State Department’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations Wants Better Designed US Embassies

If the US Department of State has their way with things, newly built American embassies will look and function much more attractively than those that have come before. The Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, which reports directly to the State Department, has announced this week that it plans to renew its commitment to the agency’s “Design Excellence” program it implemented 16 years ago, but has apparently lapsed a bit on over the past few years. The tenants of the new program, which includes things like “moving away from low-bid contracting to a best-value approach, looking at total life-cycle costs” and making sure everything is LEED certified from top to bottom, can be read about in this attractive, but very government-speak PDF. For the quick rundown, we recommend reading this report from Engineering News-Record and then following along after ground is broken on a new embassy in London in 2013 and the program is hopefully moving at full-steam.