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Diplomacy in Action

Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations Introduces New Perimeter Design Concepts for Diplomatic Facilities

Media Note
Washington, DC
October 18, 2011


The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) announced the new Embassy Perimeter Improvement Concepts (EPIC) initiative during its Industry Advisory Panel meeting today. The EPIC team studied compound perimeter designs to improve the quality and appeal of the built environment surrounding United States diplomatic facilities abroad. The EPIC initiative is one of many efforts OBO is undertaking in its renewed commitment to Design Excellence.

OBO and the Bureau of Diplomatic Security collaborated with Davis Brody Bond Aedas, Rhodeside & Harwell, and Weidlinger Associates to observe and document the perimeters of four existing embassy compounds. After analyzing the function and aesthetic realities of perimeter designs, the team developed a range of alternate approaches to achieving mandated security requirements.

The goal of EPIC is to design new embassy perimeters that present a more positive and welcoming image of the United States abroad, while meeting all perimeter security standards and the functional needs of these facilities.

Design Excellence, implemented in 2010, is a holistic approach to building U.S. diplomatic missions abroad. Using the Guiding Principles of Design Excellence in Diplomatic Facilities as a road map, Design Excellence furthers OBO’s mission to provide safe, secure, and functional facilities that represent American values and the best in American architecture, engineering, technology, sustainability, art, culture, and construction execution.

For further information, please contact Christine Foushee at or (703) 875-4131, or visit the OBO website for a copy of the Design Excellence Handbook and EPIC synopsis.

PRN: 2011/1753


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