Construction is set to begin in just a few weeks on Kalesnikoff Lumber’s new $35 million project.
The company is expanding into mass timber manufacturing and they say the new venture will be North America’s most advanced, fully integrated, multi-species mass timber manufacturing facility.
The business expansion will create 50 full-time, technology-centered local jobs.
“We are excited to grow from 150 to 200 employees and really re-invest back in the community,” said Kalesnikoff’s COO Chris Kalesnikoff.
The 110,000 sq. ft. facility will be next to the company’s existing Kootenay Innovative Wood facility near the Slocan Junction.
“Mass timber is defined as large pre-fabricated engineered wood building products,” explained Kalesnikoff.
One of the products the facility will produce is glulam beams, which are laminated structural lumber.
The other is cross-laminated timber, essentially large engineered wood panels. The facility will be able to produce panels that are up to 60 feet in length.
The products are mostly used in larger developments such as multi-residential buildings, but they also have single-family residential applications as well.
“We are building from a renewable resource, it is substantially better than concrete and it provides great efficiencies at the job site for construction,” said Kalesnikoff.
“Large buildings are able to be constructed in substantially less time than comparable buildings out of concrete or steel.”
He also expects mass timber to play a role in helping to create affordable housing.
Kalesnikoff says the new products will allow them to build value into the timber they already harvest.
“This won’t increase our harvesting, what we are doing is adding value downstream from our current product base.”
Mass timber facilities are few and far between in North America.
According to Kalesnikoff, there is one in the Okanagan, one in eastern Canada, a few in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, and one in the Southern United Sates.
The building should be complete by September, with glulam production starting by the end of the year and cross laminated timber production starting by spring of 2020.