior Products and EvoWood (Gurugram), MAS Furniture (Mysuru), Bramola Furniture (Faridabad) and Bram Woodcrafting Studio (Mysuru) on doors, windows, door and window frames, and indoor and outdoor furniture displayed inside and outside these demo houses.

“My best wishes to architects and designers, builder and developers, and manufacturer and contractors, who are working with wood. I assure them of our whole-hearted support,” Chhibber signs off.

To know more about Canadian wood species and its extensive applications, visit www.canadianwood.in.

 

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