Project Essentials

  • LocationLeeds, UK
  • ClientHess Timber GmbH & Co. KG
  • ArchitectJean-Robert Mazaud/S’PACE Architects
  • Size46,000 ft² (4,305 m²)

Buildings have been constructed in timber for centuries, yet none quite as striking or innovative as the Leeds Recycling and Energy Facility – its dome-shaped hall creates a new standard for industrial buildings, while changing the face of the waste-to-energy industry.

The waste-to-energy plant diverts about 214,000 tonnes of garbage from landfills each year, using it as a fuel for power generation. As refuse is burned, it heats water into steam – subsequently drives a turbine to create electricity. This innovative method supplies electricity for as many as 20,000 British households.


Fast + Epp’s collaboration included engineering for the hall’s three glue-laminated trusses, which were supplied by German timber frame specialist Hess Timber. These trusses are supported on reinforced concrete foundations on the outer walls, and carry the roof beams.

Making use of traditional materials in a non-traditional manner, the timber frame of  measures 123m long and 35m wide. The completed project will also integrate an 1,800m² exterior green wall, making it one the largest in Europe.