Service, Egress and Loading

  1. Integrate service and egress doors and loading areas with the building design by matching the materials and detailing and reflect the overall quality of the facility.
  2. Incorporate egress structures such as stair towers into the facility design.
  3. Canopies may be used for service and loading areas; weather protection beyond weatherstripping is not required at doors used only for life safety egress.
  4. Develop building massing and orientation to minimize the appearance service and loading areas; physically and visually separate these from primary entrances.
  5. Loading areas must be organized, orderly and have an uncluttered appearance.

Create the primary entrance as a focal point and distinguish it from other entrances corresponding to the Facility Group designation following the Facilities Hierarchy guidance in the Overview of this AFCFS. Design and construct entrances to provide a functional thermal barrier between interiors and exteriors to reduce heat loss or gain (depending on the season), to conserve energy, and to provide protection from the elements.

Select durable materials and weather-resistant details that do not show wear during their life span. Provide climate-responsive shading consistent with shading provided for walls.

Create a hierarchy of primary, secondary and service entrances that provides consistent design yet uses greater detailing on the primary entrance.


Cost-effectively integrate passive building components such as thermal mass walls and exterior shading devices prior to the design of active mechanical systems for vestibules. Design entrances and vestibules to enhance and preserve indoor environmental quality and to promote thermal comfort, moisture control and daylighting.

Properly orient building entrances in response to the local climate. Avoid north-facing entrances in cold climates. Material specifications for entrances should consider recycled content, environmentally preferable products and biologically based products.


In areas subject to extreme heat or extreme cold life-cycle cost-effectively supplement building entrances with vestibules to minimize heat gain or heat loss and to reduce energy use.

UFC 1-200-01 General Building Requirements

UFC 1-200-02 High Performance and Sustainable Building Requirements

UFC 3-101-01 Architecture

UFC 4-010-01 DoD Minimum Antiterrorism Standards for Buildings

UFC 4-610-01 Administration Facilities

US Air Force Family Housing Design Guide for Planning, Programming, Design and Construction