Civil Engineering


This handbook provides guidance and standards to be applied in achieving facilities excellence within Air Force Space Command units. Standards have been proven by experience in industry and in other military applications to be effective in maintaining the most cost efficient life cycle for the physical plant and infrastructure supporting our missions. This handbook implements provisions of AFPD 32-10. It does not apply to the Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard.


Chapter 1 - The Facilities Excellence Program 3

1.1. Program Philosophy 3

1.2. Facilities Excellence Plan 3

1.3. Commanders' Facility Assessment Program 6

1.4. Facilities Excellence Recognition Program 6

Chapter 2 - Fence Standards 7

2.1. General 7

2.2. Types of Fences and Screens 7

2.3. Mow Strips 9

Chapter 3 - Hardscape Standards 10

3.1. Curbs 10

3.2. Parking Areas 12

3.3. Sidewalks and Walkways 14

3.4. Streets and Pavements 14

3.5. Installation Entry Gates 15

3.6. Gates........................................................................................................................16

Chapter 4 - Landscape Standards 17

4.1. Landscape Plan 17

4.2. Trees 18

4.3. Shrubs 19

4.4. Xeriscaping 19

4.5. Berms 19

Chapter 5 - Exterior Sign Standards 20

5.1. General 20

5.2. Sign Master Plan 21

5.3. Types of Signs 21

5.4. Signs for Historic Buildings 28

5.5. Wall Mounted Signs 29

5.6. Typography, Graphics and Sign Placement 29

5.7. Sign Mounting Details 29

5.8. Emblems 30

Chapter 6 - Facility Exterior Standards 31

6.1. General 31

6.2. Roofs 31

6.3. Doors and Windows 31

6.4. Exterior Wall Finishes 32

Chapter 7 - Interior Finish Standards 34

7.1. Interior Design Objectives 34

7.2. Interior Design Approach 35

7.3. Design Development 41

7.4. Design Execution 42

7.5. Interior Design Standards 42

Chapter 8 - Interior Sign Standards 56

8.1. General Information 56

8.2. Interior Sign Standards 56

8.3. Interior Sign Recommendations 57

Chapter 9 - Dormitory Standards 58

9.1. General 58

9.2. Programming 59

9.3. General Standards 63

9.4. Exterior Standards 64

9.5. Interior Standards 65

9.6. Utilities/Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) 76

9.7. Signage 77

9.8. Furnishings 77


Table 9.1. - Unaccompanied Enlisted Housing Construction Summary 61

Table 9.2. - Unaccompanied Officer Housing Construction Summary 62

Table 9.3. - Climate Design Guidance 79

Table 9.4. - UEH Dormitory Bedroom Items 80

Table 9.5. - UH Dormitory Common Areas 81

Attachment 1 - Residential Interior Design Materials Selection Chart 82

Attachment 2 - Hospitality/Lodging Interior Design Material Selection Chart 85

Attachment 3 - Food Service Area Interior Design Material Selection Chart 88

Attachment 4 - Office/Administrative Interior Design Materials Selection Chart 91

Attachment 5 - Maintenance/Warehouse Interior Design Materials Selection Chart 94

Attachment 6 - Recreation Interior Design Materials Selection Chart 97

Attachment 7 - Medical Interior Design Materials Selection Chart 100

Attachment 8 - Educational Interior Design Materials Selection Chart 103

Attachment 9 - Religious Activities Facilities Design Materials Selection Chart 106

Chapter 1



1.1.1. Purpose. The Facilities Excellence Program has two main functions. First, it provides efficient, fully functional facilities that support our mission and represent a wise investment of public funds. This aspect of facilities excellence involves quality design, construction, maintenance, and repair of our facilities and infrastructure to assure mission requirements are fully met at the lowest life-cycle cost. Second, facilities excellence assures the optimum use of existing facilities to minimize new Military Construction requirements. In this context, facilities excellence is not "gold plating," but the provision of facilities that fully meet mission needs and the needs of the people performing that mission, both functionally and aesthetically. Facilities excellence is not only a set of specific projects near the end of the Facilities Excellence Plan (FEP). It should be an integral part of every facility project. Facilities excellence is more than the physical facilities. It is also an attitude and a state of mind that motivates people to take pride in and care for their working and living environment. The appearance of the workplace can have a positive impact on the pride and productivity of a unit. Facilities excellence promotes an attitude of attention to detail, pride in the workplace and individual and unit performance that reflects in mission performance and productivity. This aspect of facilities excellence is supported by the self-help program, wherein people can provide for their own facility needs much sooner and create the element of pride in accomplishment that fosters higher unit performance. They will also take better care of facility improvements they helped to create. In this sense, facilities excellence is characterized as a journey, not a destination.

