The department's Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations intends to release a how-to handbook by July. The State Dept. is pushing ahead with plans to embrace “design excellence” in its embassy construction program, using some elements for a new U.S. embassy in London, now in design, and fleshing out details through a series of documents that will spell out specific Design Excellence program guidelines. Photo: U.S. Department of State / Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations / Timothy Hursley The Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations used some Design Excellence elements as it planned and built an embassy in Beijing that was completed
In a move aimed at spurring U.S. exports of construction equipment and services to Brazil, the U.S. Export-Import Bank is providing a $1-billion line of credit for infrastructure projects in that country. A particular focus will be on public-works projects tied to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics, both to be hosted by Rio de Janeiro. Rio expects to benefit from big spending for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. President Obama estimated the cost at $200 billion. Announced by Ex-Im Bank President and Chairman Fred P. Hochberg during President Obama’s March 19-21 trip to Brazil,
The White House has launched a package of proposals—including a new tax credit and grant competition among states and cities—that aim to make commercial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over 10 years. The "Better Buildings Initiative," which President Obama announced on February 3 during an appearance at Penn State University, is targeting commercial buildings, which the White House says account for about 20 percent of total U.S. energy consumption. Obama said the plan could save businesses nearly $40 billion over the next decade in lower energy costs. The plan has several components, some of which will require congressional action.
An appropriations package that includes $2.9 billion in relief and reconstruction aid for Haiti has cleared the House and will next move to the Senate for a vote. The spending measure, which the House passed late on July 1, focuses mainly on funding for the Afghanistan war. But Republicans oppose the non-defense spending House Democrats added to the bill, and the White House has threatened a veto because of a provision that would cut certain education funding. The bill has not had a smooth path. The Senate had approved a $58.5-billion supplemental spending bill on May 27, which provided $2.8
Five months after a severe earthquake devastated parts of Haiti, a Senate report, released June 22, says there are troubling indications that the process of reconstructing the country has "stalled." The report, by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Democratic staff, gives a blunt analysis of the situation, saying that "Haiti is at a significant crossroads." It lists "critical issues" to be addressed in 10 key areas, including developing "a feasible, comprehensive rebuilding strategy" and getting the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission fully operational. The committee staff analysis also calls on Haitian President Rene Preval to "take a more visible and active
The General Services Administration has awarded a $61-million contract to ZGF Architects LLP to be lead design architect for new Dept. of Homeland Security headquarters facilities in Washington, D.C. The other short-listed firms competing for the project were Goody Clancy, Boston; Gund Partnership Inc., Cambridge, Mass.; Kallmann McKinnell & Wood Architects Inc., Boston; Robert A.M. Stern Architects LLP, New York City; and RTKL Associates Inc., Baltimore. ZGF, formerly Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects LLP, said in an April 1 release that its contract includes more than 2.1 million square feet of new office space for DHS at the St. Elizabeths Hospital
As potential donors gather today at the United Nations to assemble a fund to help rebuild earthquake-battered Haiti, the White House is asking Congress for additional spending to contribute to the reconstruction effort. Haiti is hoping to raise $3.9 billion at the March 31 donors' meeting to cover the initial, 18-month phase of what is certain to be a lengthy reconstruction. The estimated total rebuilding cost is $11.5 billion, the UN says. More than 220,000 were killed in the magnitude 7 quake on January 12, and an estimated 2 million people are living in temporary shelters in Port-au-Prince or have
The Dept. of Health and Human Services has awarded $508.5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to build or renovate 85 community health clinics around the country. Competition was stiff for the Facility Investment Program grants, whose winners were announced on Dec. 9. HHS received about 600 applications for the funds, says David Bowman, a spokesman for HHS's Health Resources and Services Administration, which oversees the community health center program. Bowman says that the latest batch of ARRA awards involves larger awards than those contained in a round of HHS stimulus capital funding announced in June. That earlier