News / Whitby Abbey Visitor Centre Reducing Carbon Emissions

Native Architects are delighted to have been appointed by English Heritage to act as Conservation Architect for the Grade I Listed and Scheduled Monument that forms the Whitby Abbey Visitor Centre main building and site. The aim of the project is to replace a defective and failing roof covering with a new stainless steel roof finish that is designed to accommodate 28 photovoltaic solar panels, making it the largest solar panel array at any English Heritage site.  Native Architects obtained both Listed Building and Scheduled Monument Consent from North Yorkshire Council. The project is now on site with Simpson (York) Ltd as the Main Contractor, due for completion in July 2024. Due to its high level of exposure the elevated building site has a fully tented temporary roof.

The project will improve the sustainability of the Whitby Abbey Visitor Centre as the panels will produce enough electricity to power the visitor centre for half a year, saving over nine metric tons of carbon each year.  That’s about the same as the carbon used to charge over one million smartphones or run five and half cars for a year.  As well as reducing environmental impact the roof has been designed to adapt to the impacts of climate change.  It is anticipated that for this location the number of days with average rainfall of over 50mm is projected to double by 2060-2080, so we have re- designed the rainwater outlets and doubled the size of the downpipes to future-proof the roof.