Green Buildings

Feds Seek Input Regarding Third-Party Rating Systems

The U.S. General Services Administration is seeking comments until early April about the best use of green-building certification systems to measure design and performance of federal construction and major modernization projects. GSA, which is required to evaluate rating systems every five years, currently is evaluating three: the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED 2009, the Green Building Initiative's Green Globes and the International Living Future Institute's Living Building Challenge. After evaluating public input, GSA says it will make a recommendation for use of one system, multiple systems or no system to the U.S. Dept. of Energy. Currently, GSA uses LEED 2009. That designation has been attacked by industry groups for several reasons, including that it gives USGBC a monopoly and that LEED is not a true consensus standard (ENR 7/23/12 p. 8).


Florida Gives Green Light to I-4

The state of Florida announced on Feb. 1 that it has granted permission to the state transportation department to move forward with the procurement process for a public-private partnership for the $2.1-billion reconstruction of Interstate 4 through Orlando. Dubbed the I-4 Ultimate project, the reconstruction would rebuild 21 miles of I-4 in Orange County and add new toll lanes. Upon completion, the highway would include six general-purpose lanes, four toll lanes and two auxiliary lanes. Further, the project would include the construction of 56 new bridges and 68 replacement bridge structures, modifications to 13 others and the reconstruction of 15 interchanges.

Clean Energy

DOE OKs FutureGen Phase Two

The Dept. of Energy on Feb. 4 approved the second phase of the $1.8-billion FutureGen 2.0 carbon-capture and sequestration project in Illinois. The approval allows for preliminary design, pre-construction and engineering to begin on retrofits to turn the aging coal-fired powerplant into a state-of-the-art CCS facility. Babcock & Wilcox is supplying the oxy-coal combustion technology for the project, which is being led by Ameren Energy Resources Co., Springfield, Ill. The U.S. government is providing $1 billion in funding for the project.