Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Secure, Safe, Functional and Award-Winning

That attractive office building - or that hideous fortress, depending upon your aesthetic sensibility - is the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, which opened last June. Somebody must like it, because it just won the top award from a construction industry trade group.

Here's the press release:

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO), the construction firm of B.L. Harbert, International, of Birmingham, Alabama, and the architectural firm of Page Southerland Page of Arlington, Virginia accepted the Design-Build Institute of America Best Overall Project Award of 2010 for the New Embassy Compound (NEC) in Khartoum, Sudan.

The New Embassy in Khartoum also won the Design-Build Institute of America National Design-Build Award in the Public Sector Over $50 Million Category. These two awards are a tribute to the dedication and hard work of all those who worked on the Khartoum NEC Project.

The Khartoum NEC was completed in March 2010, after facing numerous challenges. The new facility provides a more secure, safer, and more functional facility for approximately 210 embassy employees.

The cost of the entire project was $172 million. The NEC was completed with over 500 workers involved in the construction. The NEC in Khartoum reflects the importance of the bilateral relationship between the United States and Sudan, and emphasizes the commitment of the United States to remain engaged with the Sudanese people as they strive to build a peaceful and prosperous society.

The NEC consists a chancery, office annex, Marine Security Guard Quarters, recreation facility, support annex with maintenance shops, utility building, and three compound access control structures.

The site’s landscaping creates a unified environment for the compound demonstrating the U.S. Government’s commitment to sustainable design. The compound’s design incorporates many energy saving and sustainable features and is registered with the U.S. Green Building Council.

I'll take the construction industry's word for the new embassy's architectural merit. That the new office complex is "more secure, safer, and more functional" than the dump it replaced (see below) is all the reason I, personally, need in order to applaud.

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