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Royal Caribbean to open world-first zero-energy cruise terminal at Galveston

This photo shows Royal Caribbean's Galveston terminal under construction several months ago. It is due to open Nov. 9 and will be able to accommodate Oasis-class ships
Royal Caribbean Group's new Galveston terminal, set to open Nov. 9, will be the first cruise terminal to generate 100% of its needed energy through on-site solar panels.

This makes the building, which will be used by Royal Caribbean International, the first LEED Zero Energy facility in the world.

The $125m, 161,334-square-foot terminal at Pier 10 significantly expands the line's presence in the port, increasing its ability to accommodate up to 630,000 passengers per year. It will be home to the Oasis-class Allure of the Seas, among other ships.

'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.'

First LEED Gold faciilty in Texas

The terminal will be the first in Texas to achieve LEED Gold certification, expected to be received within the first two quarters of 2023.

Royal Caribbean Group approached design strategies that aligned with its overall environmental goals, its focus to advance the development of sustainable infrastructure and its decarbonization strategy.

Bermello Ajamil design

The facility was designed by Bermello Ajamil & Partners to meet LEED certification standards.

The project prioritized 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.

30,000 square feet of solar panels

Interior sources of pollution are minimized through the installation of materials with low or zero volatile organic compounds, and enhanced air filtration, focusing on comfort and controllability.

The terminal will rely on 30,000 square feet of on-site solar panels, enabling self-sufficient energy usage. Any remaining energy not used by the terminal will be sent to the local power grid.

Carbon offsets

Carbon emissions are being offset through the purchase of carbon credits.

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.

The terminal will implement strategies to reduce exterior lighting pollution, which may help minimize negative impact on the night-time sky and the surrounding community.

EV charging stations

By offering bicycle facilities and electric charging stations, the project promotes alternative means of transportation for workers from the surrounding community, reducing transportation-related carbon emissions.

As the Port of Galveston increases its electric vehicles charging stations, Royal Caribbean's terminal will supply infrastructure for the future installation of eight EV charging stations within its parking lot.

Company's fourth LEED facility

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