New U.S. Consulate Compound
Nuevo Laredo, Mexico
Award of Merit
Owner U.S. Dept. of State—Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations
Design Firm Page
Contractor BL Harbert International
Civil Engineer KPFF Consulting Engineers
Structural Engineer Ehlert Bryan Inc.
MEP Engineer Mason & Hanger (formerly Hankins & Anderson)
Set in a residential neighborhood, the new consulate compound is small at just 5.6 acres, but it contains seven buildings that were carefully designed to minimize scale and provide a high level of security for employees and visitors. Jobsite security was also a concern, because the construction site was in one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico. Emergency action plans were established in response to shootings within the city, and the site was shut down several times due to gunfire outside the compound’s walls. A bullet even came through the contractor’s temporary office, but no one was injured.
The project team included more than 500 local Mexican nationals and 52 American expatriates. Many skilled workers from the border town were already employed in the U.S., so the contractor implemented a recruiting campaign to locate individuals interested in construction. It also put forth an extensive effort to educate the untrained workforce.