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house Bill H.R. 4969

Should U.S. Embassies be Built Using a Standard Design?

Argument in favor

The cost of building and maintaining the security of U.S. embassies has increased since the OBO moved away from using a standard embassy design. Given the frequency with which U.S. diplomats and personnel are targeted overseas, it’s important to ensure that our embassies are secure — and a more standard design can help achieve that aim.

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09/03/2018
I will always vote in favor of expanding, reinforcing, sufficiently staffing, and protecting American Embassies throughout the globe. Foreign Service Officers, diplomats, and Ambassadors are extremely valuable to the US and represent/speak for all Americans in their respective countries of assignment. The catastrophe in Benghazi, Libya should’ve been a wake up call to everyone that our diplomats are sometimes in as much danger as our heroes in the Armed Forces.
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Gopin2020's Opinion
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09/05/2018
Yes they should. Using a standard layout that can be adapted to the architectural layout of where they are located; including security etc into those designs. A modular prebuilt design would save untold money for the taxpayers. Using Trumps way of getting the best bang for the buck instead of cronyism, awarding building contracts based on the best design, security, not just the cheapest one in my opinion is how we should do it. #MAGA and Keep America Great
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Herbert 's Opinion
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09/05/2018
No. I think all Americans want their embassy staff to be safe. By the same token, we need our embassies to blend in with local surroundings and our architectural style should reflect this. We should hire architects capable of doing both. Otherwise, we just perpetuate the Ugly American Syndrome.
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Argument opposed

The design of U.S. embassies isn’t just a security matter: the aesthetic appeal of these buildings makes an important statement about American values to foreign citizens who walk past or enter them. Merely reducing embassies to uninspired concrete boxes that don’t take their contexts into account reduces their value as tools of American cultural diplomacy abroad.

burrkitty's Opinion
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09/05/2018
Break the security at one and you have a method for all the rest. Don’t endanger our diplomats with this stupidity. Embassies and diplomacy are worth spending money on. This is pocket change anyway. Take it out of DOD’s pocket. They have so much money they can’t even account for it all.
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D's Opinion
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09/05/2018
The interiors can be designed with the same furnishings, flooring, carpets etc but the exteriors should blend in to some degree with local architecture, and culture.
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Donald's Opinion
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09/05/2018
Again the "one size fits all" mentality is not in the best interest of the United States. U.S. embassies should reflect the architecture of the country in which they are built to present a more acceptable front to the local citizens. Let architecture present the U.S. in a better light.
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    I will always vote in favor of expanding, reinforcing, sufficiently staffing, and protecting American Embassies throughout the globe. Foreign Service Officers, diplomats, and Ambassadors are extremely valuable to the US and represent/speak for all Americans in their respective countries of assignment. The catastrophe in Benghazi, Libya should’ve been a wake up call to everyone that our diplomats are sometimes in as much danger as our heroes in the Armed Forces.
    Like (5)
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    Break the security at one and you have a method for all the rest. Don’t endanger our diplomats with this stupidity. Embassies and diplomacy are worth spending money on. This is pocket change anyway. Take it out of DOD’s pocket. They have so much money they can’t even account for it all.
    Like (38)
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    The interiors can be designed with the same furnishings, flooring, carpets etc but the exteriors should blend in to some degree with local architecture, and culture.
    Like (36)
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    Again the "one size fits all" mentality is not in the best interest of the United States. U.S. embassies should reflect the architecture of the country in which they are built to present a more acceptable front to the local citizens. Let architecture present the U.S. in a better light.
    Like (33)
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    They need to blend in with local architecture
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    I’m glad our Washington politicians are focusing on very important issues like embassy designs and not on healthcare, education, or infrastructure.
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    Even if we suppose that security is the only objective, the threat environment of each location (even among multiple locations in the same country) is unique. Shoehorning all embassies into a standard design ignores the basic premise of understanding what you are trying to prevent. This is all basic architecture.
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    Yes they should. Using a standard layout that can be adapted to the architectural layout of where they are located; including security etc into those designs. A modular prebuilt design would save untold money for the taxpayers. Using Trumps way of getting the best bang for the buck instead of cronyism, awarding building contracts based on the best design, security, not just the cheapest one in my opinion is how we should do it. #MAGA and Keep America Great
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    Unnecessary micromanagement that will hurt the US long term as embassies fail to integrate with surrounding buildings or require destruction of existing structures to meet these requirements.
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    burrkitty has it right. Part of station security is differentiation. Standardizing is good in cars and household products but not where security take on a whole different meaning. The thing is that the U.S. doesn’t pay enough attention to security. Remember Benghazi? A request was made for enhanced and improvements in security before the Ambassador was killed. Congress refused to approve funding.
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    This bill would make our embassies more valuable to attack’s if someone discovered a flaw. This bill needs to be reworked.
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    It’s stupid.
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    Smells fishy. Is there a certain contractor being promised the business? Also the Moscow embassy will have quite different needs than say the Barbados embassy.
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    There are far more important things our lawmakers should be working on.
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    They should blend in with the existing buildings of a country but be extremely secure to keep people safe.
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    No. I think all Americans want their embassy staff to be safe. By the same token, we need our embassies to blend in with local surroundings and our architectural style should reflect this. We should hire architects capable of doing both. Otherwise, we just perpetuate the Ugly American Syndrome.
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    Every embassy should different for security purposes
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    Safety and security and accessibility first, energy efficiency and environmental design second, modular third, cost fourth, aesthetics fifth
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    Different environments call for different designs
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    I believe they should blend in with the local architecture and be 3xtremely safe.
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