World’s First Zero-Energy Cruise Terminal by Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean Group has announced that it’s brand-new terminal in Galveston, Texas will be the first cruise terminal in the world to generate 100 percent of its needed energy through on-site solar panels. This makes the terminal the first LEED Zero Energy facility in the world.

royal caribbean galveston terminal
(Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

In developing the terminal, Royal Caribbean Group used design strategies that aligned with its environmental goals, its focus to advance the development of sustainable infrastructure, and its decarbonization strategy, which includes:

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 diverted 75 percent of its waste from a landfill.
  • Minimized interior sources of pollution through the installation of materials with low or zero volatile organic compounds 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 will be sent to the local power grid.
  • Carbon emissions are being offset through the purchase of carbon credits.
galveston cruise port royal caribbean terminal
(Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

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 nighttime sky and surrounding community.

Community Connectivity

  • By offering bicycle facilities and electric charging stations, the project promotes alternative means of transportation for guests and staff, reducing carbon emissions.
  • As the Port of Galveston increases its electric vehicle charging stations, Royal Caribbean’s terminal will supply infrastructure for the future installation of eight EV charging stations within its parking lot.

“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.”

allure of the seas
Allure of the Seas (Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

The Galveston terminal marks the cruise company’s fourth LEED certified facility and its first Gold certified. Previous projects include Terminal A at PortMiami; the company’s Springfield, Oregon campus; and the Innovation Lab at Royal Caribbean Group’s corporate headquarters in Miami.

The 161,334 square foot Galveston cruise terminal will be able to accommodate up to 630,000 guests per year. The opening of the terminal will mark the first time Galveston welcomes Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class, the largest class of cruise ships in the world, with the arrival of Allure of the Seas.

The terminal is scheduled to open on November 9th.

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