New Australian Embassy in Washington Featuring Solar

Julie Bishop, the Australian Foreign Minister recently released details of the new Australian embassy building in Washington D.C.

The Australian-based company Bates Smart has been contracted to design and construct a new embassy to replace the existing structure which was built in the mid-1960s. The decision to redesign was founded on the overall cost of renovating the existing building; which would be almost equivalent to the cost of setting up a new building.

“The new Embassy design will promote an enduring vision of a contemporary and innovative Australia, paying tribute to the Australian landscape,” said Minister Bishop.

“Innovative environmental design solutions will be used throughout the building which will have the highest global environmental design standards.”

According to the Architecture AU, the new building will feature a “green roof with solar panels”. The total capacity of solar PV solutions to be incorporated in the structure is unknown. However, considering its proposed rooftop size, it could be huge and likely contribute significantly towards the embassy’s efforts to reduce the high electricity costs associated with powering the building. A thermally efficient facade will also be used to cover the building.

The new Embassy will also feature a vast glass atrium at the core of the building, a spacious public area facing the White House, an exhibition gallery, and event rooms.

Understandably, Bates Smart Company is still thrilled with the decision to have it design the $237 million project and is promising a spectacular new Embassy in Washington.

“The project has a refined and rich materiality which will make it stand out in Washington,” said Kristen Whittle, the company’s director.

The Architectural company, which boasts a 160-year history, owns studios in Melbourne and Sydney and  over 200 staff.

“We pay special attention to the environmental performance and long term durability of our buildings,” states the Bates Smart web site. ” Where possible, we harness the latest sustainable ideas and technologies in order to deliver the maximum achievable environmentally sound outcomes for our clients.”

The new structure won’t be the first Australian Embassy to install solar panels to harness the sun’s rays. Early this year, the country opened a new Embassy in Jakarta, which also features several solar hot water systems.

IMAGE via Dion Hinchcliffe

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The Author

I took an interest in the Australian energy sector close to ten years ago and since then have monitored the trends, technologies and direction of the Australian Energy Market. I was drawn to the Australian solar market in 2008 and since then have worked heavily in the field. I am partnered with national and international solar energy companies, from manufacturers of solar panel and inverter technology, online software developers that introduce tools to quote, monitor and manage solar power systems and media organisations who like myself, closely monitor the solar and renewable energy sector.

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