Australia’s environmental credentials will be on show in the US when construction begins on the new Australian Embassy in Washington D.C. in 2020.

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has announced that the Australian Embassy has been registered with its Green Star rating tool, as part of a collaboration with the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT).

The new building has been designed by Bates Smart with engineering expertise by Aurecon, and will feature innovative environmental design solutions.

The building’s green focus represents an opportunity for Australia to showcase its global leadership in sustainable design, construction and products, according to GBCA CEO Romilly Madew.

“This building will stand as a bricks-and-mortar demonstration of Australian industry sustainability foresight and leadership,” says Madew.

“It's vital our government invests in buildings and infrastructure that showcase our excellence at home and abroad. Such buildings represent the very best of Australian design, construction and products, certified through our own Green Star rating tool.

“The Australian Government’s commitment to achieve a Green Star rating for the new embassy demonstrates leadership in sustainability, showcases our industry’s talent for sustainable design to the world and sends a strong signal we take our commitment to the Paris climate change agreement seriously.”

The new Bates Smart-designed embassy will replace the existing 1960’s structure in Washington’s Diplomatic precinct and will include state-of-the-art design features and use of Australian materials where possible.  It will also target US standards set by the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

Sustainable design features include a green roof featuring a large solar power system, central daylit atrium, end-of-trip cycling facilities, electric vehicle charging, a high-performance thermal efficient façade, zoned air conditioning with heat recovery and water capture and reuse.

The embassy is expected to be completed in 2022.