BS 6349-3:2013: Cost-Effective Shipyard Design
Adrian Arnold, Global Technical Director Shipyards, Royal HaskoningDHV

Shipyard facilities are expensive and have to be cost-effective. Help is available for both shipyard operators and designers to achieve better investment value in the maritime facility developments of shipyards. The recently published British Standard covering shipyard design has been expanded and completely restructured to assist designers around the world deliver more cost-effective solutions.

The full title of the BSI publication is “BS 6349-3:2013 Maritime Works – Part 3: Code of Practice for the Design of Shipyards and Sea Locks.” Probably many shipyard engineers, both operators and designers, around the world are unaware of its existence, a design standard, which can help them reduce investment costs in shipyard facilities.

First published in 1988 by BSI, this British Standard was written to help designers of some specific shipyard facilities such as dry docks. Now, 25 years later expanded to cover all key shipyard maritime facilities, the overall philosophy adopted during the drafting of this first revision has been to target a code of practice for design, which delivers good value for necessary investment. The approach adopted is to set out a process, which gives the designers the full breadth of information and background to the purpose of the design they are undertaking within the various disciplines required for complex shipyard operation facilities.

The revision of BS 6349-3:2013 is part of a general overhaul of the whole suite of parts, which make up BS 6349 Maritime Works covering all aspects of maritime engineering design.

Focus on Cost-Effective Design
Good shipyard design should achieve both the required operational parameters incorporating the state-of-the-art technology and be efficient in terms of capital costs, maintenance costs and construction time. These end product focussed criteria are a common thread running through the new BS 6349-3:2013.

BS 6349-3:2013 addresses the common problem, which designers encounter of not having sufficient information to deliver a fully cost-effective solution and good investment value. There are two fundamental questions, which have to be answered at the overall shipyard facilities layout design level and the individual facility design level. These are:
Q1 - What extent and size of facilities are actually required?
Q2 - What is the real cost of developing the facilities?

The first question can be answered by thorough planning of the facilities to ensure that they will be operationally efficient and at the same time not over-specified incurring unnecessary development costs. Achieving the balance of these two sometimes competing requirements is addressed in the revised BS 6349-3:2013 by adopting a common structure to all eleven of the design sections within the document. This structure is intended to ensure that the operational parameters are firmly established so that the designer can add value to the design process. Through innovative thinking about the opportunities and constraints, the designer can proactively optimise the operational parameters. A parameter, such as dry dock depth, might be readily increased at little or no extra cost where the site’s ground conditions are favourable. Conversely some parameters might be financially onerous and the operator should be made aware of this to assess if a reduction in a parameter, such as specified quay loading, can be accepted without major impact on operational capability.

Each section of BS 6349-3:2013 has common subsections with each focussed on answering a simple question:
  1. Operational Parameters - “What is it for?”
  2. Siting - “Where is it best located?”
  3. Structural Elements – “How should the civil works be designed?”
  4. Equipment – “What equipment is needed to make it work?”
The question of the real cost can only be answered by making sure that both the full list of items is identified within a cost estimate and then real project cost data is applied to each item. The revised BS 6349-3:2013 defines the facility boundaries in the shipyard layout within which all cost items are captured. The main cost item headings within each facility are:
  • Maritime structures - eg dry dock walls, floor and entrance works, entrance gate, pumphouse
  • Operational equipment - eg cranes, pumps, entrance gate winch, capstans, hauling-in winches
  • Mechanical and electrical systems - eg fire mains, ballast water, 50Hz and 60 Hz electrical supplies, industrial gases

Clear Basis of Design
The Basis of Design, clearly defining and covering all aspects, which affect the design, is fundamental to achieving good investment value. The benefit of data feedback from similar projects cannot be overstated. This feedback covers both the construction costs and the subsequent operational efficiency achieved in real shipyards.

The Basis of Design will help the designer in conjunction with the facilities owner to achieve economies of scale across all facilities, economies through common elements during subsequent maintenance, economy of future facility extension and the incorporation of state-of-the-art technology.

There are at least two levels of the Basis of Design. At the overall Shipyard Level the Basis of Design should capture all the site wide parameters. The derivation of the Basis of Design is an iterative process through which the target throughput of ships is optimised in conjunction with the cost of the facilities required to support the throughput. Maritime facilities are inherently expensive and it is important to ensure that their parameters are matched to their required purpose. The process of deriving the optimum high level Basis of Design is equally applicable to entirely new shipyards and upgrading or expansion of existing facilities. The following diagram summarises the Basis of Design derivation process.

