Those buying steel in Houston, TX were recently shocked to hear of a movement in Canada encouraging builders to utilize the country’s lumber supplies. The “Wood First” initiative is backed by British Columbia’s Ministry of Jobs and aims to boost sales for a sluggish forestry industry. The local government in B.C. passed Bill 9, the Wood First Act, that requires all provincially-funded buildings to be constructed primarily of wood. They even formed the Wood Enterprise Coalition, a group whose sole purpose is to ensure builders are favoring wood construction over other types.
However, the initiative itself isn’t the most shocking part about this news to buyers of steel in Houston, TX. The scary thing about the “Wood First” initiative is a government’s ability to favor one industrial sector over another, according to the Coalition for Fair Construction Practices. According to this group, the Canadian government openly decided that backing the forestry and lumber industries in favor of creating immediate jobs was far more important than protecting the needs of the concrete and steel construction industries. This could eventually cause irreversible harm to businesses within these two sectors, costing Canadian residents jobs and income.
Of course, this whole saga has led to retaliation campaigns by the Canadian steel and concrete construction industries. Firms and organizations have placed scathing advertisements and opinion pieces in trade newspapers across the country, each accusing “Wood First” backers of tainting the workforce and striving for a collapse of all non-forestry related construction sectors. There have been countless seminars, speeches, and meetings by firm CEO’s discussing the Canadian government’s blatant favoring of the lumber industry.
But, how does all of this affect the American steel construction industry? Could this happen in the United States?
While anything is possible, it is a bit more unlikely. Steel buildings are a rapidly growing trend in the United States and Texas. From giant skyscrapers to custom homes, many property owners are opting for the safety and strength of steel. Some insurance companies are even offering lowered premiums on buildings constructed of steel. Simply put, consumers want alternatives to lumber and there is no government initiative in our country that will change their minds otherwise. Steel in Houston, TX is here to stay.
In fact, it is quite safe to say that the American steel construction industry isn’t going anywhere soon. Buyers of steel in Houston, TX will still find supplies available to them from steel suppliers in Houston to meet the needs of their construction and/or industrial projects.