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ASTM Selected Technical Papers
Building Security
J Stroik
J Stroik
Research architect
, Environmental Design Research Division—Center for Building Technology,
National Bureau of Standards
Washington, D.C., 20234
symposium chairman and editor
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ASTM International
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The Navy knew from observation by its personnel that it had a continuing and seemingly expensive problem with property damage in its Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQs). But what it did not have was any hard information quantifying these incidents, their causes, or their costs. The object of the research by BOSTI (the Buffalo Organization for Social and Technological Innovation), through a contract with the Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory, was to describe the scope and costs of vandalism in Naval BEQs, to identify environmental and other factors causing or preventing vandalism, to describe environmental and other changes which could reduce vandalism, and to describe a program to test and evaluate these proposed changes.

The four-volume report which BOSTI prepared for the Navy drew on questionnaires completed by 105 commanding officers, 262 BEQ managers, and 34 public works officers. The data base represented 83 percent of all stateside berthing in Naval BEQs and is thus considered highly representative.

In addition to analyzing the nature, extent, and costs of vandalism in BEQs, BOSTI analyzed the data to determine the most damaged and most costly building elements and found that almost 60 percent of the damage (by cost) occurred in two BEQ spaces: sleeping rooms (38 percent) and hallways (20 percent).

The study revealed that among 99 000 sailors berthed in 130 stateside Naval bases, there were 179 000 incidents of vandalism at a 1976 calculated cost of almost $8 million. Slightly more than half (57 percent) of the Navy-wide costs for BEQ maintenance and operations reported to BOSTI during 1976 had been spent repairing, reporting, and investigating property damage due to vandalism. Vandalism was having a negative impact on the morale of Navy personnel and on the habitability of BEQs. The BOSTI study recommended a series of design and administrative changes which could reduce property damage. Among those were a demonstration program to test design concepts aimed at reducing vandalism to certain building elements, which the Civil Engineering Laboratory contracted out last September, and many administrative steps which several Navy base commands have unofficially reported they were trying or plan to try.

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