New Construction
under $10 million

House of Knowledge longhouse
Photo courtesy ABC of Western Washington
Synergy Construction used log-pole construction to build the House of Knowledge longhouse.

Synergy Construction

House of Knowledge longhouse

Owner: Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe

Architect: Johnson Architects

The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe’s House of Knowledge longhouse required months of planning and specialized construction skills to create the traditional log-pole building with exposed framing.

Synergy interviewed 16 subcontractors trained in the highly specialized field of log-pole construction.

The longhouse is the first of its type to be built for the S’Klallam Tribe in more than a century. Used as a venue for important tribal gatherings, the longhouse was built in the center of a complex that includes a career and education department, an elder center, a carving workshop and a new library.

The building’s interior includes exposed framing, which required all fasteners to be invisible. Natural light spills into the interior from the full-span glass at the ceiling level, and massive rolling doors — the focal point of the longhouse — were hand carved by tribal members. The timber used for the doors came from old growth cedar and required a special permit to harvest.

Synergy kept the jobsite safe by holding preconstruction meetings with all subcontractors to review each firm’s site-specific safety plans. Next, Synergy created a job hazard analysis to keep employees and subs aware of the day-to-day hazards.

The job was completed in just over 13 months with no medical or time-loss injuries. ABC members on the job were Knight Fire Protection and Matheus Lumber Co.

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