Why size and multidiscipline expertise matter in ship accommodation engineering teams

Posted on May 25, 2021

Shipbuilding is an impressive example of a complex design and engineering process. A vessel is an independent and closed-off city on the sea. It’s designed to survive by its own and capable of supplying everything you need; fresh water, air ventilation, heating, cooling, electricity, food storing and preparation, garbage handling, navigation, communication and internet connection plus creating everything needed for driving and moving the vessel. It is also equipped to save your life in possible emergency cases. Obviously, designing and building all this is not a one-engineer-show.

Blog post by Seija Hede, System Manager & Electrical Designer at ALMACO.


It takes time and experience to set up a brilliant accommodation engineering team that knows how to work in sync with the customers and other partners. There is no such thing as picking ready-made engineers of the shelf. It’s not only about mastering your own areas. The accommodation team needs to be able to communicate and co-operate with all the other teams that are involved in building a ship from beginning to end.

Besides from experience, a successful team also needs the ability to reinvent old truths and come up with new aspects and ways of working. The key for achieving that is diversity and close co-operation within a big design team with know-how in many different fields.

ALMACO’s accommodation design team consists of a wide range of professionals from Naval Architects to 3D Designers as well as from experienced Shipbuilding Engineers to beginners and students. Co-operation with universities and other educational instances provides ALMACO with the opportunity to offer students interesting thesis topics as well as build a system for acquiring new promising work force.

In a successful accommodation engineering team, there is an assortment of Engineers who all lead their expert fields and coordinate the design and procurement process together. The most common accommodation design expert fields are cabin design, interior design, electrical design, and piping/HVAC design. But we also need specialists for steel structures, materials, rule interpretation as well as to produce 3D and detail design drawings.


Each project design team is led by a Project Engineer, who is in charge of the making the project a success. Surrounded by experts, the Project Engineer leads the Project Design Team and thereby the whole design flow. Projects can vary from cruise ships to tankers and oil drilling platforms, and the scope of the project can vary from complete living quarters to smaller turnkey area deliveries.
The Project Design Team is in charge of creating a design that fulfills all needs ranging from providing a superior end-user experience to fully complying with rules and regulations. They also support the Site Team during the building phase. Good co-operation and communication between the design team, client and site teams is crucial for ensuring a great and end product with satisfied customers.
The construction of a complete living quarter separate and outside of the rest of the ship takes extra competence in many fields to ensure the basic design of various systems is compatible with the rest of the areas of the vessel. This way problems can be avoided when it’s time to integrate the living quarter to the rest of the vessel. Easy and fast integration of ready-made sections is essential in projects with tight schedules.


Shipbuilding, like any other construction industry is moving heavily from the 2D world to designing every single detail in 3D. At ALMACO, the design team has taken a huge leap forward and now uses 3D tools for designing and presenting cabin and public area projects to the customers. Being able to digitally “step inside” the ship and twist and turn it, is a huge advantage for the customer when inspecting the design.

In future projects, ALMACO will incorporate more and more of the tools and possibilities the 3D design world has to offer, still considering the 3D readiness of our partners and customers.

For more information, contact

Picture of Seija Hede

Seija Hede

System Manager & Electrical Designer

[email protected]