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Australian Embassy in Washington Will Use Solar Panels

Details of Australia’s new embassy building in Washington, D.C. were announced last Tuesday by Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop as reported on Energy Matters

Australian company Bates Smart has been chosen to design the new Embassy, which will replace the existing building constructed in the mid-60s. The decision to reconstruct was based on the price of renovating the existing structure which would have been nearly equivalent to the cost of the new building.

According to Minister Bishop, the new embassy design will promote an enduring vision of a contemporary and innovative Australia that pays tribute to the Australian Landscape. Plus, innovative environmental design solutions will be used throughout the building which will have the highest global environmental design standards.

According to Architecture AU, among the design solutions will be a green roof using solar panels. The capacity of the solar power system to be integrated is unknown, but with a rooftop with that size, it could be significant and make a major contribution towards minimizing electricity costs that is associated with running the building. The building will also be clad in thermally efficient façade.

Other features of the new Australian embassy include a huge glass atrium in the centre of the building, a large public open space that will look back towards the White House and an exhibition gallery and function rooms.

Bates Smart is understandably quite blown away with being the selected designer for the $237 million project and is promising the new Embassy will attract attention. According to company director, Kristen Whittle, the project has a refined and rich material which will make it stand out in Washington. The company boast of its 160-year history and has studios in Sydney and Melbourne with a staff more than 200.

The new embassy building will not be the first Australian Embassy to harness the energy of the sun. Last March, the Australian embassy in Jakarta was opened, which features a number of solar hot water systems.

Click here to read the story on Energy Matters

Featured Image Credit: energymatters.com.au

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