The First LEED Gold Building on the Olympic Peninsula

The Northwest Maritime Center Buildings were designed to enable our mission of education and engagement, reflect Port Townsend’s historic maritime setting, and be examples of innovation in ecological design and construction. NWMC buildings were the first to achieve a LEED Gold certification on the Olympic Peninsula.

Our building project began with removing more than 2,400 tons of contaminated soil, remediating almost 70 years of petroleum contamination. We worked with the City of Port Townsend to develop a low-impact pedestrian streetscape to improve the shoreline habitat for juvenile salmon and other fish, and to establish a permanent public easement along the water to maintain public access in perpetuity.

Our buildings are used by staff, students, program participants, community members, and visitors 365 days a year. They were designed around human needs: access to natural light and ventilation, stunning views, and a variety of spaces to gather, celebrate, and work – making these buildings highly functional for a wide range of uses.  

The wood used for our buildings was more than 60% of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified, occupying a prime location at the end of Water Street, at the transition between the old brick buildings of the late 1890’s and the adjacent Coast Guard clapboard buildings at the Point Hudson Marina, which were constructed in the 1930’s.

The building’s systems were designed to save 35% more energy than a standard design approach. An innovative Ocean-source Heat Pump, with titanium plates under the pier, uses the near-constant temperature of Port Townsend Bay as a heat source or heat sink to efficiently heat and cool the buildings. In addition, a 24kw solar panel array produces more than 10% of the power needed for the building.