Following up on a 2009 presidential executive order, federal agencies are working on sustainability plans covering a range of areas, including buildings. The directive, which President Obama signed last October, sets several goals, including a 26% improvement in water efficiency by 2020 and achieving “net-zero-energy” buildings by 2030.

Agencies’ plans are due at the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Office of Management and Budget in June, says Michelle Moore, the federal environmental executive within CEQ. She told a McGraw-Hill Construction conference on April 8 that in CEQ’s plans, to meet the executive order’s goals, agencies must set priorities among projects based on the best returns on investment.