8b. Memo

Waterfront Design and Environmental Standards

AGENDA MEMORANDUM                          Item No.           8b 
ACTION ITEM                                Date of Meeting        March 28, 2023 

DATE :    March 10, 2023 
TO:        Stephen P. Metruck, Executive Director 
FROM:    Joanna Hingle, Assistant Director of Engineering - Design
Laura Wolfe, Senior Environmental Program Manager 
SUBJECT:  Contract to Develop Waterfront Design and Environmental Standards 

Amount of this request:                 $500,000 
Total estimated project cost:             $500,000 

Request Commission authorization for the Executive Director to execute a consultant service
agreement for an amount not to exceed $500,000 to provide services for the development of
Waterfront Design and Environmental Standards. 

This request establishes a new Waterfront Development service agreement for a consultant to
assist the Port in development of a system for the creation, implementation, and management
of waterfront design and environmental standards, as well as an initial set of standard documents
for waterfront projects. The design standards will then be managed by Port staff and will facilitate
the revision or creation of future design standards by the Port or others as needed to respond to
industry developments. 
Currently, there are no published design standards for the Port’s waterfront projects, which
results in each project team determining what the criteria should be on a project-by-project basis.
The proposed work under this service agreement represents an important process improvement
and contributes to the Port’s goal of being a highly effective public agency. Goals for the
development of the standards include increasing consistency, increasing quality, and providing
greater certainty for cost estimating across projects. Further, the standards will help manage the
Port’s limited resources by providing key project criteria up front rather than spending
duplicative staff and design consultant time developing criteria for similar project types. Finally,
under this service agreement, development of design standards will focus on equity and
sustainability and ensure those principles are foundationally incorporated into all Port waterfront

             COMMISSION AGENDA – Action Item No. 8b                                  Page 2  of 7
Meeting Date: March 28, 2023 

Development of Waterfront Design and Environmental standards is intended to serve four
primary goals: 
1.  Provide increased consistency between projects 
a.  Standards provide a way to maintain consistency in areas that are important to
the Port, such as sustainability, performance, flexibility in use and maintainability.
Standards are not generally intended to specify manufacturers, models, or other
specifics that would require competition waivers. If this is deemed necessary for
any particular highly-unique item, the competition waiver process would be
coordinated with the Central Procurement Office. 
2.  Advance Port environmental and equity goals 
a.  Establish minimum requirements that position Port environmental and equity
goals at the foundation of design criteria and decisions. 
b.  The  Commission  Policy  Directive  on  the  Sustainable  Evaluation  Framework
(Resolution 3768) directs action to update and revise construction standards to
reflect advancement in sustainable materials, energy efficiency, and sustainable
design approaches. In this case, that requires the creation of standards where they
do not currently exist. 
3.  Increase quality and efficiency for individual projects 
a.  Identify preferred system types, reducing the need for repetitive Port staff design
review input for each project. 
b.  Streamline project decision-making and result in more efficient maintenance. 
4.  Provide greater estimating certainty 
a.  Grow the database of costs for systems commonly used at the Port of Seattle. 
b.  Reduce change orders due to Port-initiated design revisions. 
The current lack of consistent design standards poses consistent challenges for project design
and implementation: 
1.  High time and cost of project-based decision-making 
a.  Designers, Project Managers (PMs), project stakeholders, and project sponsors
must consider each design decision on a project-by-project basis, resulting in
duplicative work. 
i.  Example: Current City of Seattle buildings codes do not specify seismic
design parameters for all port building types, requiring the Port and the
Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections to determine and
negotiate appropriate criteria. 
ii.  Example: Pier and piling projects— a reoccurring project type—require
engagement from Port environmental staff to confirm chemical ingredient
restrictions on a project-by-project basis that pertain to all in-water
projects. Standards and specifications for projects of this type would
eliminate the need for repeated environmental engagement.

