Defense Department sets unified facility criteria

5-year effort will consolidate design and technical criteria

The Department of Defense (DoD) has begun a five-year consolidation effort to unify all design and construction technical criteria. This move will enhance DoD's ability to develop and maintain technical criteria that are current with technological advances and industry standards.

Along with the office of the Secretary of Defense, key players in this program are the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) and the Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency (AFCESA). These organizations have established the Tri-Service Committee for Unified Design Guidance to manage this program under the direction of the chief engineers of each service and the deputy undersecretary of Defense for installations. Officials say the unified criteria program will greatly simplify the way architectural and engineering firms do business with DoD.

Under this consolidation, the military departments expect to convert most of the existing facility-related handbooks, design manuals, engineering manuals, and technical manuals into Unified Facilities Criteria (UFC) documents. The conversion also will utilize non-government standards to the greatest extent possible.

Index of documents will soon be available
A comprehensive UFC index listing new documents with service criteria will be available soon. The index, new UFC documents, and additional information on the UFC program are available from the services or from the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) via the Construction Criteria Base (CCB) and the Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG).

For further details on this effort, visit the following Internet sites:

  • USACE -
  • NAVFAC -
  • AFCESA -
  • NIBS/CCB -
Edited by Bob Arguero, Managing Editor, Govcon