Wood Business

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Katerra partners with USNR for largest CLT plant in North America


September 12, 2019
By USNR

Katerra, a vertically integrated construction company, selected USNR as the major supplier for its new Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) manufacturing complex located in Spokane Valley, Wash. It will be the largest CLT production plant in North America with state-of-the-art technology provided by USNR. It will give Katerra the ability to pre-qualify the lumber that goes into its CLT panels; whether green or dry they can regrade it onsite to make adjustments.

Katerra’s business model spans new building, material sales, and renovations. The company is positioned as the architect, material supplier, manufacturer, general contractor, and project manager, offering every product and service necessary to design and build high quality buildings.

Katerra will procure both green and dry lumber, grade it, and evaluate its properties with options to re-dry it and plane it as candidate stock for CLT panels.

The operation includes the first cold-weather continuous dry kiln drying western wood species. The project also includes a complete dry mill and qualifying line equipped with advanced automated grading technology from USNR’s lineal (LHG) and transverse (THG) lumber grading systems.

Prepared lumber is finger-jointed into 60-foot long laminations that are graded and pre-sorted in a vertical grade sorter. Short boards that form the cross layers are also graded and pre-sorted. When enough material is accumulated to lay up a complete billet, it is discharged to the assembly and pressing line which includes a 60′ CLT press and other staging and handling equipment.

Pressed layers exit the press as a CLT panel and are transferred to the finishing area for sanding and machining electrical outlets, windows, and notches for beams. The CLT panel is then labeled and trucked to a jobsite.

USNR is extremely proud to have been chosen as the major supplier on this massive project, which is nearing completion. The new plant will be fully operational in the fall of 2019.