Royal Caribbean Group to Open World’s First Zero-Energy Cruise Terminal

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Royal Caribbean Group's new Galveston terminal, which opens Nov. 9, will be the first to generate 100% of its required energy from on-site solar panels. As a result, the terminal, which will be used by the company's Royal Caribbean International brand, will be the world's first LEED Zero Energy facility.

Jason Liberty, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group, said: 

"Innovation is important to us in all parts of our business, but especially in the work we do to promote sustainability in the places we visit. 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 get LEED Gold certification. The certification, which is the best in the business, is expected to come in the first two quarters of 2023.

Royal Caribbean Group used design strategies that were in line with its overall environmental goals, its focus on promoting the development of sustainable infrastructure, and its strategy for reducing carbon emissions, called "Destination Net Zero". These strategies included:

Improved Sustainability in Construction

  • The project gave priority to using materials that make less carbon based on how much energy they use and how they are moved.

  • During construction, the team has diverted 75% of its waste from landfill.

  • Minimised 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 use 30,000 square feet of photovoltaic solar panels that are already at the port. This will make the port self-sufficient in terms of energy use. 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 plans to cut down on outside lighting pollution. This could help reduce the bad effects on the night sky and the community.

Community Connectivity

  • By providing bike racks and electric charging stations, the project encourages guests and staff from the surrounding area to use other ways to get around. This cuts down on carbon emissions caused by transportation.

  • 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 marks the cruise company’s fourth LEED-certified facility and its first Gold-certified. Some of the past projects are Terminal A at PortMiami, the campus in Springfield, Oregon, and the Innovation Lab at the corporate headquarters of Royal Caribbean Group in Miami.

The 161,334-square-foot Galveston Cruise Terminal costs $125 million and greatly increases the company's presence in the port. It also makes it possible for the cruise line to host up to 630,000 guests per year. With the arrival of Allure of the Seas, the terminal's opening will be the first time Galveston has seen Royal Caribbean International's Oasis Class ships, which are the world's largest cruise ships. It will also be the first time the company has brought its smooth arrival and departure process to Texas.

Source: Royal Caribbean Group

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