Embassy in Washington, DC Goes Green

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has made the leap to “go green” at its embassy in Washington, D.C. Their progress toward an environmentally-friendly facility has garnered recognition from the U.S. Green Building Council and other agencies.

The Deputy Chief of Mission for the UAE embassy, Omar Al Shamsi, said that the Embassy retrofitted its buildings to decrease its energy output by 40 percent. “This significant decrease will lead to enormous savings in the embassy’s electricity costs while preventing the emission of nearly 400 tons of CO2 annually,” he said.

In order to reduce energy, the Embassy carefully selected materials and transportation options at the building. The Embassy also informed its staff about energy saving awareness to further reduce energy consumption, as well as improved indoor air quality and water waste management.

Working closely with the UAE Embassy was the renewable energy company Masdar, which is based out of Abu Dhabi. Masdar helped them plan for the project as well as assisted in installing new equipment.

Due to the success of the project, the U.S. Green Building Council awarded the Embassy with a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Status. This makes the UAE Embassy in D.C. the second highest rated LEED status embassy in the world. It ranks in the top 25 percent of energy efficiency among similar buildings in the area.

The Embassy was also certified by the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program. ENERGY STAR is an international certification given only to products and buildings that meet the EPA’s rigorous standards.

“The UAE Embassy now stands as one of the most sustainable buildings in the United States,” said Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE’s ambassador the United States.

The UAE said that it wants the Washington D.C. Embassy to be the standard benchmark for its Embassies in other countries.