US Embassy, Bujumbura

, US Department of State

Bujumbura, Burundi

Bujumbura Embassy exterior
Sun shades at Bujumbura Embassy
Main public area
Exterior main entrance

This multi-facility compound integrates security into the design of open and welcoming buildings to ensure the safety and well-being of employees and visitors. Living and working spaces – contemporary in design and function while respectful of local context – comfortably support an embassy staff of over 270 as well as military personnel. Security is incorporated into the gentle slope of the site. Scheduling the delivery of materials and construction was complicated by the remote landlocked location and regional political instability.

Building Facts

  • 120,000 GSF new construction
  • LEED Gold certified
  • Design-build
Solar Roof Panels

Solar Solutions

Sunlight is a resource as well as a challenge, especially in equatorial locations. An extensive photovoltaic array enables the US Embassy to take advantage of Burundi's year-round long days. The compound annually yields over 250,000 kWh of emissions-free power from 960 solar panels. 

Solar gain can, however, increase building electric load, especially when average daily temperatures rise above 85°F. Among multiple strategies for optimizing energy performance, the design optimizes insulation and uses sunshades and canopies to mitigate solar gain. The LEED Gold design ultimately reduced energy consumption by 52% relative to the ASHRAE baseline.