Passivhaus Affiliate

Beachfront environmental hub

A certified Passivhaus environmental hub has opened on the seafront on one of Bournemouth’s Blue Flag beaches. The Durley Chine Hub, commissioned by BCP Council, aims to achieve a step-change in the reduction of waste and elimination of single-use packaging along Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole’s seafront. Around 2,000 tons of waste is removed from these beaches annually. The new hub's mission is to educate and change behaviours along the seafront.

Durley Chine Hub.  Image credit: Footprint Architects, Photographer: Richard Chivers

The new hub needed to demonstrate strong environmental credentials. PHT member Footprint Architects proposed a design that combined low operational energy, choosing Passivhaus certification for the education and welfare part of the building, with low embodied carbon materials. 

The hub building consists of a refreshment kiosk, public WCs, and a two-storey education building with welfare facilities for beachfront staff. 

The internal floor area was reduced and rationalised during the design process by separating functions into independent buildings with differing insulation and ventilation needs. 

Key stats

  • Construction: Timber frame

  • TFA: 196 m2 

  • Build start date: 2021

  • Completed: 2022

  • Certified: Passivhaus, 2023

Durley Chine Hub.  Image credit: Footprint Architects, Photographer: Richard Chivers


This highly-insulated, Passivhaus certified, timber framed education, welfare and exhibition space commissioned by client BCP, is a beacon for low carbon innovation and what can be achieved when you move beyond the traditional construction pathway. The building is designed to be net zero in operation and has been designed with low embodied energy construction.

Peter Ward, Director, Footprint Architects


Offsite modular timber frame construction minimised the building's embodied energy and is relatively quick to build, advantageous for the public seafront location. Offsite construction also helped to reduce the disruption to the seafront ecology, reducing construction delivery traffic. 

Durley Chine Hub.  Image credit: Footprint Architects, Photographer: Richard Chivers

Embodied carbon 

Keeping the kiosk, storage areas, WCs, and some of the learning space outside the thermal envelope reduced the use of insulation materials and, therefore embodied carbon. The public toilets are unheated and uninsulated structures, and the kiosk has low levels of insulation and minimal heating demands. Designing out unnecessary spaces or finishes, simplifying as much as possible, incorporating natural materials and reducing the use of plastics was a priority for the project team. .

Examples of features with low embodied carbon include the use of 52 tons of reclaimed groynes in the building canopy, and timber from a decommissioned German submarine base was used for decking. Locally sourced sand and aggregate were used for the kiosk building. Ground granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBS), a byproduct from the iron industry, was specified as a low cement concrete. Concrete structures were designed with almost no need for steel reinforcement, and aggregate recovered from the site demolition was used as piling matt and substrate; Recycled glass was used in the eco screed, and recycled newspapers were used as insulation.

The provisional assessment results of the project's Embodied Carbon Calculation, based on RICS whole life Carbon Assessment Method, were:

  • Upfront Carbon: 210 kgCO2e/m2
  • Embodied Carbon: 172 kgCO2e/m2
  • Sequestered Carbon: - 225 kgCO2e/m2


Floor: 0.047 W/m2K                             

Eco screed, EPS insulation, concrete slab

Durley Chine Environmental Hub.  Image credit: Footprint Architects

Wall: 0.11 W/m2K

Timber frame, insulated with recycled newspaper. 

Roof: 0.097 W/m2K

Timber I-beams, with wood fibre and recycled newspaper insulation. 


Building performance 

Designed energy performance


Airtightness n50 (≤ 0.6ACH @ 50 Pa)                           


0.6 @ 50 Pa


Space Heating Demand (≤ 15 kWh/m².a)


15 kWh/m².a  


Heating Load (≤ 10 W/m²)


12 W/m²


Primary Energy Renewable (PER) Demand (≤ 60 kWh/m².a*)    


72 kWh/m².a


Overheating %



*+/-15 kWh/m².a allowance if offset by energy generation. See Passivhaus criteria


Durley Chine Environmental Hub. Image credit: Footprint Architects, Photographer: Richard Chivers Durley Chine Environmental Hub. Image credit: BCP Council Durley Chine Hub.  Image credit: Footprint Architects, Photographer: Richard Chivers



The hub is an all-electric building, with the all-electric catering equipment linked to the 90m2 array of roof top mounted solar PV panels. MVHR (mechanical ventilation with heat recovery) is used for the education building.  The shading strategy, to minimise overheating, is provided by a brise-soleil. 


Key team 

  • Client: BCP Council

  • Architect: Footprint Architects

  • Passivhaus Consultant: WARM

  • Contractor: BCP Council – Construction Works Team

  • Structural engineer & M&E consultantWSP

  • Passivhaus Certifier: MEAD Consulting

Durley Chine Environmental Hub. Image credit: BCP Council

Similar projects 

Thinking about adopting Passivhaus for your educational building or learning hub? Discover similar projects below. 

CREST Pavilion
Wereham Village Hall
Kellogg College


You may also like 

Passivhaus for Educational Buildings
Passivhaus benefits guide How to build a Passivhaus Guidance


Further information

Durley Chine Environmental Hub

Project sector: Civic & Cultural

Passivhaus Benefits Guide 

Passivhaus for Educational Buildings

Passivhaus & Embodied Carbon

Previous PHT Story: Local Passivhaus policies - 6 May 2022

1st November 2023

Never miss UK Passivhaus news by joining the Passivhaus Trust mailing list Follow us on twitter @PassivhausTrust

< Back To News