Canada has long been a leader in the wood building industry, so Asian countries often look to the Great White North to learn more about it.
That is why 20 South Korean architects, buildings and designers were in Kelowna last month to check out Innocept’s St. Paul project, which is under construction at the corner of St. Paul Street and Clement Avenue. It is a six-storey, wood-frame building.
The group was visiting B.C. as part of Canada Wood Group’s Wood WORKS! program, which supports a wood culture by connecting individuals, sharing best practices and celebrating innovative successes.
“Our project was right at the particular moment where we’re still kind of a skeleton from the inside, so they were able to examine and look at how Canada … puts together our mass wood frame structures,” Innocept associate development and marketing manager Justin Pasutto said.
“They went through and asked a bunch of questions and took some photos of all the wood and how things were framed. It’s different materials over here. It’s a different program.”
American Plywood Association’s Canadian representative Scott Anderson, who is based in Japan, was also part of the tour, which was co-ordinated through Kelowna’s Oscar Faoro, a project leader with Canada Wood Group.
A translator was on hand to bridge the communication gap during the two-hour tour of the six-storey project, which is slated to open early next year.
“(South Korea) is starting to slowly get into this style of multi-family and single-family homes with a wood frame, but a lot of it is concrete and brick,” Pasutto said. “So we are, in some ways, kind of leading the charge for wood-frame design when it comes to multi-family buildings.
“We as developers like these opportunities. We obviously love building a product that we would live in in downtown Kelowna, but it’s nice when this kind of stuff happens. You get to network, you get to meet new people … international committees.”
There are only seven units that have yet to be sold in St. Paul, which will feature 50 condominiums and four townhouses. The townhouses have all been sold.
“We must be doing something right if there are 20 South Koreans, through this initiative, that are coming to look at cool stuff and they see our building and come knock on our door and see if they can get a tour,” Pasutto said.
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