Katerra Celebrates Mass Timber Factory Opening

On September 20th Katerra welcomed guests to tour our new Spokane Valley cross-laminated timber (CLT) factory. Katerra CEO Michael Marks welcomed over 150 guests, including elected officials WA Governor, Jay Inslee, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, WA Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, and Traci Couture, District Director for Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

“CLT perfectly embodies Katerra’s guiding principles for product development – it is technologically advanced, sustainable, and offers meaningful cost and time reductions.”

Michael Marks, CEO and co-founder of Katerra

The Spokane Valley CLT factory opening marks a milestone for North American CLT production. At full capacity, the factory will produce the highest volume of CLT in North America–185,000m3 or the equivalent to 13,000,000ft2 of 5-ply panels annually on a 2-shift, 5-days a week operation. The factory also represents the largest CLT press currently in operation globally, offering customers unmatched design flexibility. The factory, which began limited production this summer, will employ 105 people.

“Cross-laminated timber is a triple-win that can deliver low-carbon building materials, promote forest health, and create new timber community jobs.”

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

“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

Tours were also given at the nearby Catalyst Building, the first project to receive CLT from Katerra’s new factory. Located in Spokane, Washington’s booming University District, it will be the first commercial CLT building in Washington as well as the first net-zero energy building in the Inland Northwest.

Built as a partnership between McKinstry, Avista, Katerra, Michael Green Architecture, and Eastern Washington University, the five-story, 159,000-square-foot building will open in time to host Eastern Washington University classes in Fall 2020.

About CLT
Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) is a large format prefabricated, engineered wood panel with unique and often superior building, aesthetic, environmental, and cost attributes. CLT wood panels are made by pressing perpendicular layers of lumber together with a layer of formaldehyde-free adhesive, which accounts for less than 1% of the volume of the product. The composite action of orthogonal wood layers is what gives CLT biaxial strength, durability, and dimensional stability. CLT can serve as a system-based approach for floors, walls, and roofs to form a high-performance, sustainable, and beautiful mass timber building of virtually any type.

Sourcing & Sustainability
As part of our sustainability commitment, all lamstock is Stewardship Forestry Initiative (SFI)- or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)-certified. Katerra can source FSC-certified forest products as desired by customers.

We source Spruce-Pine-Fir lamstock from Canadian sawmills that purchase logs from sustainability managed forests in inland British Columbia and parts of Alberta, and our Canadian sawmill partners source wood primarily through long-term replaceable tenure agreements on publicly owned lands.  These sawmills source 2×6 lumber from small diameter logs with an average log diameter of 7.5”-11” for Katerra’s CLT.

We are evaluating additional species groups for CLT product certification, which would allow us to source lamstock from sawmills closer to our factory.

Boards are sorted in various sizes. Katerra only sources lamstock from small-diameter logs certified by organizations that promote sustainable forest management.
Katerra employees examine the pneumatic press while air is deployed.

CLT and Katerra
Katerra is committed to ensuring that CLT will become the backbone for future generations of high-performance, low-carbon buildings. As a versatile building block that allows for more efficient, factory-built, and sustainable approaches, CLT is changing the way we design, manufacture, and build. 

Mass timber is ideally suited for Katerra’s manufacturing model because it allows for the formation of large format panels and high-volume factory output. Our goal for Katerra CLT is to develop a world-class advanced building material — and to make it more affordable and widely available than ever before. 

Katerra CLT is available for Katerra-built as well as third-party projects. For sales inquiries or additional information, reach out to [email protected].

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