AIAI Welcomes Obama Build America Investment Initiative
The Board of the Association for the Improvement of American Infrastructure (AIAI) has reacted positively to President Obama’s announcement last week regarding the Build America Investment Initiative.
The President spoke about the importance of long-term investments in America’s infrastructure in against the backdrop of Delaware's currently-closed Interstate 495 Bridge, where he announced the program to attract greater private investment to help fund new roads, bridges and highways.
In a statement, AIAI said: “(We) applaud the efforts of President Obama’s Build America Investment Initiative, which aims to boost infrastructure investment and economic growth through increased national use of Public Private Partnerships (P3). AIAI looks forward to learning more details on the role of the Initiative and the Build America Transportation Investment Center as this develops.”
The Build America Transportation Investment Center is being launched as part of the wider investment initiative “to serve as a one-stop shop for cities and states seeking to use innovative financing and partnerships with the private sector to support transportation infrastructure,” the White House said.
AIAI continued: “Public Private Partnerships deliver public works projects through private sector innovation and are fast becoming a popular vehicle for the United States to rebuild its infrastructure, lift its economy and create jobs.
The expertise of the private sector complements the public sector’s capacity to design, finance, build and deliver public infrastructure projects quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively, providing much needed congestion relief to our nation’s transportation arteries. AIAI commends the efforts of President Obama and this pro-P3 initiative as they recognise the importance of private sector involvement in solving the National infrastructure crisis.”
The Association for the Improvement of American Infrastructure is a non-profit organisation formed to help shape the direction of the national Public Private Partnership marketplace. AIAI serves as a national proponent to facilitate education and legislation through targeted advocacy.
AIAI’s Board of Directors has national and international experience and industry knowledge that provides the Association with a clear direction for developing and advocating policy and legislative solutions, allowing more equitable and effective partnerships across diverse market sectors from transportation and energy to educational, health and public service institutions.
Skanska invests $225m in Houston office project
Skanska is investing US$225m in an office development project, 1550 on the Green in Houston, with construction expected to begin in June and scheduled to be completed in 2024.
The construction contract is worth US$125M, which will be included in the Q2 order bookings. International law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has signed a 15-year lease for about 30 percent of the building.
Located at 1550 Lamar Street, adjacent to Discovery Green, in downtown Houston, Skanska plans to develop and build a 28-floor, 34,800 square meter office tower.
1550 on the Green will be the first part of a three-block master plan by Skanska, which will transform the parcels into a distinguished district known as Discovery West and consist of 3.5 acres of mixed-use development full of restaurants, retail and lush green space. The project will target LEED and WiredScore Platinum certifications.
Since 2009, Skanska has invested a total of US$2.8 billion in commercial and multi-family projects, creating more than 1 million square meters of sustainable and community focused developments in select U.S. markets. Skanska USA had sales of SEK66 billion in 2020 with 7,600 employees in its operations.
Skanska’s flagship London office has set the standard in sustainable workspaces by becoming the first in the UK to achieve WELL Platinum under the new v2 pilot scheme.
The accreditation from the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) was awarded through the v2 pilot, the newest version of the WELL Building Standard. It looks at all building features and management processes – from air and water quality to lighting, acoustics, nutrition, thermal comfort and mental wellbeing. It’s widely recognised as the industry yardstick for measuring how workspaces can contribute to the wellbeing of occupants.
The offices – which span three floors of the newly developed 51 Moorgate – contain floor-to-ceiling windows for extensive natural light, dedicated wellbeing and quiet spaces, as well as stringent air and water quality monitoring, among a range of other features that have helped earn the standard.
The company has also been exploring drone flights for use in industrial environments.
Peter Cater, Development Manager, said it was invited to carry out trials because of its use and knowledge of drone capability. "The trials have benefited everyone involved: sees.ai get to test their equipment and remote use of the drones and we get access to accurate, real-time data on our construction activities which benefits us and our customer, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation."
“Projects like this – at the forefront of innovation – go to show what an exciting industry construction is to be involved in. We are always looking for innovative ways of working, ways to be more sustainable so we can find better solutions for our customers. These trials are just one small part of our digital transformation journey.”