The US Embassy in Helsinki, Finland designed by Moore Ruble Yudell is the first US diplomatic facility to achieve LEED Platinum certification. The energy efficient Innovation Center unveiled in 2013 has been joined by a new chancery and a retrofitted chancery, both of which were designed with sustainability in mind. Later this year a new ambassador’s residence built to the same LEED Platinum standards will be added to the campus, which boasts natural ventilation and triple glazed windows in addition to a slew of other green design strategies.
Moore Ruble Yudell first excited sustainable architecture enthusiasts last year with the $125 million Innovation Center, which is expected to reduce energy costs by a whopping 46 percent. The center wows with high-performing thermal roof insulation, air-side economizers, triple glazed windows, natural ventilation and 100 percent LED lighting, which keeps the temperatures in the building comfortable in the chilly Helsinki climate.
The center sits on local black granite at the front entrance, while the western side is clad in white brick bands to mimic local birch trees. The north facing façade offers a view of the cruise ships and ferries on the Gulf of Finland to the government employees inside through expansive textures and translucent glass, which also floods offices with natural lighting.
The Innovation Center, new chancery and renovated chancery will all have water conservation systems such as low-flush and low-flow plumbing. Water will also be conserved on the grounds with landscaping that includes plants that thrive in self-irrigating systems. The entire LEED Platinum US Embassy complex is expected to be completed later this year.