By Evan Lewis
In recognition of the Department of State’s commitment to environmental leadership and sustainable design, the new U.S. embassy in Niger recently achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED is a USGBC-developed green building certification program and is the globally recognized standard for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, homes, and neighborhoods. LEED Platinum is the program’s highest level of certification.
This achievement marks the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations’ (OBO) third Platinum project in its diplomatic portfolio and is the first building in West Africa to receive Platinum distinction.
Designed by The Miller Hull Partnership, LLP of Seattle, the new embassy is situated on the existing 11-acre site in the city’s Yantala neighborhood and repurposes the former embassy to meet current diplomatic needs. Photovoltaic arrays harness electricity for more than half of the facility’s needs and produce up to 712 kilowatts—the second-highest capacity at any U.S. embassy to date. Shading screens and canopies reduce solar heat gain by nearly 60% and provide energy savings of up to 5%. Features such as low-flow plumbing fixtures reduce demand on the local potable water supply by 36%. Additional cutting-edge technologies are integrated that allow for the reuse of water or captured energy, such as stormwater detention, waste-water treatment, and energy recapture systems. Many of the energy and water-saving measures respond to the local climate and are woven into the project’s design and construction.
Embassy Niamey’s new campus was completed in 2021 and joins 55 U.S. diplomatic missions worldwide with LEED certifications including two other Platinum projects, 18 Gold, 20 Silver, and 14 Certified.
Evan Lewis is a media relations analyst at the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations.