United States Breaks Ground on New, Environmentally-Sustainable Embassy in Guatemala

REF# 2018-19

April 4, 2018

On April 4, 2018, U.S. Ambassador Luis Arreaga, President Jimmy Morales, and representatives from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations broke ground on the construction site for the new U.S. Embassy in Guatemala.   Located in Zone 16 and expected to be completed in 2022, the new building will feature larger and more comfortable waiting areas for the public, improved security and access for visitors, and an environmentally friendly design.

The new embassy will be one of the first buildings in Guatemala to have Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification – an internationally recognized standard of excellence in sustainable design.  The 9.4 acre site will absorb water runoff by using rooftop gardens and green spaces planted with native Guatemalan foliage.  It will also treat and reuse its own waste water and, thanks to a system of water detention tanks, create a 0% increase in water runoff for the surrounding area.  The building will use environmentally sustainable energy conservation measures to achieve a 30% energy savings.  Solar panels will form portions of the roof and outdoor sun shades, allowing the building to generate 10% of its own electricity, and the parking garage will include charging ports for electric vehicles.  The new embassy’s sustainable design is part of the United States’ worldwide commitment to preserving the environment, and represents its deep appreciation for Guatemala’s rich and diverse ecosystem.

The United States established diplomatic relations with Guatemala more than 194 years ago, and has had an embassy in Guatemala City continuously since 1882.  In his remarks at the groundbreaking, U.S. Ambassador Luis Arreaga noted that the new embassy “demonstrates our continuous commitment with the people of Guatemala to work together towards a country that has good governance, security, and prosperity for all Guatemalans.”

Pictures from the ceremony, including artist’s renderings of the new embassy, are available here:  https://bit.ly/2EjD8nu.