1.1.2. Facilities Excellence Guide. Command policy, general guidelines, specific guidelines, and pictorial examples of facilities excellence within AFSPC are included in the AFSPC Facilities Excellence Guide published by HQ AFSPC/CE.


1.2.1. Purpose. Achieving facilities excellence requires careful planning and articulation of standards. While this handbook defines Command-wide standards, there are many standards that are and must be unique to an installation, whether the installation is a main base or a small geographically separated unit. To assure these installation-specific standards are fully developed and consistently applied, a FEP is required at each installation, regardless of size. AFSPC installations with or without a Comprehensive Plan or General Plan should develop the FEP as a stand alone document. Installations with a Comprehensive Planning Framework in place may include the FEP as a chapter within this document. When an AFSPC organization is a tenant on a non-AFSPC installation, the FEP should include standards only for those issues or areas for which the AFSPC organization has responsibility. Coordinate the FEP with the host-tenant agreement. The FEP must recognize the cultural, environmental, climatic and existing facility conditions peculiar to an installation and define the appropriate styles, finishes, materials and furnishings to be used to achieve the best facility life-cycle costs and still retain the appropriate environment for people to achieve their highest productivity and efficiency.

1.2.2. Elements. The FEP should include the following elements: A mission statement for the unit. For large installations, this should include the host unit, such as the wing, and significant major subordinate units such as groups and tenants. The statement should be a concise one or two paragraph statement clearly defining the mission performed by the unit, and characterizing the types of facilities required to support that mission. A brief description of the installation. This section of the plan should provide essential statistics of the installation, such as the size of population it supports, the number of acres, number of buildings, miles of roads, etc. It should also include a clear description of the regional, cultural, and climatic conditions and existing architectural styles and materials to be found on the installation. This section should provide a basis for the selection of architectural styles and materials that have been selected as the installation standards. When feasible, photos of examples illustrating desirable features should be included in this section. Definition of standards to be implemented at the installation. These standards should, as a minimum, define the acceptable quality, style and materials to be used for the following: Exterior building character (by zone if necessary due to the size or architectural character of buildings on the installation). This is where the architectural theme should be identified and justified. Roof system. Define acceptable roofing systems, styles, materials, colors and finishes. Fenestration. Identify the style of fenestration that is acceptable. Include specific information related to fenestration such as double or triple glazing, tinting, window frame material, acceptable window styles, and colors of window frames and window glass. Wall/Exterior finishes. Clearly define the exterior finishes that are both acceptable and specifically not acceptable on the installation, and where various finishes are appropriate. Include approved and allowed colors, textures, and decorative items if necessary. Paint colors for base (field) and trim. Define the approved exterior paint colors for both base (field) and trim applications. Define where these colors are appropriately used. Provide paint numbers of industry standards and/or actual paint chips to eliminate guess work. Building interior finishes. Define approved facility interior finishes. It is recommended that color boards be prepared showing examples of interior finishes and how they coordinate with other elements of the interior environment, such as ceiling materials, floor coverings, trim, furnishings, etc. Floor coverings. Define the style, color, quality level, and appropriate application for the various approved floor coverings to be used on the installation. Include specific information for carpet, vinyl tile, linoleum, painted floors, special floor coverings in shop and maintenance areas, and raised computer room flooring. Furnishings. Furnishings include modular, freestanding, and systems furniture style, configurations, electrical wiring, communications connectivity, minimum standards, and colors if applicable. Wall coverings. Define the colors, textures, quality levels, and appropriate application for the approved wall coverings used on the installation. Interior plants and artwork. Identify approved plants and artwork styles to be used on the installation, and where they are appropriate. Provide guidance on the height and spacing of artwork. Trim materials, style and colors. Define trim elements as to style, color, material, texture, and size for such elements as baseboard trim, chair rail, and door and window trim. Include elements such as the appropriate door hardware, and light fixture type and style. Clearly articulate