Florida Construction News staff writer
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) this week announced $2 billion for more than 150 construction projects that use cleaner construction materials, known as “low-embodied carbon” (LEC) materials.
Funding will include $13 million for LEC glass for exterior windows totaling over 280,000 square feet at the Claude Pepper Federal Building in Miami, reducing energy consumption and saving long-term energy costs.
Projects span 39 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and will “catalyze the market” for American-made low carbon asphalt, concrete, glass and steel and create construction jobs for American workers in communities across the country.
“Today’s announcement from GSA shows that the federal government is leading by example on tackling the climate crisis by spurring demand for low-carbon manufacturing,” said John Podesta, senior advisor for clean energy Innovation and implementation. “This is exactly what President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is all about–boosting American innovation, building a clean energy economy, and creating good-paying jobs all across the country.”
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, and representing 98% of the construction materials purchased and funded by the government for its infrastructure investments. By increasing demand for LEC materials, these investments will strengthen America’s industrial base, catalyze innovation, and stimulate job growth in industries that produce next-generation materials.
GSA has identified over 150 federal government buildings projects that will prioritize the procurement of LEC materials. This includes:
- $384 million for asphalt.
- $767 million for concrete.
- $464 million for glass.
- $388 million for steel.
Work will include 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. Through the life of the projects, these investments are estimated to reduce up to 41,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and support over 6,000 jobs annually.