U.S. Embassy Niamey
Submitted By: BL Harbert International
Owner: U.S. Dept. of State | Overseas Buildings Operations
Design Architect: The Miller Hull Partnership
Architect of Record: Page Southerland Page Inc.
General Contractor: BL Harbert International (BLHI)
Civil Engineer: KPFF
Structural Engineer: Ehlert/Bryan Inc.; Axiom PLLC (site)
MEP Engineer: Mason & Hanger
Geotechnical Engineer: Schnabel Engineering
Consciously constructed to minimize its impact on municipal resources and maximize its integration of sustainable systems, this multicomplex project in Niger features various green design elements to elevate the embassy’s 11-acre campus to a LEED Certified Platinum level—the first West Africa project to achieve this certification .
Features such as PV panels, drought-resistant plantings, a solar hot water heating system and an integrated wastewater recovery and reuse process harness the country’s abundant sun and seasonal rains, helping to create more durable buildings that can keep occupants comfortable in the region’s extreme weather.
But it is the complex functional relationships between buildings that sets it apart, says the BL Harbert International project team.
“Each project includes multiple facility types ranging from Class-A office buildings to maintenance, storage, building-services facilities, facilities for the embassy community and residence quarters,” in addition to physical and technical security elements required of government buildings, the team explains.
The embassy’s interiors aim to create a cohesive aesthetic, pairing eco-conscious design with cultural customs.
Photo By Amber Silva
Adding another element of complexity to the project was the lack of skilled local labor needed to safely construct the campus. The team says that around 70 third-country nationals, “representing 21 different nationalities,” served in leadership roles to mentor and train about 1,500 Nigerians as Harbert employees, contributing more than 6 million work hours to the project. The hands-on skilled training locals received not only enabled them to work on the project but also gave them tools needed to advance in their respective crafts and continue skilled construction work in their communities.
In the end, collaboration was key to bringing all the logistical and labor elements of the project together, says the team.
Embassy interiors aim to create a cohesive aesthetic, pairing eco-conscious design with cultural customs.
Photo By Amber Silva
ENR 2022 Global Best Projects (PDF)