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Building for a Sustainable Future 2020

February 26, 2020, 8:00 am6:00 pm


A CLT & Mass Timber Event

Join leaders across sectors at the University of Washington Tacoma, Wednesday, Feb. 26, for a full day of learning, discourse and highlighting recent successes.

Together we will explore the foremost issues and opportunities facing a sustainable cross laminated timber (CLT) and mass timber market in Washington State.

Since hosting our initial CLT summit in 2015, Forterra has convened a statewide coalition to address the key barriers and opportunities to establishing a CLT market. As a result of the statewide collaboration, we secured state funding for CLT modular classrooms, technical assistance and research, updated state building codes, and positioned Washington as a potential leader in building a sustainable future.

This event is in partnership with the Washington State Department of Commerce.


All sessions take place in Milgard Assembly Room unless otherwise noted.

Registration & Networking (8-8:30 am)

Welcome & Overview (8:30-8:45 am)

Morning Sessions (8:45 am-Noon)


Practical Considerations for Design & Development of Mid to High Rise CLT Buildings—A panel discussion on building mid to high rise CLT buildings in Washington, focused on how to make the business model work, building code categories to use wood and their impacts, coordination of fire protection under construction requirements, and other technical aspects of building tall in Washington.

    • Christopher Patano, AIA, Studio Director, Patano Studio Architecture
    • Dean Lewis, P.E., S.E., Associate, DCI Engineers
    • Troy Bloedel, Vice President, JTM Construction
    • Moderator: Ethan Martin, P.E., Regional Director, Woodworks

Break 15 minutes

10-10:45 am

Managing Unique Risks for Mass Timber Projects—A risk analysis on financial, jurisdictional, schedule, and project quality considerations from the developer’s perspective.

    • Erica Spiritos, Preconstruction Manager, Swinerton

11-11:40 am

Sourcing and Forest Health on Public Lands—The panel will outline the state of public lands in Washington, restoration plans, and the implications for wood supply, opportunities for mass timber sourcing, and how the private and public sectors might work together to connect forest health plans with the emerging mass timber market.

    • Derek Churchill, Forest Health Scientist, Washington State Department of Natural Resources
    • Russ Vaagen, Founder & CEO, Vaagen Timbers

11:40 am-Noon

Manufacturing and Supply: Washington CLT grade specification—Washington has an inherent competitive advantage for materials sourcing; however, a wide diversity of native tree species and lumber grades creates challenges. This session proposes performance-based CLT grades for WA to standardize across multiple species to benefit building project teams and lower qualification barriers for mills and manufacturers.

    • Todd Beyreuther, Senior Director, Advanced Building Materials, Katerra

11 am-Noon

Walking Tour #1 of Brewery Blocks Tacoma—A tour of the recently completed four-floor heavy timber and CLT structure expanding a three-story historic building. Space is limited, sign-up at registration and meet at the registration table to walk three minutes to 2113 S. C St.

    • Mike Bartlett, Founder & CEO, Horizon Partners Northwest

Lunch (Noon-1:30 pm)

12:30-1:15 pm

Lunchtime Keynote on The Architecture of Life: Mass timber design that benefits the human body—An exploration of the science and health of mass timber design and how these biophilic benefits are driving demand for tall wood buildings.

    • Matthias Olt, Senior Associate, DLR Group

Afternoon Sessions (1:30-4:45 pm)

Session #1

1:30-2:15 pm

A Catalyst for Change: Lessons from a Unique Collaboration in Spokane—A close look at the 159,000 square foot Catalyst building, which makes extensive use of CLT as a structural and design element and aims to be one of the largest net zero energy and net zero carbon buildings in North America, certified by the International Living Future Institute.

    • Craig Curtis, FAIA, President of Architecture, Katerra
    • John Lang, Director of Design Services, McKinstry

1:30-2:15 pm

Carbon Concepts and Tools (in Jane Russell Commons)—A session that will explore common questions relating mass timber to carbon sequestration, will provide an overview of available tools to address them, and highlight what these tools can tell you, what they cannot, and what information gaps exist.

    • Caitlin Clarke, Senior Fellow, Supply Chains, The Nature Conservancy

Break 15 minutes

Session #2

2:30-3:30 pm

Workforce Development & Training for Manufacturing, Design, Build & Construction Industries—A panel discussion about education and training needs for manufacturing CLT and opportunities for education of architects, engineers, and contractors to improve efficiencies, reduce costs, and increase demand for CLT in Washington.

    • Bert Gregory, FAIA, Partner, Mithun
    • Rob’n T. Lewis, Vice President, Bates Technical College
    • Russ Vaagen, Founder & CEO, Vaagen Timbers
    • Stephen Anderson, Instructor, Northwest Carpenters Institute
    • Moderator: James Hughes, Executive Director, Career TEAM

2:30-3:30 pm

Walking Tour #2 of Brewery Blocks Tacoma—A tour of the recently completed four-floor heavy timber and CLT structure expanding a three-story historic building. Space is limited, sign-up at registration and meet at the registration table to walk three minutes to 2113 S. C St.

    • Mike Bartlett, Founder & CEO, Horizon Partners Northwest

Break 15 minutes

3:45-4:45 pm

Early Lessons Developing with CLT in WA—A panel discussion identifying early learned lessons developing with CLT and mass timber, with a close look at a 4, 8, and 12-story building in various stages of design, permitting, and construction in the Puget Sound region.

    • Chris Duvall P.E., S.E., Principal, Coughlin Porter Lundeen
    • David Craig, Senior Estimator, GLY Construction
    • Lauren Nestrud Garkel, Associate, CLARK | BARNES
    • W. Scott Clark, AIA, NCARB, AIBC, Partner, CLARK | BARNES
    • Moderator: Susan Jones, FAIA, Architect, atelierjones

Closing Remarks (4:45-5 pm)

    • Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, Washington State Department of Natural Resources
    • Skip Swenson, Vice President, Policy & Programming, Forterra

Happy Hour (5-6 pm)

    • Networking and refreshments.


  • Get directions to the Cragle Parking Lot, S. 21st St. and Center St., Tacoma, WA 98402
  • From the parking lot, walk to William Philip Hall, the building made of glass and steel (download campus map)
  • The entrance to the building is across from Gillenwater Plaza

If cost is a barrier to participation, please email Lhanna@forterra.org for event scholarship information.


February 26, 2020
8:00 am – 6:00 pm


Lindsay Hanna
(206) 905–6946


University of Washington Tacoma – WILLIAM W. PHILIP HALL
Tacoma, WA 98402 United States
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