Washington State Ferries and Coast Salish tribal stakeholders began the Mukilteo Ferry Terminal project with ambitious sustainability goals, envisioning a complex that would sit lightly on the earth. As the mechanical engineer for the project, FSi provided both energy modeling to evaluate envelope and mechanical options, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) airflow modeling for natural ventilation. Our energy and CFD modeling helped the design team develop a highly efficient building, cooled entirely with natural ventilation. The building takes advantage of prevailing winds from Puget Sound for cooling, and our CFD model showed that natural ventilation can keep the building comfortable in the summer, eliminating the need for mechanical cooling. We examined multiple iterations of window and door placement using CFD modeling, helping the design team determine the configuration that provides the best summer cooling while minimizing heat loss in the winter.

The new 24/7 terminal will generates much of the energy it uses through PV panels, and is expected to achieve LEED Gold, exceeding the original LEED Silver goal.