Wow! Been away for a while. Love the discussion here. Great work as always Praetor.
Crazy Eddie wrote:
From that analysis, however (inspired by King Daniel among others) I'm getting into the idea that there's no reason for the decks on starships to actually be continuous; and that a considerable bit of space may exist between them, which would actually explain the undercut for the saucer pretty nicely. That would mean some of the rooms/modules/compartments situated on those decks would have a bit of wiggle room for how they fit into the ship; a conference room might have a ten-foot ceiling while crew quarters are only eight, corridors are only seven, etc.
That might account for the lack of lineup between windows and deck spaces, especially if one assumes that some "plubming paths" built into the ship require parts of the deck to be raised or lowered to accommodate them.
NOW you're speaking my language!
Ever since I visited the USS Alabama, spent the night, and got to crawl all over that ship, I've realized that it makes no sense to have continuous decks or standard deck heights. The ship (ANY ship, really) is designed to house the equipment it carries first, and any personnel considerations come a distant second. (Unless you're talking about a luxury yacht, but even it has crew areas that aren't exactly easy to walk around.)
I've also come to the conclusion that having corridors everywhere also make no sense, but that's a discussion for a different time!
I recently visited the USS Iowa down her in Long Beach and I have to concur. It isn't practical or even realistic to expect that all decks have the same height. Ships, unlike high rise buildings, are constructed around function requirements that apartment complexes, office buildings or even luxury cruise ships are not subject to. My take is, (and it looks like this has already been adopted) let the windows help inform the deck spacing, rather than try to impose a constant deck spacing throughout the ship and trying to squeeze the windows in.