Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQ) and Bachelor Officer Quarters (BOQ) are Unaccompanied Personnel Housing (UPH) facilities for single or married unaccompanied military personnel. Therefore, the facilities described here serve a very specific audience. UPH differs significantly from temporary lodging facilities which may also serve military personnel. Temporary lodging facilities resemble a hotel, with more staff support and guest services, and are geared towards shorter stays. UPH resemble dormitories or commercial apartment buildings and are typically designed for longer stays.
The primary element of these facilities are the living/sleeping quarters, which may be referred to as apartments, rooms, modules, or units, and in recruit groups, as open bay. The name used depends on the branch of Service and the type of room. Occupant rank, training type, and military group cohesion drive the size and design of these spaces. Supporting facility spaces are relatively minimal and may include laundry rooms, mail and vending areas, public toilets, and multipurpose spaces for meetings, training, or recreation.
A. Space Types and Building Organization
UPH include three categories of functional areas: 1) the apartments, rooms, modules, or units; 2) interior common areas; and 3) exterior recreation/community areas within the site.
Apartments / Rooms / Modules
These spaces are the living quarters for residents. Common configurations include the following:
- One large open area accommodating multiple beds for the sleeping/living room and an adjacent shared toilet/bathroom with gang showers. This is typically only used for recruits or in short term deployment situations. This is also known as an open bay plan.
The common areas are the building public spaces. In addition to basic circulation space, utility spaces, and janitor spaces, common areas may include the following:
- Gear Wash. Some facilities may have an exterior or interior area designed for gear wash.
Recreation / Community Areas
These are outdoor spaces that may include the following:
- Sand volleyball court
- Basketball court
- Picnic area with grill, tables, and benches
- Shaded structures for public gatherings
B. Design Considerations
Key design goals and considerations for UPH include the following:
Quality of Life
Providing unaccompanied military personnel with adequate, comfortable housing is a major goal and a critical element of attracting and retaining high caliber personnel. Increasing personal space, resident privacy, and additional recreational amenities are the primary goals.
UPH provide the war fighter a residential environment through both exterior and interior design features. This residential character can be reinforced through the following design strategies:
- Consider design features such as room projections to create a more residential exterior appearance as opposed to flat-walled institutional elevations.
Security and Antiterrorism
As a highly-occupied facility housing military personnel, antiterrorism and security are critical design goals. In addition to complying with standard DoD criteria, UPH may require additional risk assessments to determine if additional measures are warranted. These measures may include the following:
- Limit the use of doors and windows in high-risk areas. Consider the use of protective and resistant fenestration and glazing.
As with any multi-occupant residential facility, privacy is a key issue. The acoustical design is critical to ensure adequate noise isolation. Consider noise sources from exhaust fans, mechanical equipment, and adjacent spaces.
Provide a Durable and Maintainable Facility
These facilities will undergo heavy use and will have regular occupant turnover. Finishes should be easily cleaned and repaired and designed to endure hard use. Provide impact protection such as corner guards, as appropriate, and select quality, durable hardware. Use neutral colors for the more permanent surfaces within the facility to facilitate future changes or easy replacement.
Recognizing both the need to enhance military personnel quality of life and competition with local housing markets, some UPH are now being designed and constructed as "market style" apartments. These apartments have room patterns and floor areas similar to private sector housing in the local community. The additional cost associated with providing, in some cases, additional floor space and amenities is being offset by allowing innovative design and acquisition procedures for these projects, including using private sector construction standards. Not all Services are using this approach.
Relevant Codes and Standards
Unaccompanied Personnel Housing are DoD facilities and subject to the appropriate codes and standards defined in the Unified Facilities Criteria (UFC) program. DoD uses the International Building Code with modifications as described in UFC 1-200-01, >General Building Requirements. Other documents specific to UPH include the following:
- Department of the Army Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management memorandum, dated May 1, 2003
- Department of the Army Office of the Vice Chief of Staff memorandum, dated July 11, 2002
- FC 4-721-10N, Navy and Marine Corps Unaccompanied Housing
- Air Force Unaccompanied Housing Design Guide