KAMIAH - According to an update from the USDA Forest Service, contractors are on schedule building the new Forest Supervisor’s Office in Kamiah, an energy-efficient and uniquely-designed building that showcases wood products from the local area. Construction is contributing to local economies through use of lumber products from rural Idaho and employing area contractors and workers. Quality Contractors, LLC of Deary, Idaho was awarded the contract for the building and they are working with local subcontractors and the Nez Perce Tribe’s Tribal Employment Office to employ area tribal members.
This building will be the new home for U.S. Forest Service employees and replaces the current, aging, inefficient Supervisor’s Office buildings.
Mosaic Architects of Helena, MT designed the building site to blend into the landscape’s natural features with a sloped roof, large windows designed to optimize natural lighting and a subsurface floor level. The open floorplan reduces the footprint of the building while enhancing efficiency by promoting collaboration between employees and resource areas. Embedded within the design is the foundational Forest Service priority of sustainable resource stewardship—innovative technologies like high R-value walls, high performance windows and a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) climate control system minimize the building’s operating cost and the new design will exceed the most recent energy codes by 30 percent.
“What makes this building so unique is that we are using materials from in and around our forests in Idaho,” said Forest Supervisor Cheryl Probert of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. “The building is economical, efficient and the aesthetics are absolutely beautiful. We are really happy to be helping our local economies by using a workforce and wood products from our local area.”
Timber products are prominently featured in the 15,000 square foot building’s structural, interior and exterior design, with cross-laminated timber roofing and raw timber support beams artfully placed throughout the office and meeting space. The overall building cost is significantly lower than other conventionally built federal buildings due to the use of these new technologies and products.