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      AIA Commends State Department for First Use of OBO Design Excellence Program

      Contact: John Schneidawind

      For immediate release:
      Washington, D.C. – March 12, 2012 –
      The American Institute of Architects (AIA) today commended the U.S. State Department for moving forward with a shortlist of nine design teams for the New Embassy Compound in Mexico City, Mexico – the first State Department project solicited under the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) new Design Excellence program.

      The Mexico City design/bid/build project, scheduled for construction award in fiscal year 2015, uses a high-performance approach to project development and delivery and seeks to utilize the best methods, technologies, and staff abilities to produce facilities that are outstanding in all respects. The overall strategy focuses on the integration of purpose, function, flexibility, art, safety, security, sustainability, and maintainability.

      “OBO’s renewed commitment to design excellence speaks to the importance of good design and the built environment in representing our national values overseas,’ said AIA President Jeff Potter, FAIA. “We commend the Department of State, and more specifically, Secretary of State Clinton, for making design excellence at State Department facilities an ongoing reality.”

      OBO’s Design Excellence initiative was inspired by the Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture, authored by Daniel Patrick Moynihan during the Kennedy administration, and the General Services Administration’s (GSA) successful Design Excellence program, established in 1994. The program was also influenced by key congressional members and AIA’s 21st Century Embassy Task Force’s report, “Design for Diplomacy: New Embassies for the 21st Century”.

      About The American Institute of Architects

      For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit


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