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The lead architect for the new U.S. Embassy in Lebanon spoke Thursday about the challenges of designing a project that will need to meet the practical needs of American diplomats, while also adhering to a model of sustainable development.TheSouthern California-based architecture firm Morphosis Architects was selected in 2014 to design the new facility on the sprawling, 44-acre hilltop site. Arne Emerson, principal at Morphosis, gave an overview of the new site's design during a visit to Lebanon Thursday.It also presents unique design challenges, Emerson said.With 13,000 square meters of rooftop photovoltaic panels, about 25 percent of the site's total electricity will be generated via solar power – including 100 percent of the power for the chancery, the main administrative building, Emerson said.On any given day, there are some 400 to 600 people working at the compound, making the design task equivalent to building "a small city," Emerson said.Emerson said the design aimed to blend as much as possible into the surrounding landscape.
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