• Best Buy pledges to build green for all its new stores. Beginning in early- to mid-2008, Minnesota-based retailer Best Buy intends to build only LEED-certified stores under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standard. Of all 800 projects certified by LEED to date, only 50 are retail.
• Moscow plans spinning skyscraper. Moscow looks set to become only the second city in the world after the UAE's Dubai to boast a fully revolving skyscraper after developer Mirax bought construction rights to the project. Each of the proposed building's approximately 60 floors will revolve independently around a central core. The project will cost more than $400 million.
• Architecture Billings Index reaches near-record high. The Architecture Billings Index in July reached 60.0, the second-highest mark since the survey's inception in 1995 and up slightly from June's 59.3. The ABI shows a 9-12 month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending; any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings. American Institute of Architects' chief economist Kermit Baker said some construction projects may still be affected by financing anxiety caused by the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market.
• No-bid lawsuit goes before Arkansas court. The Arkansas Constitution requires that contracts for erecting or repairing public buildings “in any county” be awarded to the low bidder, but state agencies increasingly skip the bid process for their priciest projects. At issue in a pending lawsuit is more than $800 million in state building contracts. Awarding building contracts based on factors other than cost is allowed under a 2001 law for projects exceeding $5 million, excluding the cost of land. For more: www.BDCnetwork.com.