Canolfan Hyddgen

Built with Welsh softwood, Canolfan Hyddgen was the first building in the world to simultaneously achieve Passivhaus and BREEAM excellent.

About this project

A multi-use building that serves as both a learning centre and offices for Powys County Council. The client’s main aims were to reduce energy consumption, fuel bills and overheads.
They wanted to maximise revenue with a building suitable for multiple tenancy and community use; this has been achieved, with over 15 tenants in the building.

Construction method

The building has a hybrid construction, with an external timber post-and-beam frame supporting offsite-manufactured closed panels, and an internal masonry core. All wall & roof timber cassettes in manageable sizes for a standard crane.
The team devised unique thermal-bridge-free construction details which the frame supplier and structural engineer could guarantee, and that were acceptable to the Passivhaus Institute.

The timber story

The design contractor’s policy is to source local and Welsh timber where possible, this was also desirable to the client; the design focused on local natural aesthetics and materials. Insulation was also locally sourced, and a local frame manufacturer and installers were used. The requirement for BREEAM excellent meant all timber was FSC certified.

  • External/internal CLS studs, roofing, counter battens: Douglas fir, some larch & spruce (Welsh & imported)

  • External cladding: Welsh larch

  • Internal joinery: spruce & ash (Welsh & imported) including bespoke ash stairs, made in Welshpool


UK Passivhaus Award 2013 - winner

Further Information

Home Grown Timber in UK Construction, Vol.1*

AECBArchitects Journal

Images: JPW 

*Case study kindly provided by Woodknowledge Wales.

Key contacts


Powys County Council




C Sneade

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