5 Practices For Building Military Shelter Systems

5 Practices For Building Military Shelter Systems

Military personnel’s safety and well-being depend significantly on military shelter systems. These structures offer troops a safe space to rest, work, and accomplish crucial missions. Building these shelter systems requires attention to detail, careful planning, and a focus on quality.If you’re involved in constructing military shelter systems, it’s important to adhere to best practices. It guarantees that the shelters are functional and safe and cater to the needs of the personnel. So, read on to learn the best practices for building military shelter systems.

Conducting A Site Survey

Conduct a site survey before constructing a military shelter system. This step is essential to assess the location’s suitability and feasibility. During a site survey, collect and analyze various data on the site’s physical, environmental, and operational characteristics.

During a site survey, there are several factors to consider: terrain, climate, accessibility, security, and utilities. The terrain should be flat, stable, and obstacle-free to avoid interfering with the shelter system or posing a safety threat. Additionally, it should have adequate drainage to prevent flooding or erosion.

Furthermore, the climate should align with the shelter system’s design and performance specifications. One should also consider comfort, health, and morale. Access to the site should be possible by road, air, or water for personnel, equipment, and supply transportation. The site should have sufficient space for parking and loading or unloading vehicles.

Protection from enemy observation, fire, and attack is also necessary to ensure safety. The site should also minimize the risk of exposure to chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) threats. This consideration is critical when constructing shelters for military personnel and equipment like firearms and ammunition. Besides that, reliable power sources, water, and communication are also necessary for the site to function. 

Choosing The Right Materials

When building military shelter systems, you have to choose the right materials. The materials must possess the following characteristics:

  • Durability: They should resist extreme weather, wear and tear, and fire hazards.
  • Portability: The materials should be lightweight and easy to transport and assemble.
  • Functionality: The materials should provide sufficient protection, comfort, and insulation and allow for ventilation, lighting, and communication.

Some appropriate materials for military shelter systems are:

  • Fabric: Fabric is a versatile material used for various purposes. It can be made of natural or synthetic fibers and coated or laminated with waterproof or fireproof substances.
  • Metal: Metal is a sturdy material that one can use for frames, poles, stakes, and connectors. It can be treated to prevent corrosion or rust.
  • Plastic: Plastic is lightweight and can be molded or cut to meet requirements. It can be made of Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), Polypropylene (PP), or Polycarbonate (PC) materials.

Plan For Adequate Ventilation

Maintaining adequate ventilation is crucial to ensure the proper functioning of military shelter systems. Ventilation refers to exchanging indoor and outdoor air, creating a healthy and comfortable living environment. This is also helpful in reducing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, condensation problems, and fires.

Ventilation has two main types: natural and artificial. Natural ventilation utilizes wind and temperature differences to create air movement, while artificial ventilation employs fans, blowers, or ducts to move the air. Natural ventilation can be achieved by opening the shelter’s windows, doors, or vents, while one can control artificial ventilation with sensors, thermostats, or timers.

Both natural and artificial ventilation methods have their benefits and drawbacks. Natural ventilation is more energy-efficient and eco-friendly but may only occasionally provide adequate airflow. Artificial ventilation is reliable and consistent but requires more energy and may generate more noise. The type of ventilation chosen depends on various factors, such as shelter design, climate, power sources, and occupant preferences.

Provide Adequate Insulation

Proper insulation is another vital aspect of building military shelter systems, as it maintains comfort and reduces noise and moisture. Here are practical tips to achieve it:

  • Choose The Right Insulation Material: Consider cost, durability, weight, fire resistance, and environmental impact. For example, foam is light but flammable, while fiberglass is cheap but heavy.
  • Install The Insulation Correctly: Cover all gaps and cracks with insulation material, use tape or glue to secure it, and avoid compressing it too much. Cut the insulation to fit and use double layers if possible.
  • Regularly Maintain The Insulation: Check for damage or deterioration, replace worn-out or wet insulation, and keep it dry and clean to prevent mold and mildew growth. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or heat sources.

Ensure Structural Stability

When building military shelter systems, one must prioritize structural stability to ensure the safety and longevity of the structures against varying environmental conditions. Achieving such structural stability requires some steps that builders and users of the shelter systems can implement.

First, select a suitable site for the shelter system that is level, dry, and free of hazards such as rocks, trees, or power lines. Next, use appropriate materials and tools that are strong, lightweight, and resistant to corrosion, fire, and water. It’s also essential to meticulously follow the design specifications and instructions for the shelter system and avoid any modifications or alterations that could compromise its integrity.


Building military shelter systems is a complex and challenging task that requires careful planning, design, and execution. Follow the practices above to create safe, durable, and efficient military shelter systems.

May 1, 2023
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