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The Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations Announces LEED Platinum Certification for Major Renovation Project in Helsinki, Finland

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
March 26, 2014


The Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) announces Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Platinum certification for the major renovation project in Helsinki, Finland under LEED for New Construction and Major Renovation. This project, which established the Innovation Center to house the U.S. Embassy’s public offices, is the first overseas U.S. diplomatic facility to achieve the Platinum level of LEED Certification.

This Innovation Center is projected to reduce energy costs by 46% from the baseline case (ASHRAE 90.1-2007). This energy savings is accomplished through natural ventilation, triple glazed windows, high-performing thermal roof insulation, air-side economizers, and city-provided district hot water and chilled water that alleviate the need to operate and maintain chillers and large boilers. The facility is the first U.S. diplomatic building to be equipped with 100% light-emitting diode (LED) and organic LED (OLED) for interior and exterior lighting. These fixtures eliminate the need for replacing light bulbs for 10 to 12 years.

Furthering the commitment to sustainable design, the Innovation Center is projected to reduce water consumption by a calculated 30% from the baseline case through the use of low-flush and low-flow plumbing fixtures. Plantings were carefully selected for the embassy grounds to eliminate the need for permanent irrigation. Additionally, a substantial amount of the chilled water is sourced directly from the Gulf of Finland, which significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

The design architect for this project is Moore Ruble Yudell of Santa Monica, California and the architect of record is Page of Arlington, Virginia. The facility was constructed by BL Harbert International, LLC of Birmingham, Alabama.

The Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations’ (OBO) mission is to provide safe, secure, and functional facilities that represent the U.S. government to the host nation and support our staff in the achievement of U.S. foreign policy objectives. These facilities should represent American values and the best in American architecture, engineering, technology, sustainability, art, culture, and construction execution.

For more information, please contact Christine Foushee at or (703) 875-4131, or visit the OBO website at

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