The mission of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, WA is to engage and educate people of all generations in traditional and contemporary maritime life, in a spirit of adventure and discovery. The first LEED Gold non-profit waterfront center in Washington State, the project is divided into two buildings – one housing the educational programs including a boat shop, classrooms, and a replica pilot house. The other building promotes the rich maritime heritage of the community with a chandlery (retail space), small vessel storage, exhibit and information gallery, community meeting rooms, and office spaces for maritime partner organizations.
As an organization committed to promoting and preserving maritime heritage, industry, skills, and culture, one of the primary goals of this project was not only to protect but to actually improve and restore the waters of the Puget Sound. Stand-out environmental features include specialized dock design and eel bed restoration to create and preserve habitat, a highly-efficient salt-water heat exchanger to provide heating and cooling, and water efficiency achievements. The buildings have abundant natural daylight and efficient lighting to reduce energy use, which combined with the water heat exchanger is predicted to use about 35% less energy than a comparable building. No permanent irrigation was installed and the project received an exemplary performance Innovation Credit for installing efficient fixtures that should reduce water use 40% or more beyond code.
O’Brien & Company conducted an initial LEED evaluation for the project, helped apply for grants to fund LEED planning and implementation, and navigated an increasingly challenging review process by the Green Building Certification Institute to fully recognize the significant environmental achievements of the project.