Affordable housing’s future? Innovative home built in Everett

Swiss and American carpenters built the nation’s first “modular home” made of cross-laminated timber.

Written By Zachariah Bryan

EVERETT — The echo of the hammer was deafening on Wednesday.

A carpenter swung it as hard as he could atop the roof of a new home, each bang reverberating throughout a warehouse on the Everett waterfront.

He teamed up last week with a handful of American and Swiss carpenters to build the nation’s first “modular home” made of cross-laminated timber, a material heralded as the future of environmentally sustainable construction.

The scene was a sign of what’s to come at the Darrington Wood Innovation Center, a $55 million, 94-acre campus that will house advanced wood manufacturers and promote education and conservation. The center is expected to create more than 150 family-wage jobs. It should break ground next year, according to Forterra, the Seattle nonprofit that has partnered with the city of Darrington and Snohomish County to develop the project.

The innovation center is part of Forerra’s “Forest to Home” initiative, an effort to create more affordable housing using local workers and local timber.

Continue reading the full article here.

Darrington Wood Innovation Center
Cross Laminated Timber
Forterra’s Forest to Home Model
DWIC Announcement Press Release

Dan Rankin

Mayor, Town of Darrington

Heidi Taffera
Managing Director of Media Relations and Storytelling, Forterra

Darrington, a small mountain town in the North Cascades, sits between the Sauk and the North Fork Stillaguamish rivers. Today, the town has about 1,405 residents and serves another 1,200 folks in the surrounding areas. The primary economy is still the timber industry; however, Darrington is also using its unique location near the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Wild and Scenic Rivers, and Wilderness to promote recreation as a strong force in the local economy. Learn more at

Forterra is an unconventional land trust that works across Washington’s communities and landscapes, from the ranches and shrub-steppe of the Yakima basin, to the estuaries, farms and forests of Washington’s coast, reaching more than 100 counties, cities, towns and rural communities. Working cooperatively with people and nature, Forterra drives land stewardship, management and planning, innovative programs and policies, farming and forestry approaches, community ownership opportunities, and development solutions. Visit

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