The University of Hull aspires to be net zero by 2027 – three years earlier than the city of Hull’s target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. With total carbon emissions estimated at 9,830 tonnes of CO²e per year, several interventions needed to be implemented to reduce carbon across the estate.  

Arup undertook a comprehensive review of the carbon emissions generated by all buildings owned and operated across the estate. We designed a zero-carbon plan with a clear roadmap to achieving the ambitious 2027 target. Our approach included slashing energy use and sourcing remaining energy demand from low-carbon sources.

Before the zero carbon plan was introduced, gas accounted for approximately 62% of the campus’s total energy consumption, and electricity for 38%. Through the ongoing implementation of our plan, the University of Hull has already made significant progress towards its goal of achieving net zero by 2027. 

A clear roadmap to net zero

Before the zero carbon plan was introduced, gas accounted for approximately 62% of the campus’s energy consumption, with electricity making up 38%. Annual carbon emissions were estimated at 9,830 tonnes of CO²e.

Our team sought to:

  • Avoid or reduce energy consumption through better use of space, energy efficiency and building stock management.
  • Eliminate fossil fuels and boost renewables by introducing heat pumps and onsite or offsite renewable energy sources.
  • Cover any residual emissions through high-quality carbon offsets.  

Reducing energy consumption

We recommended refurbishment work at 24 buildings on campus to reduce the university’s energy consumption by 21% and carbon emissions by 18%. We estimated energy savings of up to 25% by improving the use of space through technologies such as sensors based on the Internet of Things (IoT) to control building systems including lighting, heating and ventilation.

Moving away from fossil fuels

Our team recommended the installation of air-source heat pumps for the heating system. Their efficiency is approximately three times that of gas boilers. In addition, electricity has the potential to be zero carbon.

Delivering ambitious decarbonisation targets 

Alongside a clear decarbonisation plan for the university’s estate, we delivered feasibility studies and off-campus site assessments for the potential installation of solar PV panels and wind turbines. Through the ongoing implementation of the net zero carbon campus plan, the University of Hull is making substantial progress towards its target to achieve net zero by 2027.