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Largest North American CLT plant opened

16 October 2019

Engineered wood and building development giant Katerra’s new cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glulam plant is now open in Washington. Katerra says the 270,000 square foot facility is the largest of its kind in North America.

Citing “off the charts” demand for its CLT, the US$150 million manufacturing plant will produce up to 13 million board feet of timber per year. Katerra’s CLT will be made from 2×6 lumber boards – sourced mainly from Canada – compressed and glued together in layers that form structural panels and beams. Company head of architecture Craig Curtis told The Spokesman-Review the company hopes to transition to material from Washington soon.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Senator Maria Cantwell both praised the plant and the 100 jobs created. Cantwell helped push 2018’s Farm Bill into effect, which funded CLT research and development. The Timber Innovation Act is in effect in the U.S., which incentivizes mass timber construction.

Katerra’s near-term manufacturing expansion plans for the U.S. includes three more building components factories to serve the South and East Coast markets, as well as another mass timber production facility to be located in the Southeast. The company is worth around US$3 billion.

In June 2018, Katerra bought Michael Green Architecture, who’s behind two of the continent’s largest CLT structures: the T3 220,000-square-foot office building in Minneapolis and the Wood Innovation and Design Centre in British Columbia.

Michael Green is designing a 500,000-square-foot skyscraper in New Jersey – which will be the largest mass timber building in the United States.

Source: woodworkingnetwork.com

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