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National Cemetery Administration

Design and Construction Service

NCA Design and Construction Service provides planning, design and construction project management, design and construction standards, environmental, energy, and historic preservation services and expertise to VA and NCA to deliver high quality and cost effective cemetery facilities that honor Veterans with final resting places and commemorate their service to our nation. Our Vision is to provide leadership, expertise, and advice in the development, acquisition, expansion and preservation of VA National Cemeteries to create national cemeteries as lasting memorials which invoke a sense of honor and dignity for our Nation's veterans.

To meet our goal of ensuring quality planning, design and construction of VA national cemeteries, Design and Construction Service provides support to Central Office and Field activities including 131 national cemeteries and 33 soldiers' lots and monuments sites:

  • Oversees and collaborates on cemetery design and construction for all phases and aspects of Minor ($10 million or less) construction and expansion projects in NCA. Authorizes release of funds and increases or adjusts funds based on project deliverables. Negotiates on behalf of VA/NCA in generating proposals regarding land planning, construction of new cemeteries, and the expansion and improvement of established national cemeteries.
  • Oversees strategic efforts for systematic expansion of national cemeteries and interment/inurnment space for eligible Veterans and family members.
  • Advises NCA senior executives on utilization of appropriate methods to resolve construction-related issues.
  • Serves as a technical resource in developing criteria on energy and water conservation, environmental compliance and mitigation and historic preservation. Develops design standards for national cemetery construction.
  • Forecasts planning efforts in land acquisition, fund allocation, construction estimates, project justification, design and construction activities, and environmental compliance. Manages and monitors projects related to the construction program for national cemeteries; issues delegation authorities for all Minor Construction.
  • Conducts studies and develops operational plans in anticipation of future expansion and construction needs of NCA. Supports NCA strategic planning processes by analyzing plans in order to accomplish construction management requirements.
  • Develops and evaluates annual Minor construction operating plans, and establishes and monitors milestones and monthly obligation budget target compliance. Supports the capital investment proposal process required for NCA construction as part of the annual VA planning and budget submissions.

Construction Programs

Construction projects to develop additional gravesites at national cemeteries, acquire land and make infrastructure improvements are critical to achieving the strategic goals and objectives of the National Cemetery Administration. These capital improvement projects are funded from VA’s Major and Minor Construction appropriations.

Major Construction: New construction costing more than $10 million. Design is accomplished by Architect/Engineer (A/E) firms under contract. VA's Office of Construction & Facilities Management (CFM) is responsible for the planning, design, and construction of all major construction projects greater than $10 million. In addition, CFM acquires real property for use by VA elements through the purchase of land. Projects are "line items" in the VA budget, authorized and appropriated by Congress and can carry-over multiple fiscal years. Major construction projects are submitted for approval through VA’s Strategic Capital Investment Planning Process.

Minor Construction: New construction and capital improvements costing $10 million or less. Projects involve new construction, and/or alteration, enhancement, or upgrading of an existing element of the cemetery. Design is accomplished under contract by Architect/Engineer firms. NCA's Design and Construction Service manages these projects and working with NCA Contracting Service is responsible for execution of the NCA Minor Construction Operating Plan.

Maintenance and Repair

Maintenance and repair projects are funded with the Operations and Maintenance appropriation and managed by NCA Memorial Service Network (MSN) offices. They address deficiencies with any of the approximately 800 buildings and structures and over 18 thousand acres of land within 131 national cemeteries and 33 soldiers' lots and monuments sites to maintain the appearance of national cemeteries as national shrines, dedicated to preserving our Nation's history, nurturing patriotism and honoring the service and sacrifice Veterans have made. Projects include gravesite renovation, recurring maintenance and repair of roads, drives, parking lots, and walks; painting of buildings, fences and gates; repair of roofs, walls, and irrigation and electrical systems.