Barracks Bldg. 421 on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall was officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony July 26.

The newly constructed barracks will hold 216 single servicemembers in apartment suite-style living. Each suite consists of two bedrooms, one bathroom and one kitchen.

Also available to those living in the building are an activity room and a centrally located laundry room on each floor.

“It’s a first here at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. It’s about the environment and the environmental footprint and trying to reduce that,” said JBM-HH Commander, Col. Carl R. Coffman. He added that this will be the example for any future buildings on JBM-HH.

With a price of just over $19.2 million, the new barracks is the most environmentally-friendly building on post. The appliances used in the building are rated for energy efficiency, and 30 percent of the hot water will be provided by the solar hot water heating system and the two boilers will use natural gas.

“These barracks afford [the Soldiers] a better opportunity to interact with each other,” said Maj. Gen. Michael S. Linnington commanding general Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region, and Military District of Washington during remarks at the ceremony.

“We have an obligation and a commitment to provide housing that will enhance the quality of life of our servicemembers who have volunteered to protect and serve this great nation and who continue to be the strength of the nation,” said Linnington.

Soldiers had already settled into their new living quarters before the ceremony took place. Alpha Company (The Old Guard), which had previously been living in older barracks on Fort McNair, have now joined their fellow Old Guard members on the Fort Myer portion of JBM-HH after moving into the newly completed barracks.

“The amenities in there are great " really great quality of living for the Soldiers,” said Capt. Matt Sucec, Alpha Company commander.

“We had to fight through traffic in the city to get over to do missions. It makes it a lot easier on the transportation side of the house,” he said.

“Just giving the Soldiers a better quality of living, it’s much nicer,” said Sucec in regards to what he likes most about the new barracks.

After the ceremony, a few Soldiers stood outside their rooms so folks who wanted to tour the building could, and had the opportunity to view the layout of the suite-style living areas.

“In every way, it’s an upgrade,” said Pfc. David Picklesimer, Alpha Company. “From the kitchen to the bedroom to the bathroom, it’s better in every way.”

“Over here on Fort Myer, I like it a lot better. The rooms are a lot nicer,” said Cpl. Zachary Casada, Alpha Company.

The Vice President and General Manager of Suffolk Construction Mid Atlantic Region Michael DiNapoli talked about the different environmental add-ons that went into the building during the ceremony. “While on the outside, it looks very similar to many of the other buildings on this campus, it’s really [what is] behind the brick that’s pretty significant,” said DiNapoli.

Not only did the company use a lot less paper while drawing up the design by doing most of the layout online, the structural frame was a steel frame with concrete in between which is a lot more economical than traditional concrete buildings. Also behind the brick is three inches of insulation which will prevent heat loss. The heating system in the winter also has a recovery wheel that will catch escaping air to reuse.

“I think the guys will enjoy living here,” said Sucec.