SPOKANE, Wash. — When complete, the Catalyst building in Spokane’s U-District will be the city’s first zero energy and zero carbon facility.

The $64 million, 159,000 square foot building is a part of the South Landing project.

The building was intended to be a model for future structures in the area, said Gabe Boeckman, communications director for the McKinstry construction company.

“We wanted to make this a structure that has the environment at its core, to really set an example for what the future of building can look like,” Boeckman said.

One of the most significant features of the Catalyst building is its net-zero energy supply. The building is designed to produce just as much or more energy than it consumes.

Any excess energy will go to Avista for use in the company’s power grid.

Construction crews are in the process of putting up walls. Cross-laminated timber (CLT) will reinforce the building.

CLT lumber is more environmentally-friendly than traditional materials like concrete or steel, Boeckman said.

He said the building will be the first office building in Washington and one of the largest buildings in the world to use CLT for reinforcement.

The Catalyst building will bring in about 1,000 Eastern Washington University students to work with professionals from Avista and other companies in computer science, engineering and design.

Boeckman said construction is set to wrap up in the summer of 2020 in time for the beginning of the school year.

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