The new production equipment at Katerra produces CLT sheets.Katerra’s high volume cross-laminated-timber (CLT) factory has passed its first test, meeting all the 2018 International Building Code requirements for structural, fire and acoustics. The 270,000 square foot factory in Spokane Valley can now move onto delivering 500 CLT panels for the new Catalyst Building in Spokane’s University District.

The new factory is currently producing five-layer and three-layer panels, primary for floors. Katerra is on track to test and certify its seven- and nine-layer panels, which can be used for walls and roofs. The company’s CLT press – the largest in the world – can produce CLT panels that are 12 feet wide and 60 feet in length. These panels are then fed into finishing equipment to bring them to final form according to each project’s specifications. This mass production capability allows Katerra to produce more than 11 million square-feet of floors and roofs every year, making it the largest capacity CLT facility in the United States.

Timber has always been an important part of Washington’s economy. Approximately 1,700 companies employ 42,000 workers. The state has long been a leader in sustainability and proper stewardships of its forest lands, creating the first tree farms almost a century ago.

CLT products allow Washington to extend that leadership, providing an innovative way to produce building materials that are more attractive and have greater fire resistance than traditional building materials. New building codes allow CLT building in the U.S. to be up to 85 feet tall, creating a viable option of architects and builders.

Katerra is one of the few companies working in the CLT space that have research and development, sourcing, design and construction under one roof.

“Katerra’s CLT factory is the first high-volume production facility in the United States,” says Hans-Erik Blomgren PE, SE, Technical Director of Mass Timber at Katerra. “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.”

Read more at Katerra’s blog.