Going Vertical: Katerra Cross-Laminated Timber Factory Update
**Update—July 2019—first Katerra CLT panels installed at Catalyst building job site**
At Katerra, we believe that mass timber products - specifically Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) - will fundamentally change the way we design, manufacture, and build. We also believe that CLT will become the backbone for future generations of high-performance, low carbon buildings.
Katerra’s goal is to develop world-class advanced building materials and systems, while making them both more widely available and higher quality than ever before. As an integrated, end-to-end building services provider, Katerra is one of the few companies working with CLT comprehensively, spanning R&D, design, sourcing, codes and standards development, manufacturing, and construction.
Our most significant investment in mass timber to date is the advent of our premier CLT factory in Spokane Valley, WA. The new 270,000 square-foot manufacturing facility will not only give an unprecedented opportunity to provide a quality product at high volume in a region embracing wood building; it will also allow Katerra to scale the production of mass timber in the U.S. so the material can be adopted more broadly across the construction industry as a whole.
The factory occupies 29 acres of a prime 52-acre site in Spokane Valley, WA, with access to rail lines and interstate highways – located ideally for the west coast market, from LA to Vancouver, BC.
We are optimizing core manufacturing processes in order to develop quality CLT panels at the lowest possible cost by:
- Automating factory processes
- Integrating industry-leading technological solutions
- Operating at the highest level of standards and quality
In early July, we passed a critical milestone – Katerra CLT products successfully completed product testing for first project use, conducted by our 3rd party agency PFS-TECO. Moreover, Katerra CLT is manufactured and tested for its intended uses (structural, fire, and acoustics) complying with the 2018 International Building Code (IBC) and all relevant reference standards including the ANSI/APA PRG 320 (2018) CLT manufacturing standard.
Our initial product offerings will include both 5-layer and 3-layer panels, used primarily for floors. Next on track is the testing and certification of 7-layer and 9-layer panels, including CLT shear wall panels to be used for lateral stability, providing even faster and less costly construction. Master panels will come out of our press with a format size of 12ft wide x 60ft long – representing the largest CLT press in the world. The master panels are then fed for finish fabrication into three state-of-the-art 5-axis gantry CNC machines, creating the greatest possible production flexibility.
At scale, our one factory alone has the annual manufacturing capacity to provide thousands of apartments, student housing units, and more than 11 million square-feet of floors and roofs – making it the largest capacity CLT facility in the U.S.
Hans-Erik Blomgren PE, SE, Technical Director of Mass Timber at Katerra says, "Katerra’s CLT factory is the first high-volume production facility in the United States. Our ability to supply a high-performance, quality product to projects nationwide is a significant advancement in changing the way we build with mass timber in North America."
The first project to receive CLT panels from the factory is the Catalyst Building, located in Spokane, Washington’s booming University District. The 150,000 square-foot building will demonstrate the possibilities of the integration of economic vitality, regional sustainability, and energy efficiency by leveraging the legacy industries of the region (such as timber) and the innovation happening in the construction and education sectors. The project joins Katerra and Michael Green Architecture, a Katerra Design Partner, with McKinstry - whose offices are in the University District - as the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, and data contractor.
Catalyst broke ground earlier this year, and the first CLT panels are on track for July delivery. Over 500 Katerra panels will be used in the building as floor elements.
Rendering shows CLT floor and wall panels on the Catalyst Building, the first CLT office building in Washington State.
Catalyst CLT panels being assembled onto glulam beams in the Spokane Valley factory.
Katerra CLT Product Catalog
A newly released catalog of Katerra’s mass timber products for residential and commercial building products is now available. View the PDF below.
Katerra's CLT factory is the first high-volume production facility in the United States. Our ability to supply a high-performance, quality product to projects nationwide is a significant advancement in changing the way we build with mass timber in North America.
- Hans-Erik Blomgren Technical Director of Mass Timber, Katerra