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Project Status
Project Value 
Service Provided
Completed ​2013
Portsmouth, U.K.
£ 35 000 000
Environmental Control



A major part of the restoration project was the drying out of the timber as well as providing an environment that allow visitors to view the hull. K8T provided analysis of the air conditioning provided in the space to ensure the Mary Rose hull could dry in an even and uniform manor. 



Raised from the sea bed in 1982, the Tudor warship Mary Rose has been undergoing a heroic conservation process in a temporary museum in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.


The Mary Rose is the only sixteenth century warship on display anywhere in the world. Her construction was ordered by Henry VIII and she sank in the Solent in 1545. In the temporary museum, it has only been possible to display 6% of the 19,000-odd artefacts found with the hull. 


The new museum, which is elliptical in plan, with the hull at the centre, has artefact galleries running the length of the ship. A 'virtual' hull — a mirror image of the real one — provides a viewing platform for the conserved section and artefact display spaces. Additional galleries and an immersive theatre complete the Tudor experience.

Mary Rose Ship hull
surf variation CFD model of the Mary Rose Hull


Hull conservation work is an ongoing process and must reliably continue during and after the museum's construction. Another challenge is that the museum's environments must protect the ship and its artefacts but also provide a comfortable experience for visitors. When the museum opens, the hull will be undergoing a five year drying-out process, following 17 years of deliberate waterlogging. To achieve the right balance, the museum has the world's largest display cases, with tightly controlled environmental conditions, using wherever possible low energy techniques to minimise operational costs.


Computational modelling has been used extensively for the for environmental control during the various conservation and construction phases, modifying the existing setup as work proceeds to achieve the new building. For the drying-out process, conditioned air is to be distributed in a controlled way across the hull, decks and individual timbers.


Modelling the Mary Rose drying process required the CFD model to be complex and have a high level of detail. Based from a 3D scan of the wreckage, a computer model was created in order t gauge a understanding of how the hull would dry within the museum. 

With the geomtry of the space and hull constructed, the analyis of the ventilation system that assists the drying and preservation of the hull could proceed. The analysis was useful in understanding local 'hotspots' and variations in the velocity of the air movement that could cause problems. An example of this in the increase of velocity around the rudder at the rear of the ship that was identified as part of the analysis. This could then be mitigated and analysed further to improve the design of the system.

Air speed path lines around the Mary Rose ship hull understanding speed increases

Discover more about the Mary Rose

Read about the Mary Rose restoration and preservation storey.

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