The Royal Caribbean Group’s new Galveston terminal, which opens on November 9, will be the first to generate 100% of its required electricity from on-site solar panels. As a result, the terminal, which will be utilized by the company’s Royal Caribbean International brand, will be the world’s first LEED Zero Energy facility.
“We are focused on innovating across all aspects of our company, especially in our work to advance sustainability in the communities we visit,” said Jason Liberty, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. “We deeply value both the oceans we sail and the communities we visit and operate in, and the modern design and development features at our terminal in Galveston will work in service of both.”
The new cruise terminal at the Port of Galveston will be the first in Texas to achieve LEED Gold certification, an industry-leading certification expected to be received within the first two quarters of 2023.
In developing the new terminal, Royal Caribbean Group approached design strategies that aligned with its wholistic environmental goals, its focus to advance the development of sustainable infrastructure as well as its decarbonization strategy — Destination Net Zero — including:
- Improved Sustainability in Construction
- The project prioritized using materials that produce less carbon based on energy used and the transportation process.
- During construction, the team has diverted 75% of its waste from landfill.
- Minimized interior sources of pollution through the installation of materials with low or zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs) content, and enhanced air filtration media, focusing on occupant thermal comfort and controllability.
- Renewable Energy and Carbon Reduction
- The terminal will rely on 30,000 square feet of on-site photovoltaic solar panels, enabling the port’s self-sufficient energy usage. Any remaining energy not used by the terminal will be sent to the local power grid.
- Carbon emissions are being offset through the purchase of carbon credits.
- Regional and Global Environmental Benefits
- Materials and construction selection contribute to the reduction of “heat island effect” in the Galveston area, a region that experiences higher temperatures than outlying areas due to an over-stimulated energy grid.
- Implement strategies to reduce exterior lighting pollution, which may help minimize negative effects to the night-time sky and the surrounding community.
- Community Connectivity
- By offering bicycle facilities and electric charging stations, the project promotes alternative means of transportation for guests and staff from the surrounding community, reducing transportation-related carbon emissions.
- As the Port of Galveston increases its Electric Vehicles (EV) charging stations, Royal Caribbean International’s terminal, T10, will supply infrastructure for the future installation of eight EV charging stations within its parking lot.
The Galveston terminal is the cruise line’s fourth LEED certified facility and its first Gold certified facility. Previous projects include Terminal A at Port Miami, the Springfield, Oregon campus, and the Innovation Lab at the corporate offices of Royal Caribbean Group in Miami.
The $125 million, 161,334-square-foot Galveston Cruise Terminal dramatically enhances the cruise line’s presence in the port, allowing it to handle up to 630,000 guests each year. With the arrival of Allure of the Seas, the terminal will be the first time Galveston welcomes Royal Caribbean International’s iconic Oasis Class, the world’s largest cruise ships, and the first time the business brings its seamless arrival and departure procedure to Texas.