Catalyst: Katerra’s latest building, designed with Michael Green, aims for both zero energy and zero carbon

Catalyst Building

By Joann Gonchar, Architectural Record


“Quiet” is how the Vancouver-based architect Michael Green describes his recently completed Catalyst building, in Spokane. Because it was largely designed before Eastern Washington University signed on as the anchor tenant, relocating several academic programs there, Catalyst would need to be “aesthetically and programmatically neutral,” says Green. Organized as two wings flanking a central atrium, the five-story mass timber structure has a logical structural grid, open floor plates, and regularly spaced punched windows, he elaborates . . .

Designed and built primarily by the construction-tech startup Katerra—it acquired Green’s firm, Michael Green Architecture (MGA), in 2018—the building uses more than 5,000 cubic yards of locally sourced mass timber products. Among these components are the first cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels to be produced by Katerra’s own factory, opened in nearby Spokane Valley last year.

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