The US General Services Administration (GSA) has announced a $2 billion investment in over 150 construction projects across 39 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
The initiative, part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America agenda and sourced from the Inflation Reduction Act, focuses on projects that use cleaner construction materials, known as “low-embodied carbon” (LEC) materials.
As the US GSA explains in the statement announcing the investment, the funding will “catalyze the market for American-made low carbon asphalt, concrete, glass and steel” and “expand America’s industrial capacity for manufacturing goods and materials of the future, tackle the climate crisis, and create good-paying jobs for American workers in communities across the country.”
“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,” GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan said, adding:
“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 move, according to the statement, also furthers the Biden-Harris Administration’s Buy Clean Initiative. Thanks to this, the US federal government is now prioritizing, for the first time, the “purchase of asphalt, concrete, glass and steel that have lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions associated with their production, use, and disposal.”
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By prioritizing the use of LEC materials in more than 150 projects, including significant allocations for asphalt, concrete, glass, and steel — “some of the most carbon-intensive construction materials” that account for almost half of all US manufacturing greenhouse gas emissions — the GSA says that the initiative will reduce America’s emissions, strengthen its industrial base, foster innovation, and drive job growth in the next-generation materials sector.
Specifically, the GSA identified 150 federal government building projects to “prioritize the procurement of LEC materials,” including:
- $384 million for asphalt.
- $767 million for concrete.
- $464 million for glass.
- $388 million for steel.
This includes projects like “facade and window replacements, structural repairs, repaving projects, and seismic upgrades in buildings ranging from the historic Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House in New York City to the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building in Seattle, to land ports of entry across the northern and southern borders,” the GSA explains.
It is estimated that these projects, through their lifetime, will reduce up to 41,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and that they will support over 6,000 jobs per year.
The initiative is a testament to the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to sustainability and economic growth, paving the way for a more environmentally conscious and resilient future for federal buildings and the communities they serve.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — In the Featured Photo: US President Joe Biden speaks during a visit to the Flatirons Campus of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Arvada, Colorado, Sept. 14, 2021. Featured Photo Credit: National Renewable Energy Lab.