WASHINGTON, D.C. /eNewsChannels/ — The Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) announced its intention to launch a Design Excellence program at its semi-annual Industry Advisory Panel (IAP) meeting today. This goal of this program is to produce diplomatic facilities that are outstanding in all respects including security, architecture, construction, sustainability, operations and maintenance.

Over the last decade, OBO has completed 71 new diplomatic facilities and has moved more than 20,000 individuals into more secure, safer, and more functional facilities. OBO presently has an additional 34 projects in design and construction and will continue to maintain its highly successful construction program while advancing the Design Excellence program.

OBO released the document “Guiding Principles of Design Excellence in Diplomatic Facilities” at the IAP. The document will serve as a foundation for this effort, that will include the implementation of a comprehensive strategic plan. The plan will act as a roadmap for developing Design Excellence policies and procedures, scheduled for implementation in 2011. OBO will also take the opportunity to learn from the highly successful GSA Design Excellence program.

Over the coming months, OBO project teams will go through a comprehensive process to determine the best methods and technologies for constructing diplomatic facilities. These teams will examine existing principles and develop new ones to deliver future diplomatic facilities that represent the best of American architecture, interior design, engineering, construction, technology, art, and culture.

OBO’s ultimate goal is to design the next generation of diplomatic facilities for the United States as our world enters the second decade of the 21st century.

National Architecture Week was created to encourage a public dialogue about architecture and to increase attention to the role architects play as a force for positive change in our communities and runs from April 13-19, 2010.