where these trim elements are appropriate, by individual building or room if necessary. Interior color palettes. Define all of the approved interior color combinations. Define the type and quality level of materials to be used in various applications. Interior signage. Define the style, type, material, lettering size and style, to be used on all interior signs on the installation, or by facility or zone if applicable. Select a system that allows easy changes to lettering. Interior signage should also conform to the requirements of AFP 88-40, Sign Standards. Window treatments (i.e., drapes, blinds). Define the type of window treatment to be used, along with the approved colors, style and texture. Standardize treatments within buildings or groups of buildings to the maximum extent possible. Landscaping. Define the style and kinds of landscaping to be employed on the installation, by zone or application (i.e., parking lot, building entries). Outdoor plant list. Include an approved plant list suitable for the environment and climatic conditions yet with enough variety to avoid monotony. Xeriscaping materials. Where xeriscaping is appropriate, define the materials to be used, including the type, color and size. Clearly identify the appropriate application for the various types of approved materials. Edging, paving and curbing. Define the approved materials, styles and colors to be used in various applications throughout the installation. Identify appropriate applications of approved materials by zone or area if necessary. Exterior amenities. Define appropriate exterior amenities for the installation. Provide specifications/definitive drawings where appropriate. These exterior amenities should be consistent with the architectural theme of the installation or area. These amenities would include trash receptacles, newspaper vending machines, and similar items. Exterior furniture. Define the style, colors, texture, and type of exterior furniture to be used throughout the installation or area. Exterior signage. Exterior signs, to include directional, traffic, informational signs, and all other signs on the installation. Define the specific materials, mounting scheme, etc. for the installation. These standards should be consistent with the AFSPC standards provided elsewhere in this handbook and comply with AFP 88-40 guidance. Fences. Define the approved fence styles, materials, colors and sizes for fences throughout the installation. Identify locations where different styles and types of fences are appropriate. Include the installation Fence Plan (see paragraph 2.1.2.) either directly or by reference. Utility and dumpster enclosures. Define the installation standards for the size, style, materials, colors, and type of utility and dumpster enclosures to be used on the installation. Exterior lighting. Define the type, style, and kinds of exterior lighting and where it is appropriately used. Define approved lamp fixture types from pedestrian walkway bollards to street lamps. Dormitories and military family housing. Define the standards to be employed in the interiors, exteriors, common areas and recreational areas in dormitories and military family housing neighborhoods, where unique to dormitories and family housing. Reference the Housing Comprehensive Plan and ensure it is coordinated with the FEP. Other special interest items. Articulate and define standards for other special interest items peculiar to a particular installation. This may include historical features, parks or monuments, or special display areas. Wherever possible, include photographs, samples or color boards in the FEP to clearly illustrate and define standards.

1.2.3. Supporting Plans. Incorporate installation level plans, such as the Fence Plan, Sign Plan, Paint Plan, Curbing Plan, etc., into the FEP by reference. This can help avoid redundancy in planning.

1.2.4. Projects to be Accomplished. The final section of the FEP should identify specific facilities or projects to be accomplished within the next two years. It should address what is intended to be done and include a tentative schedule for completion.

1.2.5. Annual Review. The FEP should be reviewed and revalidated annually by the installation Facilities Board. Provide a copy with any changes to HQ AFSPC/CEC to assist in resource advocacy.


1.3.1. Purpose. The FEP also serves a very important purpose in relation to the annual CFA Program. The FEP should establish standards to help commanders define how well their facilities meet mission requirements by establishing a common baseline of what is acceptable in facilities design, condition, and furnishings. Using a standard, well documented baseline with which to judge facilities improves CFA Program credibility and enhances resource advocacy opportunities.


1.4.1. Purpose. A key element of the AFSPC Facilities Excellence Program is the Facilities Excellence Recognition Program. This program annually recognizes the large and small installation that has the best maintained facilities within AFSPC. It also recognizes other areas of achievement, such as the most improved installation, and the best dormitory room on each installation. The full objectives, procedures, and awards presented under this program are included in AFSPCI 32-1001, Facilities Excellence Recognition Program.

