Policy and Innovations

Solutions to today’s greatest challenges.

Forterra’s innovative programs offer scalable solutions to today’s greatest challenges around social justice, population growth, sustainable farming and forestry, habit restoration and climate change.

An example of how we bring together policy and innovation in another facet of Land for Good is the Darrington Wood Innovation Center.

Focusing on the tiny lumber town of Darrington, Washington on the western flank of the North Cascades, Forterra has helped to incubate a new and sustainable business model for rural timber towns. Darrington served as an innovation hub for the timber industry through the Second World War, but then started a decades-long economic decline that has greatly reduced the quality of life for the community.

Following the devastating Oso landslide in 2014 that closed Darrington’s main artery to the west for six months, the town reassessed its future, eventually bringing in Forterra to work alongside it in charting a new course.

We worked with the City to devise a plan to create the 94-acre Darrington Wood Innovation Center. This plan anticipates a local plant that uses local living-wage labor and small- and narrow-diameter trees from nearby stands, to create cross laminated timber, or CLT, a structural building material that sequesters carbon and could be used to fulfill an urgent demand for affordable housing. We believe that the mass timber products from the Darrington Wood Innovation Center will be able to significantly lower the cost per housing unit.

The Town of Darrington will own the land and provide a long-term ground lease to Forterra’s Strong Communities Fund II, which will own the Center’s campus buildings.

A piece of the whole

Policy and innovation play equal roles in helping us live up to our motto, Land for Good. When the two come to bear on projects such as in Darrington, we can create a triple bottom line for people, profit and the planet. The more we scale this model, the more we deliver Land for Good.

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