As the State Dept. tackles U.S. embassy construction needs around the world, it is moving ahead on a set of new priorities. The department’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) has launched a “design excellence” initiative, plans to build greener facilities and seeks to cut into a huge maintenance backlog. Industry firms will be watching for details of how OBO fleshes out its plans.
Adam E. Namm, OBO’s acting director, told an ENR/Construction Users Roundtable forum on June 16 the bureau has 33 facilities under way. That pace continues a wave of 72 projects completed over the past 10 years, up from 26 facilities finished in 1983-1998. To finance the building push, OBO has received annually about $1.4 billion in federal funds, a congressional response to the 1998 terrorist attacks in which 300 were killed at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.