Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
August 20, 2013

In an important symbol of our enduring friendship with Benin, U.S. Ambassador to Benin, Michael Raynor, broke ground on the new U.S. Embassy in Cotonou today.

The multi-building complex will be situated on an 8.8-acre site along the Boulevard de la Marina and will include a chancery/office building, a support annex, a residence for the U.S. Marine detachment, a warehouse, a utility building, a recreational facility, and multiple access pavilions. When completed, the new complex will provide approximately 150 embassy employees with a secure, state-of-the-art, environmentally-sustainable workplace.

The $178 million project will incorporate numerous sustainable features, including a 250-kilowatt photovoltaic array, rainwater harvesting, wastewater reuse, light-emitting diode (LED) site lighting, and water-conserving plumbing fixtures. The facility’s design targets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Silver Certification by the U.S. Green Building Certification Institute.

Yost Grube Hall Architecture of Portland, Oregon was the concept design architect and Page Southerland Page of Arlington, Virginia was the architect of record. B.L. Harbert International of Birmingham, Alabama is the construction contractor. The new Embassy is scheduled to be completed in fall 2015.

Since 1999, as part of the Department’s Capital Security Construction Program, the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations has completed 106 new diplomatic facilities and has an additional 33 projects in design or under construction.

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 the achievement of 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 more information, please visit the OBO website, the project fact sheet, or contact Christine Foushee at

PRN: 2013/1019