Leeds RERF wins National Structural Timber Award

The new Leeds Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility has won its first award - before it even officially opens.

Leeds Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility wins award for its innovative construction

The innovative building, which is visible from many points in the city, is due to open in Spring 2016 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 42meters high by 150 meters in length it is the largest timber structure of its type in Europe.


The facility had been awarded the Project of the Year at the National Structural Timber Awards.

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.

Veolia picked up Client of the Year at the prestigious awards ceremony, held at the Birmingham NEC in October. Paul Fowler, General Manager at Veolia, said:

“We are delighted to win our first award for the Leeds Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility. The building’s unique, innovative design creates a positive landmark for Leeds and the building’s sustainable elements will help create biodiversity for the Leeds area.”

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 (MPT) 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.