Building for a sustainable future

A regional effort

A building trend has taken off around the world—one that is only beginning to emerge in the U.S. The trend—using cross laminated timber building products—enables buildings to be taller than the typical six stories historically used for wood construction.

Cross laminated timber (CLT) is a type of mass timber product, an engineered wood panel made from gluing and pressing alternating layers of sawed lumber to form exceptionally strong structural building panels, allowing for taller wood buildings. Forterra believes CLT and other mass timber products can strengthen rural economies while reducing greenhouse gas emissions as we build in our cities. Currently, its use in the Pacific Northwest is limited—no supply source exists in our state, the product is expensive and current building codes don’t allow for tall wood buildings.

If you want to go fast, go alone—if you want to go far, go together.
African proverb as quoted by Representative Derek Kilmer

Forterra prides itself on innovative market ideas as solutions. We believe that we can forge a path for CLT in our region by partnering with rural communities, architects, engineers, government agencies, the timber industry and environmental organizations.

That’s why we worked with the American Institute of Architects – Washington Council and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, to convene a leadership summit to advance CLT and other mass timber products in the Pacific Northwest. Over 80 participants from a range of sectors participated, rallying around the fundamental idea that we can create a vibrant economy and a healthy environment by working together. As a coalition we can ensure that Washington is a leader in building for a sustainable future.

Cross Laminated Timber CLT Summit
Building for a Sustainable Futures Summit October 19 and 20th

The two-day summit featured expert panelists discussing barriers and opportunities in establishing a CLT/mass timber market in Washington state; a session on innovating for sustainability with Jeff Raikes, Gene Duvernoy, Representative Derek Kilmer, Dean Lisa Graumlich and Bob Drewel; and facilitated group discussion to develop strategies for an action plan.

The summit emphasized what we thought was true: Strong support for building a CLT/mass timber market in Washington exists. We are committed to working with stakeholders and leaders across sectors to implement next steps.

Read more about cross laminated timber in our third issue of Ampersand.

A special thanks to the Summit’s sponsors:

Green Diamond Resource Company
The Nature Conservancy
NBBJ
Plum Creek
University of Washington, College of the Environment
Washington State University
Washington State University, North Puget Sound at Everett
Weyerhaeuser
The Wilderness Society

  • Lindsay Fromme

    Lindsay’s formative years were spent in New York City, suburban New York and rural Pennsylvania. She has since called Vermont, California and Washington home. Putting roots down in Seattle has allowed her to pursue her outdoor passions of skiing, hiking, mountain biking and river rafting. When she’s not on a mountain or a river, she can be found cooking new recipes with friends and exploring new places with her partner Luke and their dog Yogi.
  • Leda Chahim

    Leda is Forterra's Government Affairs Director in charge of developing and advancing state and federal proposals aimed at creating livable, affordable communities and conserving working farms, forests and natural lands across the state. Leda holds degrees in Political Science and Conservation Biology from the University of Washington.
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