Australian Embassy in Washington DC Goes Green


Australia's new Washington DC embassy will showcase its Green Star credentials in the heartland of US politics.

The embassy, located at 1601 Massachusetts Avenue, will replace the current building, designed by Sir Osborn McCutcheon of Bates, Smart and McCutcheon in 1964.

Bates Smart was appointed to design the building in 2016 following a design competition.

The building now targets US standards set by the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.

Engineering firm, Aurecon, has worked closely with Bates Smart to implement innovative environmental design solutions.

The project has been officially registered with the globally recognised rating tool Green Star, as part of a collaboration with the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade.

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On the ground floor, a large open area will form the main entry into the building. This will lead to a sequence of exhibition gallery and spaces used for ceremonial and public functions.
Australian Embassy WashingtonImage: Bates Smart

“It's vital our government invests in buildings and infrastructure that showcase our excellence at home and abroad,” Green Building Council Australia chief executive Romilly Madew said.

Such buildings represent the very best of Australian design, construction and products, certified through our own Green Star rating tool.”

Along with office space, conference and meeting rooms, and consular services, the embassy will boast sustainable design features including a green roof featuring a large solar power system, central day-lit atrium, end-of-trip cycling facilities, electric vehicle charging, a high-performance thermal efficient façade, zoned air conditioning with heat recovery and water capture and reuse.

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The existing Australian embassy building by Bates, Smart and McCutcheon was built in 1964.
The existing Australian embassy building by Bates, Smart and McCutcheon was built in 1964.

“The Australian Government’s commitment to achieve a Green Star rating for the new embassy demonstrates leadership in sustainability, showcases our industry’s talent for sustainable design to the world and sends a strong signal we take our commitment to the Paris climate change agreement seriously,” Madew said.

The new embassy building, which is expected to cost $237-million, will be funded by the sale of unused Australian-government-owned properties around the world.

Construction on the new embassy will begin in 2020 and is expected to be completed in 2022.

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