A warehouse and a boat; A warehouse and a boat;

Royal Van Lent Shipyard, Amsterdam

Engineering an improved work environment for Royal Van Lent’s newest shipyard

To meet the growing demand for ever larger 100-metre plus custom luxury yachts, Dutch high-end shipbuilder Royal Van Lent decided to build a new facility in Amsterdam-Westpoort.

The new facilities are designed to future-proof production, and feature offices, workshops as well as a manufacturing hall with a huge dry-dock able to build and service super yachts of up to 160 metres in length.

To provide a sound design solution and agile delivery programme, it was important to get a good understanding of the company, the people working there, and its primary processes. Arup listened and delivered a pragmatic total technical installation design, improving working conditions while creating safer and cleaner working areas.

In the five years of designing and building, Arup provided an integrated design plan for the construction of the production hall, workshops, and new dry dock. Arup was responsible for a wide range of engineering services including geotechnical, structures, acoustics, building physics, electrical and mechanical engineering, as well as project management. Being involved from concept design through to project delivery the client benefited from our multidisciplinary approach, ensuring an efficient process management and on-time delivery.


Project Summary

8,360 manufacturing hall

160mDry-dock hall

7mdeep dry dock

Building a luxury super yacht requires collaborative work and excellent craftsmanship. During peak moments, more than 200 people from different trades work in and around the yacht. As well as focusing on the design of the new facility, our specialists carried out a thorough study to map out the processes each of the different workers would be carrying out in the new facility, unlocking improvements and efficiencies in the flows. Through this work, our specialists have been able to create a new way of working which is more healthy, energy efficient and is no longer dependent on night shifts.


All images courtesy of Royal Van Lent

Designing a safer worksite

Painting the exterior of the yachts is an intensive, precise and risky job, typically carried out during night-time to limit the impact of the spread of paint particles and minimising the potential impact on workers’ health. Night shifts can also have a deep impact on work life-balance, concentration and health.

Our engineers designed a ventilation system that allows the painters to work during the day, alongside the rest of the team. The spray of the paint is removed at the source, creating a safer, more comfortable work environment.


In the design stage, we leveraged the knowledge, experience and insight of the operational staff to design practical solutions; creating a safer, more efficient new shipyard that supported the willingness to move to this new working location ” Christa de Vaan Christa de Vaan Associate

Energy-saving design

Where guidelines and references for this kind of specific facility were not in place, we developed a range of sustainable solutions to address temperature, lighting and energy consumption in the shipyard.

To deliver a smooth, high-quality yacht finish requires constant temperatures. Establishing this over a total height of more than 40 m is a challenge, while also leading to uncomfortable high temperatures at ceiling height.

Generally, this is compensated with high air capacities, pushing the warm air down. Arup carried out an extensive analysis that with a floor heating system and advanced ventilation system, far better conditions could be met with less than half of the amount of energy needed in a traditional system.