Sea Star Base Galveston

Creating a Sustainable and Storm-Safe Dormitory Facility

The Opportunity

Sea Star Base Galve­ston (SSBG) is a high-adven­ture marine and mar­itime facil­i­ty offer­ing aquat­ic edu­ca­tion pro­grams for young peo­ple. The goal is to instill life­time lead­er­ship, team­work skills, and inde­pen­dence in body, mind, and spir­it. The base con­nects youth with marine envi­ron­ments through nau­ti­cal high adven­ture pro­grams while pro­mot­ing the explo­ration of STEM top­ics in an aquat­ic envi­ron­ment.

Due to its sea­side loca­tion, the design­ers need­ed a struc­ture that could stand up to hur­ri­cane force storms for both the safe­ty of the occu­pants and to min­i­mize storm dam­age. As a non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion, they were also inter­est­ed in low­er oper­at­ing and con­struc­tion costs.

Key Design Features

The Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem was cho­sen by archi­tect Ran­dall-Porter­field for Bautex’s ener­gy effi­cien­cy, recy­cled con­tent, acousti­cal per­for­mance, and hur­ri­cane and fire safe­ty rat­ings. The Bau­tex Sys­tem was used to con­struct two of the build­ings on the SSBG cam­pus, includ­ing the 5‑story, 60,000 square foot dor­mi­to­ry and event facil­i­ties build­ing that serves as a safe and com­fort­able home to hun­dreds of guests annu­al­ly.

Addi­tion­al­ly, the Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem sig­nif­i­cant­ly accel­er­at­ed con­struc­tion and reduced the over­all weight on the struc­ture. The Bau­tex Sys­tem was used instead of con­ven­tion­al con­crete mason­ry units (CMU). Insu­la­tion is incor­po­rat­ed into the Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem, elim­i­nat­ing the added cost and time to insu­late the walls.

Bau­tex pro­vid­ed the exte­ri­or walls and the demis­ing walls between the two-room suites on most of the floors. Bau­tex AMB 20 Air and Mois­ture Bar­ri­er and Exte­ri­or Wall Fin­ish were uti­lized on the exte­ri­or walls of the main build­ing. The design­ers used the sys­tem cre­ative­ly as well, design­ing attrac­tive beveled win­dow open­ings that were eas­i­ly cut into the Bau­tex Block after the walls were poured with con­crete.


Durability and Resiliency
The sol­id mono­lith­ic con­crete con­struc­tion at the core of the Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem pro­vides a build­ing enclo­sure that is not adverse­ly impact­ed by mold, mildew, rot, or decay that is com­mon in the harsh coastal envi­ron­ment of Galve­ston Island.

Occupant Comfort
Indoor ther­mal com­fort and sound reduc­tion pro­vid­ed by the Bau­tex walls give vis­i­tors an enjoy­able place to rest and relax from the day’s activ­i­ties and the hot and humid coastal envi­ron­ment.

Occupant Safety
Bau­tex wall assem­blies pro­vide ful­ly test­ed fire and wind­storm pro­tec­tion for guests, which was very impor­tant to the SSGB team.

Lower Long-term Operating Costs
The Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem com­bines R‑14 con­tin­u­ous insu­la­tion, ther­mal mass, and an air­tight enve­lope to cre­ate an extreme­ly ener­gy effi­cient wall sys­tem that pro­vides opti­mal ener­gy effi­cien­cy for the hot Texas envi­ron­ment.

Proj_Sea Scout_0250


Sea Star Base Galve­ston facil­i­ties had sig­nif­i­cant require­ments, includ­ing with­stand­ing future Gulf Coast storms and incor­po­rat­ing state-of-the-art ener­gy effi­cien­cy tech­nol­o­gy. The devel­op­ers are pur­su­ing LEED Plat­inum cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, the U.S. Green Build­ing Council’s high­est rat­ing for build­ing sus­tain­abil­i­ty. The Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem pro­vid­ed the ben­e­fits of recy­cled and region­al­ly man­u­fac­tured mate­ri­als, high ener­gy effi­cien­cy, and supe­ri­or indoor envi­ron­men­tal qual­i­ty, help­ing to dri­ve the SSBG project toward its LEED cer­ti­fi­ca­tion goal.

Project Info

Project Name: Sea Star Base Galve­ston
: Galve­ston, Texas
Building Type
: Dor­mi­to­ry and Edu­ca­tion Facil­i­ty
: 5
Building SF
: 60,000
: 2014

Project Team

Owner: Sea Star Base Galve­ston
Architects: Ran­dall-Porter­field Archi­tects Inc. & Ship­ley Archi­tects
General Contractor: Jacob White Con­struc­tion Co.
Bautex Installers: T.E Reil­ly Inc.& ARM Con­struc­tion of Hous­ton
Structural Engineer
: Paul Engi­neer­ing, Inc.