Apr 27, 2020

Metropolis: Mass Timber Building Puts Spokane, Washington on the Map as a Leader in Carbon-Neutral Building

The project uses cross-laminated timber (CLT) to build one of the nation’s largest buildings to contain zero embodied carbon emissions, validated by a recent LCA study.

By Metropolis staff
The Catalyst Building in Spokane, Washington couldn’t have a more fitting name. Once it is completed later this year, the five-story, 159,000-square-foot office structure will sit at a literal crossroads. It is the first new building in a developing energy and resource sharing eco-district that connects the city’s core downtown with the University District, home to campuses that include Eastern Washington University, the University of Washington, and Gonzaga University. Its construction also brings together a cross-industry team, including developers McKinstry and Avista, Katerra as architect of record and general contractor, and Michael Green Architecture as design partner.
Most notably, the office building will be the first in the state constructed of cross-laminated timber (CLT), a lightweight, engineered wood made by gluing layers of timber together at right angles that is only starting to become widely accessible in North America. CLT enables the Catalyst to become one of the country’s largest buildings to contain zero embodied carbon and remain carbon neutral over its lifecycle—a lead certain to spark sustainable design innovations in Washington and beyond.

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