With the cruise industry preparing for its comeback, shipowners are engaged in efforts to make their vessels safer and more hygienic. According to architecture and design experts YSA Design, clean air should be a top priority.
The Oslo-based company is collaborating with energy services and engineering firm Scenso, whose interactive software solution will harvest data from onboard air quality sensors. With an approach using the watchwords ‘analyse, optimise, manage’, the tool will help shipowners to define goals and form an action plan for achieving cleaner air throughout their vessels.
YSA Design Senior Architect Kristian Englund explains the significance of the project in the revival of the cruise sector: “As passenger ships prepare for the post-pandemic era, much is being made of surface hygiene and how thorough cleaning and the right selection of materials can limit the spread of pathogens – and rightly so. However, studies show that the novel coronavirus can survive in airborne droplets for some time, so we need to pay more attention to air hygiene.”
Should air quality be found lacking, a number of measures can be taken depending on requirements, says Englund: “Emergency improvements can be carried out to restore public trust with minimal disruption. Temporary measures include upgrading filtration systems, optimising existing air zoning and actively cleaning air in venues through ionisation and particle capture, but refurbishment could be a better option – certainly in the longer term. This may involve the restructuring of duct systems for better zoning or the integration of air cleaning equipment in venues and within filter systems.”
As a company that counts ship general arrangements and project management among its specialities, YSA Design is well equipped to assist shipowners in vessel newbuilds and refurbishments alike, Englund adds. “Cruise operators will be able to apply the insights provided by Scenso to further limit the flow of air between cabins, as well as circulation between public spaces and crew areas. Ships may also be fitted with systems to shut down or reroute airflow in an emergency.”
While tracking and harvesting data is nothing new, Scenso’s technology is custom-made – by ship designers, for ship operators – and is being developed in collaboration with cruise lines. At its core, the platform is a sustainability solution designed to monitor vessel hotel loads, highlighting opportunities for general optimisation and energy savings in the three main life-support systems on board: air, water and power. When combined with third-party technology and the credentials of YSA Design, it has clear potential in helping cruise owners to improve onboard air hygiene.
“The development of air quality technologies is accelerating, and as these solutions become more advanced, the benefit of the Scenso platform will become increasingly apparent. We are confident that by using the knowledge gained in our collaboration with Scenso, YSA Design can play a significant role in ensuring safer ship operations in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic,” says Englund.