Chapter 2



2.1.1. Applicability. All AFPSC installations should install fences and screens IAW the standards established in this chapter and adhere completely with the provisions of AFI 31-209, The Air Force Resource Protection Program, and AFI 31-101, The Air Force Physical Security Program for controlled and restricted areas. The Type A fence identified in AFI 31-101, Paragraph 7.4, will be used for all possible permanent restricted areas. AFSPC units tenant on another MAJCOM/DoD installation will adhere to the host command fence policy.

2.1.2. Fence Plan. Fences are necessary to protect property, define boundaries, and conceal unsightly equipment. Each installation should have a Fence Plan that minimizes fence requirements and identifies appropriate solutions for fencing where required. The goal of every installation should be to minimize the amount of fencing due to the generally undesirable visual aspects and the cost of maintaining it. The fence standards approved for an installation should also be a part of the FEP. The plan should identify approved fence styles and material types and where they should be used. Fence styles should be compatible with the installation architectural theme. Apart from the FEP, the Fence Plan should address priorities, phasing, and tentative schedules for funding and execution. Careful planning is necessary to assure fences satisfy the intended purpose with the appropriate materials.


2.2.1. Perimeter Fences. Perimeter fences will be installed at all AFSPC installations where encroachment or civilian intrusion may occur. Wings should evaluate each site for the perimeter fence requirement. Thule AB, Clear AB, and Ascension AAF are examples of installations which do not require perimeter fencing because of their isolated geographic locations. Perimeter fences will normally be a minimum of 6 feet high and may be chain link, decorative metal, masonry, concrete, or a combination thereof. The perimeter fence will establish a legal boundary and a physical barrier to unauthorized entry.

2.2.2. Security Fences. Security fences interior to the installation boundary should be minimized and present the appropriate degree of security for the resources being protected. These fences may be chain link, decorative metal, masonry, concrete, or a combination thereof. Theme fence (generally the design and materials relating closest to the installation's architecture) is usually the costliest because of the materials and workmanship involved. The use of theme fencing should be limited to high-visibility public areas. Other less costly but effective fence designs should be considered for other functional use areas of the installation.

2.2.3. Chain Link Fences. With few exceptions, chain link fencing should be used only for perimeter fencing, security for restricted or controlled areas such as flightlines, launch complexes, missile alert facilities, critical communications facilities, and for some industrial areas. Chain link fencing may also be appropriate for Military Family Housing to define yards and restrain small children or pets. If chain link fence is used, outriggers with three strand barbed wire and/or concertina wire should only be used for designated permanent restricted areas. Continually challenge the need for outriggers on chain link fencing. Bulk storage or equipment yards for Supply, Transportation, and Civil Engineering, etc., do not require the barbed wire outrigger and/or concertina wire on the top of chain link fence. Chain link fence should be corrosion resistant material to reduce maintenance. Coated fence fabric is recommended, and where used, fence posts must be coated with the same material. Wood, metal or vinyl slats will not be used in chain link fencing. When concealment of structures or equipment is a primary purpose of the fence, a type other than chain link should be used or a thick screen of evergreen plant materials may be more appropriate.

2.2.4. Metal Fences. Other metal fencing can be used if it is compatible with the installation architectural theme. This kind of fencing can provide effective security and screening when used appropriately. Any type of metal fencing should be corrosion resistant to reduce maintenance. Barbed wire fence is discouraged, but may occasionally be appropriate, such as in areas where government land is leased for grazing purposes.

2.2.5. Wooden Fences. Wooden fencing can be an alternative for screening, but should be evaluated for life-cycle-cost when compared to a permanent material. When used, wooden fences should be stained to complement adjacent color schemes and to reduce maintenance. Wooden fences are most appropriate in recreational and housing areas. Plant materials are an excellent method of "softening" the visual impact of wood.

2.2.6. Masonry and Concrete Fences. Masonry and concrete fences are attractive and durable, but have a higher initial cost, and thus should be used sparingly. However, they may compare favorably on life-cycle costs. They should be used when screening is a major function of the fence. The materials used must match adjacent facilities and/or comply with the installation FEP. Long masonry or concrete panel walls are very monotonous and should be staggered, or otherwise articulated. Masonry walls should be capped. Masonry walls are recommended at installation gateways and to separate housing from adjacent land uses.

