Innovative building wins award – before it officially opens

Before it officially opens the new Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility being built by Clugston and CNIM in Leeds has won its first award – named Project of the Year at the National Structural Timber Awards.

The innovative building, which is visible from many points in the city, is due to open in next spring, and uses a mix of innovative and sustainable materials and techniques to reflect its environmental role.

At the centre of this approach was the use of a large timber frame to form the outer shell of the main process building. Provided from sustainable sources at 42 metres high by 150 metres long, it is the largest timber structure of its type in Europe.

It was this feature, along with the desire to maximise the building’s sustainability by using renewable materials, which attracted the judge’s interest. Supplied by Clugston’s specialist subcontractor, Hess of Germany, the timber elements were delivered to site in large sections prior to being assembled into the iconic arches and lowered into position.

When fully operational the facility will have the capacity to process up to 214,000 tonnes of household black bin waste, diverting from landfill and generating 11Mw of electricity. The waste will pass through a mechanical pre-treatment process to allow extraction of recyclable materials such as cardboard, plastic, ferrous and nonferrous metals. Only following this will the remaining material pass into the energy recovery section, which is able to generate enough electricity to power 20,000 homes.

Clugston’s Project Manager Tony Wing says: “This is a unique project which has involved working with traditional materials in non-traditional ways. Buildings have been constructed in timber since the dawn of time but never on this scale.”