Engineering News-Record (ENR), a leading construction industry news magazine, named the U.S. Embassy in Niamey, Niger, as a Global Best Project in the Government Building category. The U.S. Embassy Niamey was recognized alongside other global projects that exemplify outstanding design and construction. ENR officially presented the award at the ENR Global Best Project Awards ceremony yesterday.
Situated on the existing 11-acre embassy campus, the new U.S. Embassy Niamey consists of a multi-building project which embodies the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations’ goals for safe, secure, functional, and resilient facilities that provide a platform for U.S. diplomacy abroad.
The project team created a design that integrated buildings into the existing site and represents the best of American architecture, engineering, and construction execution while respecting and incorporating elements of the Nigerian landscape and culture.
Consciously constructed to minimize its impact on municipal resources and maximize its integration of sustainable systems, this multi-complex project utilized various green design elements to elevate the embassy’s campus to a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Platinum level, the first project to achieve this certification in West Africa. The campus incorporates multiple energy conservation strategies including photovoltaic arrays that produce up to 750kWH, shading screens and canopies that reduce solar heat gain by approximately 60 percent, and low-flow plumbing fixtures.
BL Harbert International (BLHI) of Birmingham, Alabama, served as the construction contractor. The Miller Hull Partnership of Seattle, Washington, is the design architect. Page served as the Architect of Record. Approximately 1,700 American, Nigerien, and third-country national staff were involved with construction. Of that, more than 1,500 local workers were hired and trained by BLHI to execute specific trades. Today, these workers are able to apply their skills to the construction industry in their communities.
A keystone to the quality of the project was the number of experienced supervisors of 21 various nationalities that BLHI recruited to help with the project. Many of these third-country nationals had worked on a number of OBO projects and trained the local workforce on the standards required for the project. Although project teams were challenged with multiple spoken languages and indigenous dialects, teams united to learn and understand how important quality was from the beginning of the project.
The Niamey Embassy represents the best of U.S. architecture, engineering, and technology and sets a new standard for the design of diplomatic campuses overseas. The project, completed in 2022, is a showcase example of the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations’ (OBO) commitment to secure, resilient, and sustainable practices. Completed in phases, the project provides modern, functional facilities that serve as Mission Niger’s diplomatic platform.