“Green Team” cuts energy use at Pier 48 barge

Ever wondered what goes on inside this building on the Seattle waterfront? It’s the maintenance barge for the Water Taxi, and this summer it’s been the site of a new effort to save resources, reduce the impact of Water Taxi service on the environment, and help King County achieve the goals and targets set out in our 2015 Strategic Climate Action Plan and the Passenger Vessel Association’s Green WATERS Program, to which the County has earned membership.

VesselMaint002Earlier this summer, the Marine Division assembled a “Green Team” of operations and management staff to examine every aspect of the Water Taxi operation. Drawing upon the expertise of vessel and shoreside crews, the team performed an energy audit at our Pier 48 Maintenance Facility and began implementing low cost improvements and several longer-term investments, all of which will result in increased resource efficiency and cost savings at the barge, such as:

  • Installing programmable thermostats in offices and storage spaces,
  • Further insulating the maintenance shop to reduce heat loss and improve comfort,
  • Identifying and procuring a more efficient heating system for our shop space,
  • Installing switching that will turn off heat when large garage doors are open,
  • Making the most of any resource-efficiency rebates associated with our reduced electricity and water use,
  • Changing any remaining CFL lighting to LED and adding position sensors to ensure lights don’t stay on unnecessarily, and
  • Evaluating how we light our vessels when they are unoccupied.

The Sally Fox and Doc Maynard have made great leaps forward in efficiency and efforts to keep  our waters and air as clean as possible. The Green Team’s work is just beginning and, in the spirit of continuous improvement, we will continue to make every change we can to continue to reduce our environmental footprint.

In all we do, we think Green!

(Contributed by Captain Dan Krehbiel)

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