EMBASSIES GO GREEN
The Department reached a major milestone recently, certifying the 20th LEED® facility within its overseas portfolio, which includes five prestigious LEED Gold certifications in Brazzaville, Bujumbura, Dubai, Manila, and Monrovia.
Energy conservation strategies such as sun shading, solar hot water, occupancy and daylight sensors, highly reflective roofing materials that reduce the absorption of solar heat, and electric traction elevators were modeled to reduce energy costs by an average of 24 percent below the baseline at these new embassies and consulates.
New diplomatic facilities also employ advanced water conservation strategies. Consumption inside the buildings is reduced by an average of 35 percent through the use of air-cooled chillers, and low-flush and low-flow plumbing fixtures. Potable water demand for landscaping was reduced by an average of 75 percent, when compared against baseline assumptions, through careful selection of native, adaptive, and drought tolerant plantings.
The U.S. Embassy in Monrovia became the first newly constructed U.S. Embassy compound to generate clean power from photovoltaic panels, and to utilize a rain water harvesting system from the day the embassy staff moved into the building.
LEED® certification is an internationally recognized standard for measuring building sustainability. LEED® certified buildings are designed to lower operating costs while increasing asset value, reduce waste sent to landfills, conserve energy and water, be healthier and safer for occupants, and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.