- The California Department of General Services has awarded a $520 million design-build contract to Turner Construction and its project partner, architecture firm AC Martin, for the construction of a $597 million, 28-story tower that will house the California Natural Resources Agency and other state offices, Commercial Property Executive reported. Turner will also make upgrades to the exterior of an adjacent historic building and construct a childcare center.
- The new 838,000-square-foot building will pursue LEED Platinum and net-zero energy certifications, according to the department. The building is expected to use 50% less water than a standard building of the same size and will feature solar power. In addition to offices, the tower will include 10,000 square feet of retail, a 300-seat auditorium, a food court, a pedestrian plaza and wellness features like natural daylight, filtered air and solar shading.
- The department, which completed the necessary California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review last year, expects construction to begin this summer. The new building is part of a 10-year plan to renovate or replace state buildings in Sacramento, California's capital. When complete, the department said approximately 3,500 state workers will occupy the building.
State construction programs often include upgrades or expansions of agencies' administrative buildings, but many states and local governments around the U.S. are investing millions – billions even – of dollars in new K-12 school construction as well.
In January, the state of Washington passed a $4 billion construction bill that gives more than $1 billion in funding for K-12 school construction, much of it to reduce classroom size, The News Tribune reported.
And in an effort to save money and become more sustainable, there are many school districts ensuring that new school projects and renovations include energy efficiency elements. In Rhode Island, Gov. Gina Raimondo proposed a $1 billion program to update or replace school infrastructure, and energy efficiency improvements figure into that plan, according to the Providence Journal.
The Environmental Protection Agency developed a guide for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in schools. Within the guide, the EPA points to the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) program, which helps districts and their design professionals construct high-performing, energy-efficient schools through a green building rating program similar to LEED. The rating system suggests energy and water efficiencies, policies for site and material selection and other considerations that will help create a sustainable facility.