Yachting clients aren’t just interested in ensuring their yachts’ propulsion systems have low to no emissions. Designers say they’re fielding more questions about sustainable interior décor solutions, sustainable decking, and related matters. Therefore, a group of leading superyacht designers has created the Designers’ Protocol with the Water Revolution Foundation. It’s a standardized document providing guidance on sustainability principles.
Specifically, Bannenberg & Rowell Design, Vitruvius Yachts, and Espen Oeino International are among the contributors. Dickie Bannenberg of Bannenberg & Rowell Design initiated the effort, in fact. He felt it important to provide megayacht owners and their representatives with important issues to keep in mind for a new build. Simultaneously, he believed a collaborative approach among designers—some of whom may compete against each other—was the best way to proceed. Since the non-profit Water Revolution Foundation focuses on helping the industry learn about sustainability, and ultimately improve its practices, the organization assisted the designers. “Yacht designers and naval architects are, in many cases, the initial point of contact with clients wishing to build or refit a yacht,” Bannenberg points out. “As such, they have considerable influence on steering their clients towards responsible decisions.”
Using the acronym INFLUENCES, the Designers’ Protocol outlines the opportunities and steps for clients to follow. Naturally, each of the 10 letters in INFLUENCES stands for a topic of interest. Namely, they are:
Instigate an environmental ambition at the outset
Navigate hull form & propulsion options
Focus on life cycle (yacht lifecycle assessment)
Look at energy sources
Understand operational profile
Educate about the implications of a dark-painted hull
Nudge towards alternative decking solutions
Collaborate on specifying sustainable materials & finishes
Examine hotel load & A/C
Support options for glazing (window) treatments.
“The INFLUENCES protocol sets this section of our industry on a clearer path to informing and guiding,” Bannenberg asserts. Oeino agrees, saying, “Designers are setting the precedent for expectations across the entire industry.” He goes even further, adding, “This protocol should be compulsory as part of any client presentation so that we can instigate that dialogue and trigger a very healthy discussion surrounding sustainable design.”
All of the designers who contributed to the Designers’ Protocol agree that collaboration is paramount. “We must group our efforts to progress toward a solution,” Briand says. “This protocol represents the first time we can show that, as naval architects and designers, we are on the same page regarding this challenge of sustainability.”
The designers will continue to share their experiences as well as data in the coming months. Additionally, they’ll seek input from even more designers and naval architects, to assist customers across the industry.
Water Revolution Foundation waterrevolutionfoundation.org