Welcome to the National Cemetery Administration's Design and Construction Service home page. Our goal is to ensure quality planning, design and construction of VA national cemeteries.
Each national cemetery is managed by National Cemetery Administration (NCA) personnel in conformance with national and memorial service network office policies, priorities, goals and objectives. Most cemeteries are supervised by a cemetery director and a staff of administrative and maintenance personnel.
National cemeteries are commonly open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and on Memorial Day from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Generally, funeral corteges are received from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Burials at national cemeteries do not normally occur on weekends or federal holidays.
Unlike most private cemeteries, many national cemeteries are remotely located from the people they serve, requiring funeral corteges to travel long distances to the interment services. Committal services, held in a committal service shelter, are scheduled in advance by the cemetery administrative staff.
A Public Information Center with Cortege Assembly Area may be situated near the main cemetery entrance to provide a central point for vehicles in a funeral procession to wait while the entire cortege assembles and representatives receive final instructions before proceeding to the Committal Service Shelter. The Public Information Center would normally be occupied by cemetery personnel. In the absence of staff, visitors can contact administrative personnel by telephone provided there. Cemetery visitors would obtain gravesite locator information there and Public Rest Rooms would be located there.
The sequence beginning at the cemetery entrance should place the entrance to the Public Information Center and Rest Rooms adjacent to the Cortege Assembly Area, and at a distance from the Committal Service Shelters and Administration/Maintenance Complex, which should be centrally located on the site.
Some maintenance tasks may be contracted for and the contractor(s) provided with storage space within the Administration/Maintenance Complex.
The functions of a national cemetery include the operation and maintenance of all aspects of the cemetery. National cemetery directors and staff verify eligibility for burial and schedule the date and time of interment with funeral directors. They also manage burials and gravesite care, as well as the overall cemetery appearance, and host patriotic ceremonies on Memorial Day, Veterans Day and other special occasions. The users of cemetery facilities are typically:
For design programming purposes, cemetery buildings and site areas can be divided into several functional areas. Tasks, users and specific requirements are identified for each functional area.