A timber frame structure featuring an airtight layer of 18mm SmartPly OSB3 has helped the new £8 million Herefordshire Archive and Records Centre to become the UK’s first archival storage building to meet Passivhaus standards.

The 3,350m2 facility, formed of two distinct structures connected via an entrance foyer and reception area, was designed by Architype. Appointed timber frame specialist Cygnum specified SmartPly OSB3 for the inner face of the external walls and ceiling following their successful installation at two Architype Passivhaus schools.

SmartPly OSB3 met the project’s strict requirements for proven performance and extremely low environmental impact. Manufactured in accordance with EN 300, the boards are made of timber strands cross-oriented in layers with a zero added formaldehyde resin binder to ensure no internal gaps or voids for increased strength.

In addition, SmartPly OSB3 offers a fully certified alternative to softwood plywood and boasts FSC Chain of Custody certification – a key requirement for this type of low-carbon construction.