In an important symbol of the enduring commitment and ongoing relationship between the United States and Swaziland, U.S. State Department Under Secretary for Management, Patrick F. Kennedy; Principal Deputy Director of the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, William H. Moser; and U.S. Ambassador to Swaziland Lisa Peterson, alongside Swazi Government officials, dedicated the new U.S. Embassy in Ezulwini today.
The new $141 million building is situated in Ezulwini next to the Gables Shopping Complex and provides employees with a safe, secure, and modern workplace. The embassy is situated on a 3.6 hectare site. Construction on the site began in February 2013. The project incorporates numerous sustainable features to conserve resources and reduce operating costs, including energy-efficient appliances, photovoltaic panels, solar hot water heaters, and drought-resistant landscaping. All wastewater generated on-site is treated and used for site irrigation.
The building is highly self-sustaining in its use of energy and water consumption. The front structure of the compound houses the consular section and areas that offer services to the public, including the Information Resource Center. In the center is the main structure, where the chancery is located and towards the back are support facilities and administrative services.
Karn Charuhas Chapman and Twohey of Washington, D.C., is the design architect. Page Southerland Page of Washington, D.C., is the architect of record. B.L. Harbert International of Birmingham, Alabama, constructed the complex. Since 1999, as part of the Department’s Capital Security Construction Program, the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations has completed 131 new diplomatic facilities around the world and currently has another 53 projects under design or construction.
The mission of the Office of Operations Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) is to provide safe, secure and functional facilities that represent the U.S. government to the host nation and support our staff in achieving U.S foreign policy objectives. These facilities represent American values and the best in American architecture, engineering, technology, sustainability, art, culture and construction execution.
During her opening remarks, Ambassador Lisa Peterson indicated the new compound represents “a boon to the local economy as it creates employment opportunities. The U.S. Government employed at various times more than 800 Swazis in its construction, many of whom are young people who are learning valuable skills and trades which will better position them for future employment.”
Meanwhile, Undersecretary for Management, Patrick F. Kennedy thanked Ambassador Peterson and Principal Deputy Director of the Bureau of Overseas Building Operations, William Moser for their hard work and making this remarkable new building a reality. Kennedy also expressed his appreciation to the Swazi Government for their support of the construction from inception to final construction.