2.2.7. Equipment Screens. Careful attention must be given to fences intended to screen heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment. Provisions must be made to allow adequate air flow for proper operation of HVAC equipment and to provide sufficient maintenance space. Metal fencing surrounding electrical equipment should be avoided if possible, but if used, must be bonded and grounded according to the National Electrical Safety Code and the National Electrical Code.

2.2.8. Earth Berms. Earth berms can be effectively used in place of conventional fencing. Berms are appropriate in high-visibility public areas with undesirable views to provide concealment where security is not a great concern. When used, earth berms must be appropriately landscaped and maintained. Ensure that berms are not too large (out of scale) nor too steep to mow.


2.3.1. Design. When installing new fences, consideration should be given to installing a mowing strip under the fence to reduce grass and shrub trimming requirements. Mow strips can be either of concrete or gravel. Mow strips are recommended for built-up areas requiring frequent landscaping maintenance or lawn mowing, and where appropriate, under high security fences. They are not recommended in xeriscaped areas and undeveloped areas. Special care must be given to gravel mow strips or they can be hazardous to mowers.

2.3.2. Concrete Strips. Concrete mow strips should be a minimum of 12 inches wide (6 inches either side of the fence centerline) to enable grass mowing equipment to adequately trim grass to eliminate the need for further manual trimming with "weedeater" type equipment.

2.3.3. Gravel Strips. Gravel mow strips should be a minimum of 24 inches wide (12 inches either side of the fence centerline) and be treated or configured with an underlayment to prevent vegetation growth.

Chapter 3


3.1. CURBS.

3.1.1. Applicability. All AFSPC installations should install curbing according to the AFSPC standards established in this chapter and the provisions of AFJMAN 32-1020 (AFM 88-7 Chapter 5). Existing curbing should not be replaced just to conform to these standards, but should be brought into conformance as streets, roads and parking areas are repaired (or constructed new). AFSPC units tenant on another MAJCOM/DoD installation will adhere to the host command curbing policy. AFSPC is committed to curbing all installation streets and parking areas. For the purpose of this policy, streets are defined as paved roadways in built-up areas of installations. Roads are defined as paved roadways connecting dispersed built-up areas. Curbing offers the following benefits: channels and confines vehicle traffic more effectively; provides for control and management of stormwater runoff; prevents shoulder erosion of paved surfaces; provides a more safe separation between pedestrian traffic and vehicle traffic; prevents vehicle access to landscaped and turf areas, thus reducing erosion and environmental damage; and presents a more ordered and defined image for our installations. All paved streets in cantonment or built-up areas should be curbed. Dirt and macadam roads will not be curbed. Perimeter roads need not be curbed. Paved roads that traverse long stretches of undeveloped areas need not be curbed if they have proper drainage, built-up shoulders, and minimal intersecting roads. When planning curb construction, careful consideration must be given to possible impacts on stormwater management. High curbs requiring backfill can alter existing stormwater drainage patterns and disturb on-site percolation. Stormwater permitting may also be required by regulatory agencies, with associated retention ponds, swales, or other water control devices.

3.1.2. Curb Types. Three types of curbs are acceptable for use at AFSPC installations. They are barrier curbs; mountable curbs; and header curbs. All curbs will be concrete. Asphalt curbs are not appropriate as they are not durable and thus expensive to maintain. Selecting an incorrect curb section for a particular application is not an improvement to an uncurbed street. Barrier curbs (Figure 3.1.1.) are most appropriate for parking lots and interior installation streets. Barrier curbs will have a steeply sloped to nearly vertical face at least 6 inches high. These curbs may need cut-outs for handicapped access, mower access, and possibly drainage cuts. They should be used wherever more strict vehicle control to prevent access onto turf or landscaped areas is required. Where barrier curbs are used, the ground surface should be level with the back, elevated edge of the curb. Mountable curbs (Figure 3.1.2.) are appropriate for housing areas and interior installation streets. They do not normally need cut-outs for handicapped access or for mower access. Since they will allow vehicles to ride over the top, they should not be used in parking lots. Where mountable curbs are used, the ground surface should be level with the back, elevated edge of the curb.