Military Construction Standards Should Be Updated To Better Meet User Needs and Save Money

LCD-77-351: Published: Apr 3, 1978. Publicly Released: Apr 3, 1978.

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Military construction standards are used in designing and building Department of Defense (DOD) facilities worldwide; these standards affect the adequacy of a facility and its costs for construction, operation, and maintenance. The application of selected standards was examined in the Pacific Ocean area.

DOD construction standards are generally comprehensive and provide the flexibility to meet varied user needs. However, conflicting and outdated standards contribute to increased costs and may run counter to the government's energy conservation goals by providing a facility with too much lighting and cooling or too little insulation and vapor barrier protection. More local input into the planning process and better consideration for unique needs could produce better adapted facilities in Hawaii. The criteria for Hawaiian construction do not result in facilities which meet user needs at the most reasonable cost. Air conditioning and insulation criteria do not consider the lack of temperature or humidity extremes and the availability of cooling winds. Standard designs used by DOD fail to provide the open-air livability features common to privately constructed buildings in Hawaii.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should provide the means to regularly revise construction standards, allow for greater input from users in formulating and revising the standards, and compare construction standards with others to ensure consistency. He should also direct the Army and Air Force to revise their roof-live-load criteria to allow reductions under certain conditions. Because of the unique conditions in Hawaii, the Secretary of Defense should: (1) allow field engineers greater leeway in adapting facilities to local conditions; (2) reevaluate the present requirements for insulation and vapor barriers; (3) instruct field engineers to review current and future designs to eliminate air-conditioning where feasible; and (4) refine and clarify DOD air-conditioning criteria to consider natural air movement as a comfort factor.

    Agency Affected:


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