After two years of works, Feadship has officially opened the doors to its new highly sustainable construction facility situated in the heart of Amsterdam. During celebrations held yesterday evening, which marked 170 years of Royal Van Lent as well as the official opening ceremony by Queen Máxima, Feadship referred to the development as an ‘enormous undertaking’ and one which will considerably increase the shipyard’s overall capacity.

“Today we celebrate the 170th Birthday of the company, which is an enormous milestone, and we do that with the opening of this brand-new facility,” says Jan-Bart Verkuyl, CEO at Feadship Royal Van Lent, yesterday. “This was an enormous undertaking over the last two years."

With the capacity to accommodate yachts up to 160m inside the construction hall, the new 25,000 cubic metre location is now Feadship’s fourth facility alongside Royal Van Lent’s other facility in Kaag and Koninklijke De Vries’ facilities in Aalsmeer and Makkum. In addition to the vast construction hall, the new Amsterdam facility has 200m of quayside to accommodate both new build and refit projects.

"We sat down with all of the managers and said ‘what do you need to make this the best it can possibly be?’ and the yard has been laid out according to these requests. It is all about the workmanship of the people, it’s not about just making sure we have enough space for the boat.”

- Jan-Bart Verkuyl, CEO at Feadship Royal Van Lent

But of course this isn’t just a question of size - the shipyard has been designed in line with the requests of each department, taking into consideration exactly what they need, as well as highly advanced sustainable solutions.

“We designed our facilities with the managers of each department,” explains Verkuyl. “We sat down with all of the managers and said ‘what do you need to make this the best it can possibly be?’ and the yard has been laid out according to these requests. It is all about the workmanship of the people, it’s not about just making sure we have enough space for the boat.”

Over the course of two-years, the new facility was constructed entirely from the ground upwards on the wet soil of Amsterdam, meaning that considerable investment was dedicated to laying solid foundations for the Feadship facility. “There was nothing here,” says Verkuyl. “The whole of Amsterdam is built on poles and one of the biggest job was laying the foundations, so a lot of the investment is actually in the ground. We also used our imagination to make the facility look pretty. We didn’t want to make it too much of an industrial building, we wanted to create the same feel that we have in Kaag.”

"People are waving the sustainability flag, but when you dig deeper, you end up finding nothing."

- Farouk Nefzi, marketing and brand director, Feadship

One of the core aspects of this new facility is sustainability, and it’s one of the facets that Feadship prides itself on, although treads carefully as in this industry, there are many who ‘wave the green flag’, without really proving how exactly they intend to successfully enforce sustainable actions into their activities. But, with the opening of the new facility, Feadship can now boast a series of phenomenal efforts, which could justify its claim as ‘the greenest shipyard in the world’.

“You see fragments of sustainability popping up here and there in the yachting industry, but not in a consistent way,” says Farouk Nefzi, marketing and brand director of Feadship. “It is something that you have to take very seriously, but we were always afraid that it could come across as ‘greenwashing’, which can happen very frequently in the yachting industry. People are waving the sustainability flag, but when you dig deeper, you end up finding nothing.

“This new facility is built to the standard of today’s possibilities, this is most likely to be the greenest yard in the superyacht industry worldwide,” continues Nefzi.

Sustainability has been ingrained in the Feadship organisation over the last 13 years - the shipyard has been pragmatic and dedicated in its approach to ensure that the sustainable ambition is achieved.

Sustainability has been ingrained in the Feadship organisation over the last 13 years - the shipyard has been pragmatic and dedicated in its approach to ensure that the sustainable ambition is achieved. Having produced an all-encompassing White Paper on its sustainable efforts and regular internal seminars to enhance its sustainable dedication throughout the company, Feadship can demonstrate its phenomenal sustainable achievements even further with the new Amsterdam shipyard.

“We said if we want to have a strategic ambition on the basis of sustainability, it shouldn’t be only the product, it has to be the whole process, the people that work in that process, our yachts, their operation, recycling and of course the building that we are in now,” explains Nefzi. “We have incorporated a lot of new features and waited so long because we wanted to prevent shouting out a lot of information without being able to showcase what we have achieved so far.”

The new Amsterdam facility has been equipped with smart solutions such as ‘district heating’, which runs off wasted energy from nearby factories, a double thickness insulation layer of 120mm, 2262 solar panels, LED lighting, a three-tier ventilation system and many other facets.

The new Amsterdam facility has been equipped with smart solutions such as ‘district heating’, which runs off wasted energy from nearby factories, a double thickness insulation layer of 120mm, 2262 solar panels, LED lighting, a three-tier ventilation system and many other facets.

“The implementation of real sustainability efforts requires huge investments and we’re taking it step by step,” says Nefzi. “We had the opportunity with the construction of this building to incorporate all of the things that we have highlighted, and the new building was built to the highest standard of sustainability.

“We are also implementing new solutions on board and trying to involve our owners,” Nefzi continues. “Ultimately, they are investing in all the new technologies and we are always dependant on the willingness of our clients to showcase and to implement these new solutions.”

The onboard sustainability efforts are of course, just as important as sustainable efforts at the shipyard, which is why Feadship are also focusing on solutions to improve it. “Right now, on 110 M/Y Anna, which is full of data, the owner gave us permission to collect the data and show how sailing activity relates to the economic impact and the behaviour of the yacht when she is out on the water,” says Nefzi.

On board, Feadship is implementing a number of innovative sustainable solutions, such as hybrid propulsion, battery banks, heat recovery blackwater to deck wash and Energy saving switches . Alongside finding new ways to fine tune its sustainable efforts on board.

“We have a dedicated R&D taskforce for sustainable solutions throughout the process and the product,” explains Nefzi. “Feadship is one of the companies that joined the Water Revolution Foundation, and actually we are trying to collaborate with all the other big yacht brands as well to create a sustainable industry standard.”

Undoubtedly, the dedication and investment that Feadship has made towards sustainability shows just how important this is to the brand, and showcasing their achievements – Amsterdam being one of them – rather than just their ambitions proves their genuine intentions to become increasingly more sustainable. This is a phenomenal achievement and one that marks an important milestone in Feadship’s history.

During The Superyacht Design Forum, held at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour on 25th -26th June, De Voogt Naval Architects, the shipyard’s in-house design and architecture department, will take to the stage to discuss Feadship’s innovative approach to sustainability. To attend this unmissable event, sign up here!

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