             COMMISSION AGENDA – Action Item No. 8b                                  Page 3  of 7
Meeting Date: March 28, 2023 
2.  Inconsistent implementation of environmental sustainability principles across waterfront
a.  Without  minimum  standards,  each  project  team  implements  independent
systems  without  environmental  performance  requirements,  resulting  in
inconsistent conservation and performance outcomes, or systems that may
deviate from strategic guidance. 
i.  Example: Project teams often evaluate Heating Ventilation and Cooling
(HVAC) system types, materials, and other common project decisions on a
case-by-case basis. Equipment that has lower up-front costs but is less
efficient and has a shorter life cycle overall is often selected, wasting both
energy and money in long-term costs. Standards would be designed with
environmental and lifecycle cost performance, strategic commitments,
and code compliance or exceedance in mind and minimize the need for
unique project consideration. 
3.  Inconsistent application of Port initiatives 
a.  Designers, PMs, and project sponsors may not implement choices that support
broader strategic initiatives. 
i.  Example: Power monitoring decisions for distribution substations are not
always implemented consistently throughout all branches of a system,
resulting in more manual work to gather full system data. 
It is common for large organizations such as the Port of Seattle to have and implement design
standards for infrastructure development. This project will bring the waterfront divisions into
alignment with the Aviation division, which has existing standards and guidelines that streamline
project design and maintenance by providing consistent direction early in the project lifecycle. 
Diversity in Contracting 
This contract represents an opportunity to meaningfully partner with small businesses and
WMBE firms. We anticipate a goal of at least 20% WMBE utilization, assuming confirmation
from the Diversity in Contracting group. 
The project will develop Design and Environmental standards applicable to all Waterfront
development projects to improve facility consistency and maintainability while foundationally
incorporating  equity  and  environmental  sustainability  into  all  Port  projects.  Maritime
Environment and Sustainability, Port Engineering, and Marine Maintenance resources will work
with consultants to complete the project, with the support and input of many other departments.
Total project costs are estimated to be $500,000 over a two-year period. Funding for this project
was included in the 2023-2027 capital budget and plan of finance.

             COMMISSION AGENDA – Action Item No. 8b                                  Page 4  of 7
Meeting Date: March 28, 2023 
Scope of Work 
Work will include development of Waterfront Design and Environmental standards. Components
of this work include, but are not limited to, the following: 
(1)    Identify  industry  norms,  standards  topic  options,  prioritization  method,  and
implementation strategy 
(2)    Facilitate internal and external stakeholder meetings to identify recurring topics and 
build consensus 
(3)    Develop a Needs Assessment Report 
(4)    Develop a Standard section template and recommendations for standards document
(5)    Facilitate discussions on and make recommendations for authority decisions, variances,
and implementation processes 
(6)    Develop Priority I Standards 
(7)    Develop  an  internal  and  external  facing  communication  plan  to  introduce  new
(8)    Develop Priority II Standards 
This document and system development work is expected to be completed in phases over two
years, 2023 and 2024. 
Commission authorization                      2023 Quarter 1 
Procurement complete                        2023 Quarter 3 
Priority I Standards Complete                     2024 Quarter 3 
Priority II Standards Complete                    2024 Quarter 4 
Cost Breakdown                                      This Request           Total Project 
Consultant support, 2023 (year 1)                            $200,000               $200,000 
Consultant support, 2024 (year 2)                            $300,000               $300,000 
Total                                                             $500,000                $500,000 
Alternative 1 – Do not develop Waterfront Design and Environmental standards
Cost Implications: $0 
(1)    Low-cost option 
(2)    No training required

