Innovative Site Solutions for a Design-Build Development

Client: Katerra

Location: Spokane Valley, WA

About the Project

Cross-laminated timber presents an emerging opportunity for innovation in the construction industry, providing a sustainable material that allows construction of buildings much taller than with conventional wood framing. CLT’s use of small-diameter trees creates a market for products resulting from forest thinning that is needed to reduce wildfires and improve ecosystem health while breathing new life into the timber industry. When Katerra set out to build its state-of-the-art, 250,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in eastern Washington, MFA provided consultation from planning to construction oversight and compliance under an aggressive timeline of just two years.

Meet the Client

Katerra is a rapidly growing startup company focused on innovation of the construction industry. Katerra is building a CLT plant in Washington State’s Spokane Valley, creating jobs and bringing economic growth to the area. The company committed to constructing this facility under a tight timeline to meet delivery demands, while blending environmentally conscious features such as green stormwater infrastructure and energy efficiency into the campus design.

Innovative Solutions for Development

MFA provided planning, environmental, and civil engineering services to support Katerra’s construction of the Spokane Valley facility, which broke ground in December 2017. MFA’s involvement with the Katerra development began with assisting Katerra in evaluation of alternative sites for the facility, including extensive due diligence related to environmental conditions. MFA prepared State Environmental Policy Act review documentation and led the permitting effort for the facility.

Pre-Construction Services

MFA has assisted Katerra throughout the construction process: identifying site alternatives, performing due diligence, land use permitting, and air emission permitting. MFA was able to solve site challenges efficiently by providing a range of consulting services from groundwater and stormwater to air emissions and process management.

Sustainable Design and Site Development

MFA developed innovative strategies to address site challenges while meeting the factory’s construction requirements and worked alongside Katerra’s in-house team members to construct the design-build facility. As part of a multidisciplinary design team, MFA prepared the site plan and landscape architecture that will enable the facility to optimize operations while also implementing environmentally sustainable practices. The site required significant capital improvements, including water, sewer, gas, and roads that turned the vacant farmland into a hub of innovation for Katerra.

Their Thoughts

MFA has been an invaluable contributor to the complicated construction of the Katerra CLT factory in Spokane Valley.  Their ability to step up and support evolving scopes of work that included hazardous occupancy evaluations, clean air permitting for our kiln and multiple site revisions was key to the success of this project. They also brought considerable value with cost saving design solutions and knowledge around every aspect of the civil design. I can’t say enough about the entire team I worked with.

Stefan Wynn
Senior Project Manager, Architecture, Katerra

Our Thoughts

MFA’s leadership on this project provided a laser-focus on delivering a quality product while maintaining safety for workers and everyone on the construction site.

Gianna Damiano, EIT
Staff Engineer

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