Katerra Opens State-of-the-Art Mass Timber Factory in Spokane Valley, WA
Katerra, a technology company redefining the construction industry, today announced the grand opening of North America’s highest volume cross-laminated timber (“CLT”) factory. Located in Spokane Valley, Wash., the 270,000-square-foot-facility will significantly increase supplies of CLT, a fully renewable structural building material that sequesters carbon for a building’s life and can be used in place of steel and concrete in buildings up to 18 stories.
CLT is a pre-fabricated, engineered wood panel with unique and often superior building, aesthetic, environmental, and cost attributes. As a transformative structural building product, CLT allows for more efficient, factory built, and sustainable approaches to design and construction.
“This is just one example of how we can create jobs, transition to a cleaner economy and build new infrastructure with a lower carbon footprint through innovation,” Governor Jay Inslee said. “Like we lead in so many other ways, Washington will now lead the nation in the manufacture of cross-laminated timber for buildings. This is a leap forward for sustainable construction and job creation in our state.”
“Cross-laminated timber is a triple-win that can deliver low-carbon building materials, promote forest health, and create new timber community jobs,” said U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA). “I’m excited to be part of opening the largest CLT facility in North America and to promote Washington state’s leadership in these promising new building technologies. This building approach is relatively new for North America, and Spokane is helping to pioneer it. Congratulations and thank you to Katerra for investing in our state and our future.”
Katerra’s state-of-the-art CLT facility reflects the company’s technology-first approach, incorporating advanced geometric and biometric scanning of lamstock, an on-site kiln for precise moisture control and artificial intelligence to further improve safety and reduce waste. Katerra has deployed these innovations to result in a consistent, high-quality product. Katerra’s factory also features the largest CLT press currently in operation globally, offering customers unmatched design flexibility.
“CLT perfectly embodies Katerra’s guiding principles for product development – it is technologically advanced, sustainable, and offers meaningful cost and time reductions,” said Michael Marks, CEO and co-founder of Katerra. “We have invested in creating the largest capacity CLT factory in North America because we believe deeply in the potential of CLT and want to see this great material advance to the mainstream.”
Katerra’s new CLT factory occupies 29 acres with easy access to rail lines and interstate highways. At full operation, the factory will employ 105 people with an annual manufacturing capacity to provide thousands of apartments, student housing units, and more than 11 million square feet of floors and roofs.
“We are so excited to see Katerra’s investment and innovation come to our state, which could not have happened at a better time,” Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz said. “Mass timber complements the Department of Natural Resources’ forest health work in central and eastern Washington, which will produce byproducts like small diameter trees that can be used to make CLT and create jobs in rural, timber-dependent communities.”
About Cross-Laminated Timber (“CLT”)
Though introduced to the European market about 30 years ago, CLT is only now being rapidly adopted in North America. This expansion in usage is creating opportunities for developers, designers, and builders to create sophisticated, attractive structures that are affordable and easily assembled. Here are some advantages to building with CLT:
– High Performance and Cost-Competitive: CLT is perfect for manufacture and assembly, enabling faster construction with less on-site labor. CLT’s strength, lightweight nature, and dimensional stability offer performance, schedule, and constructability advantages over steel or concrete. Katerra’s CLT product line is cost-competitive with concrete and steel, and when efficiently designed, more affordable than other building material options.
– Climate-Friendly and Sustainable: Katerra only sources lamstock from small-diameter logs certified by independent, non-profit organizations that promote sustainable forest management. When sourced responsibly from well-managed forests, wood is an excellent low-carbon alternative and an essential component of a sustainable future.
– Covered by Building Codes and Fire-Resistant: In 2018, the International Code Council (“ICC”) adopted tall wood building codes for up to 18 stories. CLT is a safe, inherently fire-resistant material which has undergone comprehensive review and fire-performance testing.
Washington’s First CLT Office Building
The first project constructed with CLT panels from the new Katerra factory is the Catalyst building, located in Spokane, Washington’s booming University District. The 159,000 square-foot office building will be the first CLT commercial building in Washington. Built as a partnership between McKinstry, Avista, Katerra, Michael Green Architecture and Eastern Washington University, Catalyst will open in time to host Eastern Washington University classes in Fall 2020.
“Katerra’s CLT product adds unquestionable beauty to Catalyst while also delivering engineering and cost benefits that are essential to meeting the building’s zero-energy and zero-carbon goals,” said McKinstry CEO Dean Allen. “McKinstry is excited to work alongside Katerra on Catalyst and looks forward to many more innovative CLT projects in the future.”
B-roll and images of Katerra’s CLT Factory can be found at https://katerra.box.com/v/katerracltfactory.
Katerra is a technology company optimizing every aspect of building design, materials supply, and construction. The company develops and delivers sustainable, scalable, and economically viable building solutions that ramp industry productivity, drastically reduce the carbon footprint of construction, and provide relief for housing shortage and affordability. With leaders from the most groundbreaking technology, design, manufacturing, and construction companies, Katerra transforms how buildings and spaces come to life. Founded in 2015, Katerra has a growing number of domestic and international offices, factories, and building projects.
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Source: Katerra, Inc.