             COMMISSION AGENDA – Action Item No. 8b                                  Page 5  of 7
Meeting Date: March 28, 2023 
(1)    Environmental sustainability and equity are only incorporated on a project-by-project
basis as resources allow 
(2)    Building equipment, efficiency, and maintainability may be different for each building,
increasing maintenance variability 
(3)    Port staff will spend significant time evaluating on small, typical projects in addition to
complex opportunities that require unique consideration and design engagement 
(4)    Certain analyses common to multiple projects (material selection, design criteria, etc.)
will be repeated for each project by Port and/or project consultant staff 
This is not the recommended alternative. 
Alternative 2 – Develop 4 to 8 Waterfront Design and Environmental standards on an expedited
timeline. This would only allow for minimal inter-departmental or external collaboration. The
number of standards developed may be higher or lower depending on the required depth of
content for each selected topic. 
Cost Implications: $250,000
(1)    Moderate-cost option 
(2)    Faster development timeline (one year) 
(1)    Poor implementation may result from omitting a robust stakeholder engagement and
training process 
(2)    Without adequate internal and external stakeholder engagement, tradeoffs may not be
fully vetted, and standards may result in unintended consequences 
(3)    Without  adequate  cross-departmental  collaboration,  departments  may  produce
conflicting standards 
(4)    If items are missed due to lack of engagement, Port staff will waste time focusing on 
small, typical projects instead of complex opportunities 
(5)    Will require additional work, contracting, to complete the project and fully develop
waterfront design standards and specifications 
This is not the recommended alternative. 
Alternative 3 – Collaborate across departments to form consensus around standards, develop a
communication and roll-out plan, and develop an initial set of 4 to 8 Waterfront Design and

             COMMISSION AGENDA – Action Item No. 8b                                  Page 6  of 7
Meeting Date: March 28, 2023 
Environmental standards for Waterfront projects. The number of standards developed may be
higher or lower depending on the required depth of content for each selected topic. 
Cost Implications: $500,000 
(1) Robust stakeholder engagement will work through several technical decisions,
providing a clearer and more consistent design basis for projects, thereby saving staff
effort in project development 
(2) Environmental sustainability and equity will be incorporated on most projects through
(3) Robust  stakeholder engagement and  training process  will result  in wide-spread,
effective implementation of standards 
(4) Creates efficiencies for Port staff by reducing focus on small, typical projects 
(5) Robust stakeholder engagement will allow full vetting of tradeoffs, reducing likelihood
of unintended consequences 
(6) Building equipment, efficiency, and maintainability will be the same or similar for most
construction, reducing maintenance variability 
(1)    Highest cost option 
(2)    Slower development timeline (2 years) 
(3)    Requires challenging engagement and decision-making by the Port for implementation
authority and process development 
This is the recommended alternative. 
The financial impact of this work is most directly linked to the one-time cost of consultant support
in developing the initial Waterfront design and Environmental standards system and content.
The long-term benefit is seen in increasing the quality and maintainability of infrastructure while
decreasing project design phase costs. 
Cost Estimate/Authorization Summary               Capital        Expense           Total 
Original estimate                                           $0        $500,000        $500,000 
Previous authorizations                                     0                0                0 
Current request for authorization                           0        $500,000        $500,000 
Total authorizations, including this request                  0        $500,000        $500,000 
Remaining amount to be authorized                     $0              $0              $0

             COMMISSION AGENDA – Action Item No. 8b                                  Page 7  of 7
Meeting Date: March 28, 2023 
Annual Budget Status and Source of Funds 
A new 2-year budget request for this work was made and approved in the Maritime Environment
& Sustainability budget. For 2023, the value request was for $151,000. To support the $200,000
expenditure anticipated in 2023, Engineering will be reallocating $49,000 to the effort. The 2024
budgets will include the additional $300,000. 
Financial Analysis and Summary 
Project cost for analysis              $500,000 
Business Unit (BU)                  Maritime Environment & Sustainability 
Effect on business performance     N/A 
(NOI after depreciation) 
IRR/NPV (if relevant)                 N/A 
CPE Impact                        N/A 
Future Revenues and Expenses (Total cost of ownership) 
Funding for this consultant service agreement will be through approved departmental operating
expense.  All Port staff support costs required to complete the scope of services will also be
funded through approved operating expense budgets. While maintenance of the standards will
be required to stay current with the industry and the Port’s direction, the staff costs for doing so
are anticipated to be less than the overall cost of more involved decision-making on each project. 


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