Sitting below the Shipyard Level Basis of Design is the Facility Level Basis of Design. At facility level the scope is specific to that particular facility and is kept in alignment with the other facility Basis of Design documents by the higher Shipyard Level Basis of Design. The scope of the facility level is all design disciplines required for that facility and within the facility boundary as defined within the Shipyard Layout. The clearly defined common boundary for all disciplines within a facility helps to avoid gaps and overlaps in the design. The disciplines at facility level will include maritime structures, mechanical and electrical services, operational equipment and control systems.

Changes in BS 6349-3:2013 & New Sections
The original edition, BS 6349-3:1988, was 74-page long and the scope was the design of five specific shipyard facilities:
• Dry docks
• Locks
• Slipways and shipbuilding berths
• Shiplifts
• Dock and Lock gates

The revised BS 6349 Part 3 has been expanded to over 120 pages and now covers all major shipyard maritime facilities. The original five sections have been joined by six new sections. The full list of sections is:

• Shipyard layout – NEW
• Dry docks - updated
• Shipyard piers and quays – NEW
• Slipways and shipbuilding berths - updated
• Shiplift facilities - updated
• Floating docks – NEW
• Sea locks - updated
• Hydrolifts – NEW
• Dock and lock gates - updated
• Piped services and electrical distribution systems – NEW
• Control systems – NEW

As part of the overhaul of the suite of BS6349 parts, there has been a very helpful rationalisation for designers in terms of common recommendations across the various parts. The common recommendations such as geotechnical investigations are now all to be found in BS 6349-1 which in turn is subdivided into four parts for ease of use, due to its size.

A significant change from the 1988 to the 2013 publication of BS 6349-3 is in the style of the wording. It is a requirement for all main text to be written in the style of recommendations and feedbacks getting from the previous experiment. Helpful information, which is not a direct recommendation, must be in the form of comments or notes.

The new sections of the revised BS 6349-3:2013 are in brief as follows:

Shipyard Layouts
Written to deliver state-of-the-art shipyard facilities based on:
  • Researched optimum position in the market
  • Defined ship product mix throughput
  • Latest available technology
  • Appropriate level of applied state-of-the-art technology commensurate with available labour skills
  • Throughput capacity benchmarked against competitors
    – Regional – International
Shipyard Piers and Quays
The structural design of piers and quays is covered by BS 6349 Part 2 2010. This section of BS 6349-3:2013 focusses on the particular functional requirements for shipyards, principally:
• Broad range of ship types and sizes
• Mechanical and electrical services
• Personnel access to ships
• Cranage

Floating Docks
Floating docks are generally proprietary designs, which were covered in the now out of date BS 6349-6. This section covers the whole subject of floating docks facilities:
  • Floating dock types and their implications for the shipyard designer
  • Moorings
  • Dock pit
  • Pedestrian and vehicular access
  • Support services
The Hydrolift concept is rarely adopted, possibly due its absence from main-stream design guides. This has now been rectified for improving the shipyard design. Due to its relatively simple in principle and easy mode of using, it can prove to be a very flexible and efficient method of launching and retrieving ships in a effective manner.

This section covers:
  • Principles of operation
  • Key considerations which differ from locks and dry dock structures
  • Entrance gate
  • Entrance works
  • Impounding basin
  • Landward gate
Piped Services and Electrical Distribution Systems
Mechanical and electrical services in shipyards are fundamental to all operations. This section covers the design considerations of the distribution of these services between the facility boundaries and their spatial requirements, which impact the maritime structures. The following diagram shows the scope of the distribution being between the facility boundaries and the source/destination.

Control Systems
Technological advances in instrumented control of shipyard equipment affects the design of each facility:
Benefits are:
  • Reducing health and safety risks during operation of the facilities
  • Increasing operational reliability and speed up operations
  • Reducing consumption of power and other utilities improving the environmental performance of the shipyard
Scope of system levels to be determined:
  • Automation
  • Redundancy
  • Reliability
  • Availability
  • Safety
BS 6349-3:2013 fills a void in cost-effective shipyard planning and delivers a process. For many years to come, it will help shipyard operators and designers to optimise the investment in the expensive facilities required in modern efficient shipyards.