Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Katerra to Open New Modular Panel Plant in Spokane

Katerra, a high-tech construction firm, will open a new 250,000 sq ft factory in Spokane Valley, Washington in early 2018, where it will produce mass timber products including cross-laminated timber (CLT) and Glulam. The materials will be used in its “modular” building manufacturing process.

Katerra's Phoenix, AZ factory
Cross laminated timber (CLT) is an engineered wood building system designed to complement light- and heavy-timber framing options. Because of its high strength and dimensional stability, it can be used as alternative to concrete, masonry and steel in many building types.

It’s interesting to note that the term “MODULAR” is being used for many different types of modern construction techniques. The definition of modular is 'designed with standardized units that can be fit together in a variety of ways.'

The modular housing industry defines ‘modular’ as a customizable 6 sided volumetric module built in a factory, shipped to the jobsite and then completely finished by the builder, ready for occupancy, faster than a site built home.

Katerra’s ‘modular’ CLT products could someday become a component of our industry’s modular homes.


Katerra is already applying its high-tech construction techniques to manufacture building sections in an existing Phoenix factory, in processes similar to auto plants. The Phoenix plant fabricates rooms and building sections, including cabinetry, plumbing and wiring.

Katerra manufactures whole walls—including windows, insulation, wiring and plumbing in its Phoenix factory.

The Phoenix plant's advanced manufacturing lines can produce a 24-unit garden style walk-up every two weeks (600 apartments per year); cabinets and countertops for 15,000 apartments per year (41 apartments per day); and 12,000 door assemblies per year (33 apartments per day).

The new Spokane, WA facility will occupy 29 acres of a prime 52-acre site in Spokane Valley, with easy access to rail lines and interstate highways.

Cross-laminated timber, or CLT, is a key ingredient in the so-called timber towers - multi-story high rises built of wood, some reaching 18 stories or higher.

Founded in 2015, today Katerra ranks as one of the top 25 multifamily genera

contractors in the United States and is off to a fast start with more than 850 employees, offices in four countries, a growing number of factories, and dozens of active projects.


Shawn Corkrean said...

This seems to to me to be the future of home building. Part modular, part, panelization, part stick frame. They are taking aspects of all three and combining it into one process. On top of that, they supply the building materials.

Anonymous said...

Completely agree with Shawn. Doing a house with mixed construction methods may be new to some builders but like he said "On top of that, they supply the building materials."