The new F-110 frigates project is currently in the conceptual design and definition phase. General arrangement has to be defined; there are many demands and proposals of changes. One of them is the design of the most crowded areas, the mess halls. The aim of this article is to provide the Spanish Navy Staff with a decision tool that helps in determining the optimal distribution of the future F-110 mess halls. For this purpose, a new "analytical decision maker" model was designed providing advanced statistical methods and computer pedestrian simulations within multicriteria decision-making framework that allows optimizing conceptual designs. To reduce subjectivity, crew movement simulations and statistical methods were added to the multicriteria decision model, thus creating a less-subjective decision tool. A sensitivity analysis was conducted to check the robustness of results. An integrative decision and design approach are necessary for broad acceptance of human factors adoption within naval architecture design.
Ship design is a complex challenging process that requires the successful coordination of many different disciplines and that necessarily involves trade-offs between competing interests to achieve a balanced result. Hence, ship designers need to understand the complex interaction between different design drivers and their influence on the final solution, always being aware that the cost of rework may become drastically high if errors are found in the later stages of the design.