Bachelor Enlisted Quarters 


NCMA/ICPI Design Award of Excellence Winner - Residential Bachelor Enlisted Quarters, Camp Pendleton

When the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest started their multiyear plan to replace/expand the current living quarters for the US Marine Corps throughout California and Arizona, architect Wyatt Chapman of Cass, Sowatsky, Chapman and Associates (CSC) architects stepped in. The new Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQ) at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, was designed and built as the first phase of a multibillion-dollar initiative to replace outdated BEQs. Twenty-five new BEQs will be located at Camp Pendleton. In addition to creating a model with comfortable, modern barracks, the design was required to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified.

The primary challenge for the design / build team was to develop a design to complement existing buildings on the base while defining a new type of facility. The new facility needed to not only evoke the feeling of a college campus with its aesthetics and functionality, but also be durable, economical and sustainable. Therefore, concrete masonry units were selected to construct the new dormitory.

The 68,500-square-foot (6364 square meter) Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQ) Facility P-015 is a four-story, reinforced concrete masonry building designed to house 340 single Marines in 170 double rooms. Chapman specified several different types of standard 8 x 8 x 16 (203 x 203 x 406 mm) units throughout the campus, The basic color of the CMU is lighter than that used on the existing buildings, which evokes a sense of modernism while maintaining the integrity of the original base architecture,” said Chapman. In addition, “Concrete masonry units manufactured in two different accent colors were added to provide relief to the critical massing and make the structures seem smaller and more inviting.”

Exterior walls are constructed of integrally colored, split face and smooth-face block, utilizing the split-face units as accent bands. The main building entries are highlighted with increased use of split-face block. The colors and textures are combined to enhance the exterior surfaces in an effective and complimentary fashion to the overall building massing. Smooth-face block in a light color complimenting the exterior color scheme were specified for all interior circulation walls.

Other building materials easily  complimented the concrete masonry units. Decorative railings are provided for areas required in upper floor open breezeway spaces. Railings will be finished to match the color of the standing seam metal roof, fascias, gutters and downspouts. The perforated metal window awnings will be finished in a complimentary color to work with the window pop-outs. The adjacent Activity Building, Mechanical Building, and Shade Structures are all designed of similar materials and scaled appropriately to provide a cohesive residential campus. Entrance areas and exterior walks are provided with either colored or stamped concrete.

The result was structurally sound seismic buildings which are aesthetically pleasing. To meet the seismic requirements the walls were fully grouted with rebar reinforcement. The multi-story building included a progressive collapse structural design.

The Design Award jurors felt the buildings appeared much lighter than expected for a multistory building that is comprised entirely of concrete masonry. In particular, the distribution of banding and different CMU textures was done very skillfully. In addition, the jurors liked that concrete masonry was left exposed in the interior as well.

In achieving LEED Silver certification, the concrete masonry units improved energy efficiency through their inherent quality to reduce peak heating and cooling loads. The CMUs were custom-made to reduce jobsite waste and the remainder were crushed and recycled into paving materials for the project. The use of concrete masonry also improved the indoor air quality by not requiring painting, adhesives or sealants, reducing indoor air quality problems. In addition to the CMUs, LEED points were gained through a variety of other methods, such as an innovative storm water runoff plan, an alternative transportation plan and use of drought-resistant native plants.

The Marine Corps has officially deemed this design its “Best of Breed” because it is a prototype design which establishes the design direction for future Marine Corps dormitories. CSC was deserving of recognition for this building since the intent to standardize the BEQs, in terms of room configuration, building materials and systems, site design, and amenities to the maximum extent practical at all affected installations was successfully achieved with the use of concrete masonry. CMD

Bachelor Enlisted Quarters—P-015, Camp Pendleton, California

Cass, Sowatsky, Chapman and Associates, San Diego, California

SMR-ISD Structural Engineers, San Diego, California

General Contractor
Harper Construction Company, San Diego, California

Masonry Contractor
Frazier Masonry Corporation, Lancaster, California

Block Producer/Supplier
Orco Block, Stanton, California