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Energy-efficient LEDs and natural light for new state-of-art US embassy in Islamabad

Harvest time: A rendering of the new US embassy in Islamabad, which will use 'daylight harvesting' and LEDs to help keep energy consumption low.

The US officially opened its new embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, featuring energy efficient LED lighting and a number of other ‘sustainable building’ attributes, including ‘daylight harvesting.’

The embassy is one of over a hundred new overseas diplomatic facilities that the US Department of State has built since 1999, in each case endeavouring to ‘represent American values and the best in American architecture, engineering, technology, sustainability, art, culture, and construction execution,’ the State Department said. 

In the case of Islamabad, ‘The project incorporates numerous sustainable features to conserve resources and reduce operating costs, including an array of photovoltaic panels on the top deck of the service support facility, energy efficient light-emitting diode site lighting, and architectural sunshades to limit solar heat gain,’ the department said. ‘An on-site waste water treatment plant allows treated water to be used for irrigation.’

A state department fact sheet also noted that the campus utilizes an automated ‘daylight harvesting’ system that senses how much natural light is reaching the office area and adjusts artificial lighting levels accordingly. The system is expected to reduce energy consumption for lighting by up to 35 per cent.

In a ceremony overseen by US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard G. Olson, the US opened the first phase of the $1 billion project, which includes a chancery and office annex, a service support annex, a warehouse, and a utility building. ‘The second phase will include staff apartment buildings, a consular annex, a parking structure, and additional facilities for the embassy community,’ the State Department said.

When complete, the entire structure, designed by Oregon’s Yost Grube Hall Architecture, will include about 58,000 square metres of office space on 43 acres, about 4 miles form the city centre in Islamabad’s diplomatic enclave.

Rendering is from Yost Grube Hall Architecture