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United States Breaks Ground On New Embassy in Benin

PROJECT NEWS

20 August 2013 – Cotonou, Benin and Washington, DC, USA – The U.S. Department of State has announced the start of construction of a new US Embassy compound in Cotonou, Benin.  The ground-breaking was announced today by Michael Raynor, US Ambassador to Benin, as “an important symbol of our enduring friendship with Benin.”

130820-pmwj14-benin-embassy-groundbreaking imageThe ceremony took place on the construction site in the presence of the Benin Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Sir Nassirou Arifari Bako, representatives from other diplomatic missions in Benin, American officers and local authorities.

Ambassador Raynor said that the new Embassy Compound will serve as a shining example of the excellent cooperation between the two countries. Also the projects will inject more than 32,000,000 US dollars (15.000.000.000 CFA) into the local economy, including the purchase of construction materials, the payment of wages and the cost of accommodation. It will train 500 Beninese workers who will be equipped with new construction techniques. Minister Bako said that the construction of the new Embassy reassures the Benin Government that the U.S. Government will maintain a long-term and lasting partnership with Benin, as the U.S. Embassy moves from a rented place to its own place.

The multi-building complex will be situated on an 8.8-acre site along the Boulevard de la Marina and will include a chancery/office building, a support annex, a residence for the U.S. Marine detachment, a warehouse, a utility building, a recreational facility, and multiple access pavilions. When completed, the new complex will provide approximately 150 embassy employees with a secure, state-of-the-art, environmentally-sustainable workplace.

The $178 million project will incorporate numerous sustainable features, including a 250-kilowatt photovoltaic array, rainwater harvesting, wastewater reuse, light-emitting diode (LED) site lighting, and water-conserving plumbing fixtures. The facility’s design targets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Silver Certification by the U.S. Green Building Certification Institute.

Yost Grube Hall Architecture of Portland, Oregon was the concept design architect and Page Southerland Page of Arlington, Virginia was the architect of record. B.L. Harbert International of Birmingham, Alabama is the construction contractor. The new Embassy is scheduled to be completed in Fall 2015.

Since 1999, as part of the State Department’s Capital Security Construction Program, the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) has completed 106 new diplomatic facilities and has an additional 33 projects in design or under construction. OBO’s 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 visit the OBO website www.state.gov/obo, the project fact sheet http://www.state.gov/obo/releases/presskit/c59085.htm, or contact Christine Foushee at [email protected].

Source: U.S. Department of State