New Guide represents industry first single-source document addressing quality of life aboard offshore facilities. Technological advances have resulted in reduced staffing of facilities, increases in the complexity of on-board systems and greater remote control of equipment and/or platforms. Therefore, those crew members remaining aboard distant installations must maintain enhanced levels of mental and physical fitness to ensure the safety of the process, the equipment and fellow crew members.
The ABS Guide defines "habitability" as the acceptable condition of an offshore installation in terms of noise, vibration, indoor climate and lighting, as well as accommodation design, according to prevailing research and standards for human performance and comfort. The new Guide provides quantifiable assessment criteria and describes the measurement methodology for obtaining a "Habitability" (HAB or HAB+) notation or certification. These assessments are voluntary and optional and can assist offshore operators in improving crew member performance and their living and working conditions.
Habitability issues extend to both living and working conditions, with the Guide providing extensive physical criteria for the efficient design of both spaces. Criteria also are provided for work spaces such as control rooms, bridges and machinery spaces. With regard to accommodation spaces, habitability criteria are provided for offices, workshops, mess rooms, cabins, hospitals/sick bays, recreation rooms, laundries and storerooms. The accommodation criteria for a HAB or HAB+ notation or certification are the same.
The evaluation criteria and measurement methodologies of the new ABS Guide are specific to the awarding of ABS HAB and HAB+ notations or certifications. The Guide specifies the end result of design and construction rather than detailing the design and construction processes by which the criteria are to be achieved. For the HAB level, the Guide focuses on the five categories of habitability criteria that can affect crew task performance. The HAB+ level addresses the same habitability categories but calls out more stringent vibration and indoor climate criteria aimed at increasing crew comfort. ABS-classed installations that meet the specified criteria will be awarded the appropriate notation. For non-ABS classed installations, certification to either HAB or HAB+ is offered.