Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
April 30, 2014


In an important symbol of our bilateral relationship with Finland, Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick F. Kennedy; Ambassador to Finland Bruce J. Oreck; and Director of the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations Lydia J. Muniz hosted a dedication ceremony today alongside local Finnish officials to dedicate the new Chancery and campus renovation of the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki.

The new construction and campus renovation allows collocation of all Embassy functions and includes construction of a new Chancery, access pavilions, and utility space, as well as renovation of the existing office annex to create the Innovation Center, which houses the embassy’s public offices. The project also renovated the former chancery and the Chief of Mission residence.

Since the 1930s, the Embassy has occupied a three-acre site less than a mile from the heart of downtown Helsinki in the historic Kaivopuisto district. The renovated campus and new buildings provide a secure, modern, and environmentally sustainable platform for diplomacy.

The annex renovation that provided the Innovation Center is the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Platinum certified overseas U.S. diplomatic facility. The facility demonstrates strategies to conserve resources and reduce operating costs, including energy savings through natural ventilation, triple-glazed windows, high-performing thermal roof insulation, and city-generated hot water and chilled water that alleviate the need to operate and maintain chillers and boilers; as well as the reduction of water consumption through the use of low-flush and low-flow plumbing fixtures and selected plantings to eliminate the need for permanent irrigation. The Innovation Center is also the first U.S. diplomatic building to be equipped with 100% light-emitting diode (LED) and organic LED (OLED) for interior and exterior lighting.

The design architect is Moore Ruble Yudell of Santa Monica, California and the architect of record is PAGE of Arlington, VA. This $114 million project was constructed by BL Harbert International, LLC of Birmingham, Alabama.

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 on the project, please visit: http://overseasbuildings.state.gov/releases/kits/ or contact Christine Foushee at FousheeCT@state.gov or (703) 875-4131.