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First Full CLT Building In California Opens

The ribbon cutting ceremony by the Plumas County Health and Humans Services Department for its new Biomass Boiler Building in Quincy, CA on April 6, marked the opening of the first building in California made entirely of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT). CLT is establishing itself as a sustainable building material with a reduced carbon footprint and an inviting, natural aesthetic. Whereas limited uses of CLT were previously implemented across the state of California in buildings as a roof or floor system, the Biomass Boiler Building was constructed using CLT panels for the complete structural system to resist gravity and lateral forces, such as wind or a seismic event.

Owned by Plumas County, the industrial Biomass Boiler Building located adjacent to the Health and Human Services Department in Quincy, CA, includes approximately 2,000 SF of space. It houses an innovative biomass system using organic and sustainable waste material to generate heat for the Health and Human Services Building as an alternative to fossil fuels. The boiler is only the second of its kind in the U.S.; it is a community-scale, biomass boiler unit that runs on hog fuel, a coarse woody material generated as a byproduct directly from forest restoration and management activities.

Camille Swezy, Wood Utilization Program Lead of Sierra Institute, remarked, “The community of Quincy and Plumas County officials are very pleased with the new Biomass Boiler Building constructed entirely of CLT, now housing an innovative biomass heating system. Timber and wood products development is deeply engrained in Quincy’s roots, and the community is now thrilled to have a demonstration of wood utilization in a practical small-scale application.”

Originally, the Biomass Boiler Building structure was planned to be constructed with a prefabricated metal building system. Plumas County officials and the Sierra Institute decided to take the project in another direction to demonstrate the strengths and benefits of building with timber while also incorporating Plumas County’s most abundant natural timber resources. Plumas County officials worked with the design team to integrate mass timber into the building’s design.

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