The achievement of “green” goals by ship industry requires innovative approaches in the whole ship design process, in order to revise all the aspects concurring to environmental impact. A relevant contribution to vessels’ energy consumption derives from HVAC systems and it is therefore related to comfort requirements. As a consequence, vessels’ environmental impact would benefit from a design addressed at reducing HVAC energy demand, including, for instance, alternative materials. The current works is aimed at suggesting unusual structures and materials to enhance vessels’ environmental performance. According to the principles of Passive Design, several materials and arrangements were analysed. Energy-efficiency performance were investigated by means of numerical and theoretical analysis, addressed at estimating their potentialities in limiting the energy demand. Each investigated alternative was related to its mechanical properties and its potentials in reducing the structural weight, in order to evaluate the consequences of innovative solutions from several points of view.
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