Renovating homes for military families


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A project to improve apartments within a US military residential complex.

At AECOM, we are committed to improving the quality of life for service personnel and their families, designing and delivering social infrastructure – hospitals, places of worship, leisure and training facilities, schools, shopping malls, and barracks – that connect and underpin military communities. 

That’s why we were proud to work on the renovation and reconfiguration of homes within an apartment complex used by the families of US military personnel in the Rhineland-Palatinate region of Germany, as well as the associated utility buildings. 

The challenge 

The 13 multi-storey residential buildings had been renovated several times since their construction in the 1950s.  

Our challenge was to renovate the homes in line with both the most up-to-date local guidelines as well as the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) own design standards – whichever was the most stringent. (The latter includes guidance on multi-family housing, security measures to protect against external impacts as well as requirements for full accessibility.) 

A prototype design approach

While the living areas in some apartments were well-proportioned and often oriented towards green spaces, others were undersized. This required us to reimagine the apartment layouts to meet space standards and plan implementation in the most efficient way possible. 

To meet this outcome, we designed a prototype apartment layout for each of the four building types. Our buildings physics team then analysed the existing structures of all the buildings to determine the most efficient construction approach while meeting strict security design guidelines. Any hazardous materials found in the building pollutant survey were identified, assessed and evaluated for further remediation or deconstruction. 

Comfortable and compliant  

All apartments were designed with good-sized living areas. We increased the size of bedrooms and bathrooms, and included larger windows and balconies. In some cases, we chose to create two new apartments out of three smaller ones.  

We were able to minimise noise by moving bedrooms away from the street and by installing sound insulation throughout. Vital safety equipment such as sprinklers and smoke detectors were installed or upgraded. 

All homes were fitted out by our interior planners with new kitchens and bathrooms.  

Thanks to this major renovation project, families of US personnel stationed in Rhineland-Palatinate are living in modern, spacious and secure homes that are fully compliant with both local regulations and the US DoD’s own specific design standards.