One of the principal materials in this structure is wood. From the wooden supporting timbers to the gallery steps, all of this wood has been sourced with sustainability in mind.
The floor, stairs and outside seats are all made of Welsh Oak, much of which was sourced through the Coed Cymru initiative, a partnership dedicated to the sustainable management of woodlands. This ‘Green Oak’ is untreated and relies on the large overhanging eaves to keep it dry. As the wood matures, it will contract and harden resulting in a stronger structure.
The structural beams that support the zinc roof are made from a substance known as glulam, a material composed of sections of softwood glued together, making it both incredibly strong and very sustainable.
The columns supporting Oriel y Parc’s roof and the blocks which cap the surrounding walls, are all made from stone dust. It is made by grinding waste stone into tiny pieces which are then mixed with cement and moulded into shaped locks for building. This means that whilst it is as tough as stone, it is easier and cheaper to mould into shape.
The stones used in the construction of the tower and the new building extension have also been sourced locally from reclaimed derelict buildings.
Wool is a natural fibre derived from a renewable resource and is much more energy efficient to manufacture as insulation than synthetic materials. Massive amounts of insulation have been built into the foundations and walls at Oriel y Parc to conserve energy.
Wool also helps to regulate the moisture levels in the building, helping to heep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter. This warmth may not be noticeable, but it prevents condensation in the building cavities and in warm conditions, releases moisture which causes a cooling effect.