Housing on military bases has typically been considered basic and utilitarian. In recent years, however, members of the armed services have had access to a wider array of choices in military housing. Green-friendly features and planned communities that incorporate playgrounds, green spaces and other desirable amenities have become more common throughout the military community and offer significant advantages for families housed in these areas. Here are five of the hottest trends for military housing.
Green Design Choices
In 2006, the Department of the Army issued a memorandum that requires all new construction on military bases to achieve silver status under LEED certification rules. As a result, many new homes on military bases include green-friendly features that may include solar heating systems, insulated windows and doors, sun-reflecting roofs and natural shading for south and west exposures. These environmentally responsible designs can also reduce utility costs to provide even greater benefits for military families.
Some military bases offer rental plans for fully furnished homes complete with entertainment centers, kitchen appliances and other amenities. This can be of real benefit for families who transfer often. Rather than moving furniture and appliances, the availability of furnished homes on base can provide real convenience for individuals and families of those serving in the armed forces.
Integration of Ranks
In contrast to previous military base layouts that isolated members of each rank in their own specified areas, newer bases allow greater cohesion by allowing highly ranked non-commissioned officers to share the same basic space with other officers of higher rank. This allows for a greater sense of camaraderie and can potentially lead to improved cooperation among officers, non-coms and enlisted men and women on the base and in the working environment.
Integrating Input From Military Families
Many military bases are actively soliciting feedback from residents on base to determine the most effective upgrades for existing facilities and the best approaches to new construction. By incorporating their suggestions into existing and new base development, officials and administrators can create a more positive environment for service members and their families. Playgrounds, green space and shared community amenities are often among the most requested upgrades to these living spaces.
Implementing Modern Building Techniques
In some cases, modular building strategies can allow greater cost efficiency for military housing. The savings realized by these newer construction techniques can be spent on added amenities to make the lives of active-duty service members more comfortable and more convenient. This is especially critical for military families with children who need safe outdoor play areas to stay happy and healthy.
These improvements in on-base housing are designed to help families enjoy greater comfort during military tours of duty and to reduce the costs of utilities in green-friendly residences. As technologies for solar power and energy efficiency continue to improve, the housing available for members of the armed forces will evolve to ensure the most cost-effective use of resources and the best possible experience for active-duty military and their families throughout their service.