Our diplomatic missions require secure, safe, functional, well-maintained, and sustainable platforms for operation. At a time of surging energy prices and increasingly limited access to freshwater resources, conservation is of paramount importance at our facilities. Through the past decade, issues of security have taken priority over energy and sustainability. Recent federal mandates have demonstrated the interconnection of these two concerns. The Energy Policy Act 2005; 2006 Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings Memorandum of Understanding (MOU); 2007 Executive Order 13423--Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy; and Transportation Management; and the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) 2007 require aggressive targets for sustainability. EISA has reclassified energy and water as issues of national security. To address and meet the aggressive targets set by these federal mandates, OBO formed a cross-cutting “Green Team”, the Energy and Sustainable Design (ESD) Staff Unit, including participation by technical experts in the fields of real estate, planning, architecture, civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, interiors, security, construction, and commissioning.
The Energy and Sustainable Design Staff Unit has delivered several milestones to galvanize commitment, guide progress, and demonstrate results, including:
· Green Guide for Embassy and Consulate Operations
· Sustainability Survey, Database, and Report
· Technical Studies
· Energy Conservation Measures
· Green Building Certification
Together, these initiatives provide the State Department a strong framework for high-performance facilities, successful compliance with federal mandates, and stronger American missions.