About CWC




The Canadian Wood Development Council was founded in 1959 as a federation of 18 eastern and western forest product associations.  At that time, the purpose of the Council was “to join in the U.S. National Wood Promotion Council for publicity, advertising and information distribution, to establish better liaison with U.S. counterparts, and to expand the markets for wood through representation on various building code and specification committees and by supplying technical information”.

In 1965, the association’s name was changed to the Canadian Wood Council and shortly thereafter the objectives of the CWC were reoriented to emphasize technology rather than promotion – with increased focus on education and communication.


The Canadian Wood Council represents the Canadian wood products industry through a national federation of associations.


The CWC’s vision is to be passionate, credible agents of change leading an advanced and sustainable wood culture.


The Mission of the Council is to expand market access and increase demand for Canadian wood products through excellence in codes, standards, regulations and education.

The Council produces technical information about wood products and communicates it to the construction and academic communities to ensure knowledge is transferred and target audiences are educated about wood as a superior building product.



CWC provides technical and knowledge transfer services relating to Building Codes, Standards and Regulations. Without these services, the wood products industry would be vulnerable to a long-term, non-recoverable loss of market share. In the end, CWC’s focus is on increasing the use of wood products in construction.


The Construction Industry is regulated through Building Codes which are informed by:

  • Design standards that provide information on “how to” build with wood,
  • Product standards that define the characteristics of the wood products that can be used in design standards, and
  • Test standards that set out the methodology for establishing a wood product’s characteristics

CWC is active in a technical capacity in all areas of the Regulatory System. This includes:

BUILDING CODES – CWC participates extensively in the development process of the Building Codes in Canada. CWC is a member of both National and Provincial Building Code Committees. These Committees are balanced and representation is limited to about 25 members on each Committee. Competing interests (i.e. steel and concrete) sit on the same Committees. This is an arena where CWC can win or lose ground for members’ products.
DESIGN STANDARDS – Each producer of structural materials develops engineering design standards that provide information on how to use their products in buildings. CWC holds the Secretariat for Canada’s wood design standard (CSA O86 “Engineering Design in Wood”), providing both technical expertise and administrative support for its development. CWC is also a member of the American Wood Council (AWC) committee that is responsible for the U.S. National Design Specification for wood design.


PRODUCT STANDARDS – CWC is involved in the development of Canadian, U.S. and international standards for its wood building product producers.
TEST STANDARDS – CWC is involved in developing Canadian, U.S. and international test standards in areas that affect wood products, such as fire performance.




It is not good enough just to have a regulatory system in place. The technical information also has to get into the hands of builders, architects and engineers: the people who will specify wood. A core role of the CWC is to act as the conduit for the transfer of knowledge.  CWC does this by:

  • Providing essential technical tools and field support needed to design with wood. This includes the development and distribution of technical manuals, web tools, design software and the operation of a HelpDesk.
  • Operating a construction sector education program, with market partners, under the name of Cecobois in Quebec and Wood WORKS! in the rest of Canada.
  • Publishing a Wood Design & Building magazine, and various awards programs and events.

CWC augments the wood industry’s financial contribution through business such as Wood WORKS!

The Wood WORKS! program plays a very important role in broadening wood’s use in construction by working closely with the building community and governments for wood’s broader use.


CWC maintains close ties with members, potential members, companies and design professionals and provides these groups with a forum for discussion on issues of importance.