The nation’s biggest landlord, the U.S. General Services Administration, is requiring LEED Gold certification as a minimum in all new federal building construction and substantial renovation projects. GSA is updating its facilities standards by the end of the year to enable the projects to meet the LEED Gold requirement—the second-to-the-highest of four certification levels of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green-building rating system. For projects currently under design that were funded before fiscal 2010, GSA is requiring LEED Gold where possible, after evaluating budget and schedule constraints. For leased properties, GSA is keeping its current requirement for LEED
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.