Eastern Washington University in Spokane to Become Home of North America’s Largest Net Zero Energy and Carbon Building

A problem as complicated as climate change requires revolutionary innovation to solve it — a principle embodied by Seattle-based McKinstry, a full-service design-build-operate-and-maintain (DBOM) firm specializing in consulting, construction, energy and facility services. This pioneering approach to design thinking was a driving force behind the firm’s development of the Catalyst Building in Spokane, Washington, the new zero energy and carbon home for several Eastern Washington University departments and McKinstry offices, which is on track to become one of the largest International Living Future Institute (ILFI)-certified Zero Energy (ZE) buildings in the world. The 159,000-square-foot, five-story building, which houses classrooms, computer and electrical engineering labs, and offices, was conceived to demonstrate that innovation can drive out waste and enable climate-positive, outstanding buildings that cost on par with typical construction, according to McKinstry. “From the beginning, we were trying to do something that could be repeatable,” said Michael Frank, McKinstry’s vice president of Engineering and Design. “We were trying to do zero energy and zero carbon at scale, and we were trying to do it at market rates, so those were some of our guiding principles to start out with.” McKinstry didn’t go it alone, of course. Along with its client, Eastern Washington University, and a cross-disciplinary team including utility provider Avista, off-site construction company Katerra and Michael Green Architecture, the firm worked closely with stakeholders to push the boundaries to create a building as beautiful as it is sustainable.


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New Building in Spokane to Become Largest Net Zero Energy and Carbon Building in North America