Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 27, 2012

The Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations’ (OBO) housing project in Port-au-Prince, Haiti received the General Services Administration (GSA) 2012 Achievement Award for Real Property Innovation in the Asset Management category. GSA will present the award to the U.S. Department of State at a ceremony today.

The Canne à Sucre housing project provides seismically sound, cost-effective housing for the U.S. Embassy staff in Port-au-Prince. A build-to-lease with purchase option strategy resulted in millions in rental savings over the life of the project. In addition, the housing compound is the first seismically sound, clustered housing project in Haiti.

Canne à Sucre consists of 37 single-family residences on a self-contained compound. The first phase of 18 units was completed and occupied in late 2009. The construction of the second phase of 19 units was interrupted by the earthquake and resumed in late 2010. OBO has already exercised the purchase option on the entire project and it is now part of the U.S. Government’s residential portfolio. The concept is being applied to other U.S. diplomatic missions around the world, particularly in areas that have seismic vulnerabilities.

This marks the second consecutive year that OBO has won the achievement award – winning in 2011 for its entry for the Standard Secure Mini Embassy Compound. GSA’s Achievement Award for Real Property Innovation was established to motivate federal agencies to improve real property management. The award aims to help support federal agencies achieve the goals of the President’s Management Agenda and improve federal real property stewardship.

OBO’s mission 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 should represent American values and the best in American architecture, engineering, technology, sustainability, art, culture, and construction execution.

For further information, please contact Christine Foushee at or (703) 875-4131, or visit

PRN: 2012/1060