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Water Storage and Heat Sink at U.S. Embassy Pristina, Kosovo
Water Storage and Heat Sink at U.S. Embassy Pristina, Kosovo

The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), a leading organization representing the business and professional interests of consulting engineering firms in the United States, honored the new U.S. Embassy in Pristina, Kosovo, as a 2020 Grand Award Winner in the Engineering Excellence category.

The ACEC awards jury recognized the project’s cutting-edge approach to waste-water management and energy conservation. An example of the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations’ (OBO) resilient and sustainable projects, cost-effective measures were taken that allowed for annual energy and water savings of roughly 40% and 90%, respectively. These measures included the use of daylight harvesting, solar water heaters, rainwater harvesting, the installation of an optimized building envelope, and the construction of an on-site wastewater treatment plant. The on-site wastewater treatment plant does double duty, keeping the Embassy self-sufficient and recycling graywater which is treated for use on the site and in the building. The large water feature provides water storage and serves as a heat sink for the ground-sourced heat pump, reducing the energy needed to heat or cool the building year-round. Altogether, the Embassy has achieved nearly net-zero water capability for the entire campus.

The U.S. Embassy was recognized alongside other complex projects that represent some of the most innovative in the engineering industry. ACEC presented the awards at this year’s Engineering Excellence Awards Virtual Gala on December 1. Mason and Hanger, the architectural and engineering firm that submitted the project for consideration, continues to showcase OBO’s dedication to innovation in the field of engineering, stewardship, security, and resilience. The project was designed by Davis Brody Bond of New York and constructed by BL Harbert International of Alabama.

Since the start of the Department’s Capital Security Construction Program in 1999, OBO has completed 164 new diplomatic facilities.  OBO currently has more than 50 active projects either in design or under construction worldwide.

OBO provides safe, secure, functional, and resilient facilities that represent the U.S. government to the host nation and that support U.S. diplomats in advancing U.S. foreign policy objectives abroad.

For further information, please contact Christine Foushee at or visit


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