Miller Hull

2022 Greenbuild National Conference: Sian Roberts

Date: 6-9-2022
Location: Washington D.C.

6-1-2022 | Events

Partner Sian Roberts will be discussing, “U.S. Embassy Niamey: American Diplomacy Achieves LEED Platinum in a Developing Nation,” at the 2022 Greenbuild National Conference.

The Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) recently completed the new U.S. Embassy in Niamey, Niger. The project achieved Platinum certification, making it the first in West Africa and OBO’s third Platinum certification in its diplomatic portfolio. Our presentation will tell the story of how this unique project exceeded all expectations by using a design-build model that employed an integrative design process prioritizing strategies of resilience within the regional context and climate.

The city’s challenges, lack of infrastructure, lack of resources, and security concerns presented opportunities that resulted in the project achieving LEED Platinum certification. The team embraced these challenges and implemented sound design principles to advance sustainability and resilience. The early water budget became an integral part of the project’s design strategy for water management and on-site treatment of black water. Innovative strategies in civil engineering and landscape architecture contributed to effective stormwater management of the region’s severe seasonal rains. Energy costs were reduced by 65% with 52% of the total energy cost offset through renewable energy generated on-site. Embodied carbon was accounted for in the structure and building envelope, and the team pursued a pilot credit for Integrated Analysis of Building Materials. The use of high-performing, automated cooling and ventilation systems contributed to the building’s superior indoor air quality and overall occupant comfort.

The country of Niger and the city of Niamey provided a rich tapestry of color, texture, and resources to inform the materiality. Works of art from Nigerien and American artists were incorporated to celebrate the cultural connections between Niger and the United States. Approximately 1,700 American, local, and third-country national staff have been involved in construction, with 1,500 Nigeriens participating in the build. This team contributed more than 6-million work hours, with a $53 million investment in the local economy.


  • Describe the unique project delivery model of OBO and the way it facilitates a project’s clarity of intention and rigor in application.
  • Explain the value of a water balance analysis and how it informed the project’s unique challenges of water security and resilience.
  • Identify multiple layers of community and regional engagement to advance equity, performance, and opportunity.
  • Summarize energy strategies that were implemented to reduce energy use and improve reliability.

Other speakers include Jill Kurtz – Principal / Director of Building Sciences at Page and Minh Le – Design Manager at the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations.

More Info

Sian Roberts

FAIA, Partner

Sian is an observer; everywhere she goes, she appreciates the human interventions in our environment, and is able to detect all the pieces and parts and decisions that go into the world’s construction. Initially a student of science, Sian believed that this interest in structure and matter was fated for the study of physics. She quickly…

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