Federal agencies are gearing up to deepen their commitment to the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system heading into 2011, despite some criticism of its effectiveness. During the Ecobuild America conference, held Dec. 6-10 in Washington, D.C., representatives from several agencies touted their green agendas. The U.S. General Services Administration, the largest federal landlord, continues to stay out front as a champion of LEED ratings. In October, GSA announced that LEED Gold certification would be the minimum requirement for new federal building construction and renovation projects starting in fiscal 2011. Projects in design
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.