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Diplomacy in Action

Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations Announces LEED Silver Certification

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 25, 2011


The Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations announced today that the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) has awarded the newly constructed U.S. Embassy in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso the Silver level of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification.

This U.S. Embassy is the first building in West Africa to receive LEED Certification, and only the fourth LEED certified building on the continent- three of which are U.S. diplomatic facilities.

Ouagadougou joins U.S. Embassies and Consulates in Sofia, Bulgaria; Panama City, Panama; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo as LEED certified U.S. diplomatic missions.

The Embassy was designed to reduce energy costs by incorporating occupancy sensors, daylight harvesting technologies, solar hot water, and variable frequency drives. The building will conserve water through the installation of low-flow and low-flush plumbing fixtures. All consumed water is treated at an on-site constructed wetland, reused for irrigation, and ultimately infiltrated on-site, replenishing the ground water.

LEED certification is the 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.

The Embassy in Ouagadougou was constructed by general contractor B.L. Harbert International of Birmingham, Alabama; designed by the architecture firm Page Southerland Page of Arlington, Virginia; and Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing design was completed by Hankins and Anderson of Glen Allen, Virginia.

OBO’s mission is to provide safe, secure, and functional facilities for the conduct of U.S. diplomacy and the promotion of U.S. interests worldwide. These facilities should represent American values and the best in American architecture, engineering, technology, sustainability, art, culture, and construction execution. For further information, please contact Christine T. Foushee at or (703) 875-4131, or visit OBO’s website at

PRN: 2011/1799

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