Whether you’re in the process of creating a new ship or refurbishing an existing member of your fleet, the inclusion of a glass structure can elevate your design. Whether your goal is to make a distinctive statement in the harbor, showcase the design in promotional materials, or establish a lavish environment for passengers, integrating a glass structure into your ship’s design can distinguish it from the rest.
In the best of circumstances, bespoke structures can present architectural challenges. On a cruise ship, the marine environment exacerbates these challenges. The constant exposure to saltwater, harsh weather conditions, and the need for optimal safety standards make designing cruise ships a unique endeavor. When it comes to marine glass considerations, however, a proactive approach will deliver solutions that bring the design intent to life seamlessly.
Engineered Design During Cruise Line Development
In the dynamic process of cruise line development, the piece-by-piece construction brings the vessel to life. Since the construction process can be complex, an experienced Engineering team is essential. Novum’s expertise and knowledge ensures that every piece not only fits into the grand puzzle but also contributes to an unforgettable experience for passengers.
Novum Engineering will guide your vision and deliver the final product, by bringing together the various structural elements to create bespoke structures, multi-story atriums or light spacious solariums.
Design and Implementation of Glass Structures on a Cruise Ship
By recognizing the distinct demands of the marine environment, Novum Engineers develop glass structures that not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of the ship but also offer durability, safety, functionality, whilst enhancing the passenger’s experience. Considerations such as corrosion-resistant coatings, impact-resistant glass, and innovative installation techniques must be integrated into the design process. Addressing these considerations during the design process not only improves the construction process by identifying and overcoming potential obstacles, but also ensures a visually striking result that harmonizes with the ship’s overall design.
Structural Glazing System
Novum Engineered Structural glazing systems mechanically fix the glass to the substructure via bolting and/or clamping. Novum can offer a variety of engineered solutions to fulfil the architectural requirements, whilst maintaining corrosion resistance, complying with stringent fire safety regulations, and if required being able to withstand wave impact.
The marine environment is harsh, and corrosion is a constant threat. That’s why Novum engineered glazing systems incorporate corrosion resistant coatings and uses grade 316 stainless steel where required. These considerations ensure longevity of the system and the overall integrity of the ship’s structure.
Fire Safety Regulations
Safety is paramount on a cruise ship. To this end, fire-resistant glass solutions play a pivotal role in structural fire protection, preventing the spread of flames, smoke, hot gases, and radiant heat. These glazing systems help ensure safe evacuation in case of an emergency.
Wave Impacts and Weight
Cruise ships must contend with immense wave pressure. Any glazing solutions must withstand significant wave pressure without compromising safety. However, this strength cannot add too much weight. A heavier vessel consumes more fuel. A Novum Engineered glazing system maintains safety while minimizing the added weight.
ETFE Membrane Systems
ETFE Membrane Systems are constructed using a type of film known as Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene. This high-strength material is incredibly lightweight—weighing approximately 0.6kg/m2—which makes it an excellent choice for large structures that require minimal substructure. It’s also versatile, with the ability to be supplied in either a completely transparent or translucent state, and in a variety of colors.
ETFE Membrane Systems create a weatherproof barrier that allows natural light to permeate through. This unique feature creates a pleasant ambiance inside the ship, providing passengers with a breathtaking panorama of the sky.
Lightweight and Versatile
The lightweight nature of ETFE is a major advantage, especially for seafaring vessels where weight drastically impacts fuel consumption. Its ability to span large areas with minimal substructure also makes it a cost-effective solution.
Durability and Safety
ETFE membranes aren’t just lightweight and versatile, they’re also incredibly durable. They’re fire-safe, self-extinguishing, and produce virtually no smoke—meeting European Standard EN 13501 – class B-s1, d0. Plus, their chemical inertness makes them self-cleaning; rainwater simply washes any dirt away.
Energy Efficiency and Sustainability
One of the key features of ETFE is its ability to let a lot of light through while diffusing it completely. This results in a significant reduction in the need for artificial lighting, promoting energy efficiency. Furthermore, ETFE’s resistance to weathering and degradation means it has a long lifespan, adding to its sustainability credentials.
On a cruise ship, an ETFE Membrane System has the remarkable ability to convert areas, crafting weather-resistant enclosures that enable passengers to relish natural light and stunning vistas, irrespective of the weather conditions. Envision the delight of dining beneath a celestial canopy of stars or unwinding in a sun-drenched atrium as you sail through the open seas.
Importance of Specialized Construction for Cruise Ship Architecture
To successfully bring to life the visionary designs of glass systems, the contactor responsible must possess a profound understanding of these intricate structures and the finesse to execute them seamlessly. Glass structures, like canopies or solariums, combine construction practices based on the materials along with understanding how the marine environment will affect the structure over its lifespan.
An experienced contractor can seamlessly integrate the diverse elements that contribute to the final masterpiece. From structural glazing systems that ensure the glass is securely integrated into the ship’s frame, to ETFE membrane systems that create weatherproof enclosures while allowing natural light to permeate, a skilled contractor can orchestrate the implementation of these technologies.
A specialized construction contractor not only ensures the safe and effective technical execution of these designs, while maintaining the integrity of the design intent. They implement the functionality and safety of structural requirements with the ship’s design language front of mind to create a captivating and safe environment for passengers.
Making an Informed Decision for Your Cruise Line’s Marine Glass Structures
Implementing marine glass structures for cruise ships presents a complex challenge, balancing innovation, practicality, aesthetics, and durability. By embracing proactive design approaches, utilizing advanced materials, and collaborating with specialized contractors, cruise lines can create vessels that stand out not only for their architectural brilliance but also for the unique experiences they offer to passengers sailing the high seas. Working with the right specialty contractor can simplify the process and offer experienced advice.
Novum Structures offers our expertise in architectural glass and steel systems for marine projects, where we bring our commitment to quality to your project from design to construction.