Will this billion-dollar startup unlock the future of sustainable buildings?

Curbed

Patrick Sisson

Katerra’s new high-tech Washington factory utilizes AI in bid to build smarter and faster

The new factory that Katerra, a billion-dollar construction startup, officially opened last Friday in Spokane Valley, Washington, represents a tech company betting on a future of more automated, sustainable construction.

That’s evident from the way a simple board of lumber enters the factory.

At Katerra’s new $150 million CLT, or cross-laminated timber, plant, the largest such facility in North America, the raw material enters through a sorting machine that utilizes artificial intelligence to measure and evaluate every single piece of wood. An algorithm then matches up boards, based on where some may have knots or other irregularities, to turn them into walls or flooring panels, making sure that nothing is wasted and the resulting product is perfectly pressed. There’s even an on-site kiln to achieve the precise moisture needed for each finished product.

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