Biden Admin Releases $2B for Clean Construction
The U.S. General Services Administration recently unveiled $2 billion for more than 150 construction projects that use “low-embodied carbon” construction materials.
According to the government release, the funding will support projects across 39 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to catalyze the market for American-made low carbon asphalt, concrete, glass and steel.
“Today’s announcement shows how the Biden-Harris Administration is delivering on our commitment to use the federal government’s buying power to strengthen American leadership in clean manufacturing and jobs,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan.
“By incorporating clean construction materials in more than 150 projects across the country, we're helping create good-paying jobs in the clean manufacturing industries of the future and sending a clear signal that the homegrown market for these sustainable products is here to stay.”
The GSA explains asphalt, concrete, glass and steel are some of the most carbon-intensive construction materials, accounting for nearly half of all U.S. manufacturing greenhouse gas emissions.
Additionally, they represent 98% of the construction materials purchased and funded by the government for its infrastructure investments.
By increasing demand for LEC materials, these investments are anticipated to strengthen America’s industrial base, catalyze innovation and stimulate job growth in industries that produce materials.
Over 150 federal government buildings projects have been identified that will prioritize the procurement of LEC materials, including:
The projects will be guided by lessons learned from GSA’s pilot, launched in May and running through November. The pilot reportedly implemented the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Interim Determination, which established the definition of “substantially lower” greenhouse gas emissions based on Environmental Product Declarations.
“EPA is thrilled to be partnering with GSA and other federal agencies to support construction projects that cut harmful climate pollution, protect public health, and help grow the economy in communities across our county,” said EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe.
“At EPA, we are also working with the construction materials manufacturing industry and NGOs to help track the climate impacts of their operations and to develop a labeling program that will clearly identify lower carbon construction materials in the marketplace.”
Energy Efficient Building Tech
Last month, the GSA in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy announced a request for information about technologies that can enable energy efficiency, electrification and decarbonization in commercial buildings.
Through the Green Proving Ground, the program will offer $30 million in funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, which will reportedly result in more than triple the number of technologies in the program.
According to the GSA, technologies selected to participate in the program will be piloted in one or more federal buildings and/or private sector facilities for evaluation by DOE national labs.
Additionally, technology companies receive third-party evaluations facilitated by the federal government which can help scale their technology and grow their business. This year’s RFI is focused on emerging and sustainable technologies that support:
Submissions should be early- or underutilized-commercial technologies ready for evaluation in occupied, operational buildings. Technologies will be considered for GSA’s Green Proving Ground program for federally owned facilities and/or DOE-facilitated voluntary partnership programs for privately owned facilities.
The RFI will be open for submissions until Friday, Dec. 8, 2023.