Passivhaus Affiliate

Hull Maritime sets course for Passivhaus visitor centre

A new maritime visitor attraction in Hull’s historic North End Shipyard is set to become one of the UK’s few Passivhaus certified buildings in the heritage & cultural sector. The project, ‘Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City’, began when Hull was UK City of Culture in 2017 and has included city-wide regeneration and place-making, aiming to safeguard Hull’s maritime history and architecture. Regeneration of the vacant North End Shipyard includes a vibrant new visitor centre aiming for Passivhaus certification, to encourage locals and visitors to explore this part of the city.

North End Ship Yard, Image Credit: Purcell

The site development also includes a dry dock and the Arctic Corsair, Hull’s last remaining sidewinder trawler, as well as the restoration of a 20th Century Scotch Derrick Crane. Aiming to also reconnect Hull’s waterfront with other key maritime sites, the new North End Shipyard will tell firsthand stories of life at sea, and highlight the significance of Queen’s Gardens (former Queen’s Dock) in the maritime story of Hull’s old town. 


Key Stats

Build start date: 2021

Completion due: 2023

Project stage: Tender

Occupants: 135,000 annual visitors estimate

TFA: 290m2

Construction type: Concrete & timber frame

North End Ship Yard, Image credit: Purcell


The project is at design stage and is set to open in 2023, welcoming 135,000 visitors a year. The two-storey visitor centre has been developed to be sympathetic to Hull’s industrial past, whilst creating a cutting-edge low-carbon building fit for the 21st Century. The scheme includes:

  • An entrance space
  • Extensive exhibitions telling the story of the Arctic Corsair and the heyday of Hull’s trawling industry
  • An interactive learning space designed to engage and educate


Through our design of a new visitor centre to Passivhaus standard as a key aspect of the Hull Maritime project, this significant yet overlooked area of the city will be rejuvenated and brought back into use as a visitor destination in its own right.

Owen Plummer, Senior Architect at Purcell




Ground floor: Concrete due to flood protection

Upper Floor: Timber

U-value: 0.126 / 0.098 W/(m2K)


U-value: 0.07/0.106 W/(m2K)


U-value: 0.077 W/(m2K)

North End Ship Yard, Image credit: Purcell
North End Ship Yard, Image credit: Purcell

The 500m2 Passivhaus building will include highly insulated building fabric, doors and windows, and incorporate an MVHR system, ensuring air quality and comfort. Thanks to drastic reductions in energy use provided by targeting Passivhaus, the remaining tiny energy demand will be met via renewable technologies on-site. Hull City Council has set a target of carbon neutrality by 2030, and the new visitor centre will help achieve that by targeting net-zero carbon in operation.


Predicted Energy Performance

Airtightness (≤0.6ACH@50pascals)

0.6 ACH@50pascals

Thermal Energy Demand (≤15kWh/m².yr)

12 kWh/m².yr

Thermal Energy Load (≤10W/m²)

10 W/m²


These highly ambitious plans will not only create a new visitor attraction that will showcase Hull’s many maritime stories, but also achieve the best energy efficient standards. This will be a remarkable achievement and demonstrates our continued commitment to sustainability and to Hull becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Daren Hale, Hull City Councillor


Key team

Client: Hull City Council

Architect: Purcell

Passivhaus Consultant and M&E: TGA Consulting Engineers

Main Contractor: Not yet appointed

Structural Engineer: Mason Clark Associates

Quantity Surveyor: Mace Cost Consultancy

Certifier: PHT member Etude

North End Ship Yard, Image credit: Purcell


Read about another Passivhaus heritage project, recently awarded the People’s Choice Prize at the 2021 UK Passivhaus Awards.


Further Information

Hull Maritime: Visitor attraction to be a UK leader in energy efficiency

PHT Project Sectors: Civic & Cultural

Treehugger: Passivhaus Isn't Just for Buildings; It Works for Boats Too - 11 October 2018

28th July 2021

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