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Construction Completed on New Forest Service Office in Kamiah

KAMIAH, Idaho (May 20, 2022) – Contractors have completed construction of the new Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Supervisor’s Office in Kamiah, located at 1008 Highway 64. Employees are moving into the new office space, and the Forest Service will schedule a public open house of the facility soon. More information on the open house will be released closer to the date of the event.

“We are excited to be moving in to this beautiful and economical building, made with wood products from around the region and expertly constructed by local contractors,” said Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Supervisor Cheryl Probert. “We are proud to offer this facility as a showcase for tourists and visitors in Kamiah to share an example of what is possible within the modern forest management and wood products industries.”

The new Supervisor’s Office houses 80 Forest Service employees in a fully accessible facility that showcases the latest in mass timber building technologies. The 15,000-square-foot, two-story office building blends open office space with a variety of workspaces designed to facilitate interagency meetings and collaborative public engagements. The $9 million–dollar facility was designed by Mosaic Architects of Helena, Mont. and constructed by Quality Contractors, LLC of Deary, Idaho and Nez Perce Tribal members employed through the Tribal Employment Office.

“Besides the facility costing less than a traditionally–constructed building of the same size due to its innovative use of timber technologies, the construction cost of the new Supervisor’s Office is expected to be recuperated in approximately five years as the new office allows us to terminate two high–cost leases and reduce deferred maintenance costs on old, inefficient office spaces,” said Probert.

Timber technologies and products are featured prominently in the building’s structural, interior, and exterior design, with a cross-laminated timber structural roof system and exposed glue-laminated timber posts and beams visible throughout the office space. A highlight of the facility is the fire-rated wooden elevator shaft, constructed entirely of cross-laminated timber.

“Not only is this among the first buildings in Idaho to use cross-laminated timber technology for this application, it is also the first U.S. Department of Agriculture building constructed with USDA BioPreferred® cross-laminated timber,” said Quentin Smith, staff officer and engineer at the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests who helped oversee many aspects of the Supervisor’s Office project.

Other wood technologies and features in the building include engineered wood studs and siding, a glue-laminated staircase, wood fiber acoustic panels, peeled lodgepole ceiling beams, and architectural features that highlight local tree species.

Economic and environmental sustainability is literally built into the new building, which utilized 159,400 board feet of wood in its construction. The new Supervisor’s Office stores approximately 331 metric tons of carbon dioxide in its building materials and avoided 376 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in construction, for a total potential carbon benefit of 707 metric tons of carbon dioxide. This is equivalent to 149 cars off the road for one year, or the energy required to operate 75 homes for one year.

“The facility features a high-efficiency mechanical system and heat pumps that, when combined with shaded windows and improved insulation, serve to reduce the energy consumption associated with heating, ventilation, and cooling by 30% above current energy code requirements,” said Smith. “The building has been awarded two Green Globes and certified by the Green Building Initiative for resource efficiency and reduction of environmental impacts.”

The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Supervisor’s Office Design and Construction Team was also awarded a 2022 U.S. Forest Service Regional Forester’s Honor Award for Applying Knowledge Globally.

Though the building’s construction is complete, further work at the facility will continue to highlight all that makes the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests and the surrounding areas unique. The Forest Service is working alongside the Nez Perce Tribe on interior and exterior design elements that honor the Tribe’s special relationship with these lands. Landscaping features at the office will highlight the different environments found across the National Forest, from the rolling hills of the Palouse to the rugged Salmon River canyon.

The public is welcome to visit the Supervisor’s Office in–person during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Pacific). For more information about the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests, please visit your local ranger station, stop by the new Supervisor’s Office, or call (208) 451-5585. You can also learn more on the forest’s website (www.fs.usda.gov/nezperceclearwater) and on Facebook and Twitter (@NPClwNFs).