China’s Low Carbon Era, Carbon Peak Goals, and GLT
China has a long history of structural timber innovation and architecture. It is evident in archaeological discoveries of ancient palaces, and in the preserved remains of traditional Chinese gardens, temples, and residences.
The use of timber in China was interrupted in the late 20th Century to replenish domestic forests. Consistent effort to grow forest stock over the years means that the country is now on track to reach a forest stock volume of 19 billion cubic meters by the end of 2025, according to Xinhua. It is part of China’s 14th Five-Year Plan, covering the years 2021-2025, for the protection and development of forests and grasslands.
Forest development is part of China's efforts to fulfill its commitment to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, according to Xinhua. Government policy in China is focused on long-term energy saving, environmentally friendly, sustainable development.
Support is emerging for modern timber construction from industry associations, research institutes, universities, and government agencies. Furthermore, GLT is included in GB 50005 Standard for design of timber structures, issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of PRC.
Unlike the past, the timber used today is GLT made with softwood from sustainably managed forests in Europe and Canada (timber that is FSC-certified or PEFC-certified). There is a growing number of reference projects, such as the Tianfu International Conference Center in Chengdu, which features circa 4,000 m³ of GLT. It was designed by Tanghua Architect & Associates. Other examples of buildings featuring GLT are located in Tianjin, Shandong, and Yangzhou.