Planned factory to produce new engineered wood

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SPOKANE VALLEY — A new factory is planned in Eastern Washington to produce an emerging technology in wood construction.

Menlo Park, Calif.-based Katerra says it will manufacture cross-laminated timber, or CLT, and other mass timber products at a new plant it is building in Spokane Valley.

CLT is made by stacking beams in perpendicular layers and gluing or laminating together the layers like a sandwich. Supporters say the resulting panels are lighter and less energy-intensive than concrete and steel, and much faster to assemble on-site than regular timber. The company says it wants to help bring mass timber to the mainstream of construction in the U.S.

The manufacturing plant will supply much of CLT for Katerra’s own projects. The Spokesman-Review says the company also anticipates selling the wood to others. Construction is expected to begin this fall.