Ingenuity Magazine Summer 2020

12 Pond | H undreds of thousands of service members are relocated to new military bases across the globe each year. Adjusting to an unfamiliar location and community can be difficult for military personnel and their families. To ease the transition, Kadena and Yokota Air Force bases strive to cultivate environments that foster the growth of stationed Airmen. Comfortable, well-maintained housing units are fundamental to nurturing their development, which is why the bases partnered with Pond to guide the improvement of the existing facilities. There are many types of housing units on these bases. Which housing unit an Airmen will receive is determined by rank, location, and family circumstances. Barracks housing with shared bunks and bathroom facilities is most often used for basic training and other group related functions. Apartments, Dormitories, and High-Rise (Condo-Style) housing are for single service members and will have a single or shared room and living area. Housing Units are for married and higher-ranking service members. The quality of military housing varies from base-to-base, but they aim to make the Airmen feel at home. Today Kadena and Yokota Air Force bases are the center of Pacific airpower, employing thousands of American and Japanese workers between the two facilities. Nearly 18,000 Americans and more than 4,000 Japanese employees and contractors make up the team at Kadena. The base’s estimated economic impact upon Okinawa’s economy is more than $700 million annually. The Yokota Air Force base is comprised of four groups, including 17 squadrons. More than 3,500 military members alongside U.S. and Japan civilian employees make up the work force, which supports 32 tenant units and a base populace of approximately 12,000. Planning the Units To ensure the personal residences reflect the bases’ mission of promoting pride, dignity, and professionalism, Pond’s team of engineers and architects traveled to Japan to perform a Planning Charrette Report (PCR). By validating the scope and developing a cost estimate, the team could thoroughly assess the existing conditions and recommend the most effective solution. The information collected from these on-site observations enabled the analysis of the utility systems and the identification of potential deficiencies. The team had to gain a comprehensive understanding of the base’s environmental context. Leveraging the expertise of the environmental services group, Pond performed concurrent surveys to locate and detect any harmful materials present in the housing units. The analysis conducted would inform the future remediation of potential hazardous materials and steer risk elimination in the future. Additional mitigation measures included sampling asbestos and lead paint in each of the identified units. Modernizing the units at Yokota and Kadena Air Force bases also required verifying that all engineering specifications met current standards. The team identified methods to improve the utility capacity, enhance base systems, and ensure the integrity of surrounding support structures such as heat plants, storage areas, dumpster screens, sidewalks, and driveways. In order to most efficiently evaluate the base housing, the project was d i v i ded i n t o Kikubari Empathy, Selflessness, Community-Mindedness. There is no direct translation for this term, but the words above should help you get an idea of the meaning it conveys. Being aware of people’s needs and acting upon them before requested i s pa r t o f Japanese “omotenashi” or hospitality.