Biden-Harris Administration announces $2 billion for cleaner construction projects to tackle the climate crisis, spur American innovation, and create good-paying jobs as part of Investing in America agenda
Historic GSA investment through the Inflation Reduction Act will fund 150 low-carbon materials projects in communities nationwide
Announcement advances Biden-Harris Administration’s Buy Clean Initiative, under which the federal government is, for the first time, prioritizing the purchase of cleaner industrial materials
TOPEKA – The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) today announced a $2 billion investment for more than 150 construction projects that use cleaner construction materials, known as “low-embodied carbon” (LEC) materials, as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America agenda. The funding will support projects across 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. This investment from the Inflation Reduction Act will 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. The announcement furthers the Biden-Harris Administration’s Buy Clean Initiative, under which the federal government is, for the first time, prioritizing the purchase of asphalt, concrete, glass and steel that have lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions associated with their production, use, and disposal.
Administrator Robin Carnahan announced the investments alongside White House Senior Advisor John Podesta during a visit to Topeka, Kansas as part of the Investing in Rural America Event Series. GSA plans to invest about $25 million for LEC construction materials to help the Frank Carlson Federal Building and Courthouse reduce its greenhouse gas emissions while improving efficiency, safety, and comfort. GSA will replace the windows and doors with blast resistant aluminum frames and insulated LEC glass that will reduce the building’s energy use and extend the building’s useful life. The concrete pavement sidewalks and parking area will be upgraded with LEC concrete to sustainably address deterioration, correct tripping hazards, and improve accessibility. The project is slated to be designed this fiscal year, with construction in 2025.
“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.”
“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 to the President 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.”
The Inflation Reduction Act—the largest climate investment in history—provided $3.375 billion for GSA to invest in federal buildings to help reduce carbon emissions and catalyze innovation, primarily by acquiring and installing LEC materials for construction projects. More on GSA’s LEC projects can be found in this fact sheet [PDF - 976 KB].
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.
The array of investments 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.
The projects mark another step toward achieving President Biden’s federal sustainability goals, including a net zero emissions federal building portfolio by 2045 and net zero emissions procurement by 2050, while supporting good American construction and manufacturing jobs.
The projects will be informed by lessons learned from GSA’s pilot, launched in May and running through November. The pilot implemented the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Interim Determination [PDF] 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.”
“Today’s announcement from GSA is an integral part of how the IRA reduces U. S. greenhouse gas emissions and keeps us on track to reduce our emissions 40% by 2030,” said U.S. Senate Majority Leader Schumer. “Working in combination with multiple other agencies and programs, this funding helps create a market for low- and zero-carbon materials, further incentivizing industrial manufacturers to take advantage of other IRA programs aimed at helping them reduce their emissions. This ecosystem of incentives approach is part of what makes the IRA so impactful and resilient, and I am proud to see GSA getting this money, that I fought so hard for, out the door.”
“In addition to lowering the carbon footprint of maintaining and upgrading federal buildings, these projects will also support high quality workplaces for federal employees,” said PBS Commissioner Elliot Doomes. “We look forward to implementing these smart, impactful investments in communities across the country - providing safe, efficient work environments for federal agencies and helping support American manufacturing along the way.”
John W. McCormack Parking Garage - Boston, MA
$13 million for LEC steel, concrete, and asphalt to repair and replace structural deck, vehicular travel surfaces, and other related foundation and waterproofing items within the below-grade parking garage.
St. Albans Federal Building and Courthouse - St. Albans, VT
$6 million for LEC steel, concrete, and glass to repair and replace the degraded facade with high-performance, energy efficient envelope and window systems to extend the life of this historic building.
Champlain Land Port of Entry - Champlain, NY
$11 million for LEC asphalt, concrete, and steel to address deteriorating infrastructure including repairing and replacing aging roads and parking areas.
Robert A. Roe Federal Building - Paterson, NJ
$11 million for LEC glass to repair and replace windows, eliminate leaks, and increase energy efficiency.
Joseph F. Weis, Jr. Courthouse - Pittsburgh, PA
$16 million for LEC asphalt, concrete and steel to complete critical repairs to the building’s crumbling loading dock, including replacing corroded steel members, delaminated and spalled concrete, and damaged asphalt.
Edward A. Garmatz Courthouse - Baltimore, MD
$12 million for LEC glass totaling 44,000 square feet which incorporates new daylighting control technologies and LEC concrete to replace sidewalks along Lombard and Hanover streets.
Albert V. Bryan Courthouse - Alexandria, VA
$11 million for LEC concrete to address critical repairs and necessary upgrades to the courthouse’s deteriorating parking garage.
CMS Headquarters - Woodlawn, MD
$11 million for LEC asphalt to support the replacement of aged parking lots while incorporating environmentally preferable paving features to further enhance sustainability and reduce the burden on the local stormwater system.
Mid-Atlantic Social Security Center - Philadelphia, PA
$10 million for LEC concrete to support comprehensive renovation of the northwest and northeast plazas while improving accessibility and stormwater management.
Claude Pepper Federal Building - Miami, FL
$13 million for LEC glass for exterior windows totaling over 280,000 square feet, reducing energy consumption and saving long-term energy costs.
Terry Sanford Federal Building - Raleigh, NC
$13 million for LEC glass for windows totaling over 39,000 square feet to improve energy efficiency.
Howard Metzenbaum Courthouse - Cleveland, OH
$18 million for LEC materials to address significant deterioration of the plaza and its structural support.
Minton Capehart Federal Building - Indianapolis, IN
$17 million for LEC materials to address significant deterioration of the 170,000 square foot parking garage, including replacing the structural deck on the upper level, and repairing cast-in-place concrete beams.
Robert V. Denney Federal Building and Courthouse - Lincoln, NE
$41 million in LEC glass to replace 42,000 square feet of windows, curtain wall, and doors with blast-resistant glazing units that will reduce energy use and extend the building’s life while improving efficiency, safety, and comfort.
Frank Carlson Federal Building and Courthouse - Topeka, KS
$25 million for LEC glass to replace over 10,000 square feet of windows and doors with blast-resistant glazing units while improving efficiency, safety and comfort as well as LEC concrete to replace existing sidewalks and parking area.
Robert J. Dole Courthouse - Kansas City, KS
$17 million for LEC glass to replace nearly 14,000 square feet of windows and doors with blast-resistant carbon glazing units to improve energy efficiency.
Sioux City Federal Building and Courthouse - Sioux City, IA
$13 million to replace over 11,000 square feet of windows and doors with historically sensitive, blast resistant, insulated glazing units (and joints in the historic stone facade will be pointed and sealed to reduce air infiltration and improve energy efficiency).
Denver Federal Center - Lakewood, CO
$33 million in LEC concrete, steel and asphalt to replace parking lot, sidewalk, roadways, bridge replacement and to install new fencing, all aimed at improving safety, drainage and accessibility.
Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building - Salt Lake City, UT
$10 million in LEC glass, concrete, steel, and asphalt to replace aging curtain wall windows and repair the plaza infrastructure.
Mike Mansfield Federal Building - Butte, MT
$8 million for LEC concrete and steel to support seismic retrofit while also supporting safety, performance and historic preservation.
San Francisco Appraisers Building - San Francisco, CA
$11 million for LEC steel and glass to address a leaking curtain wall while supporting historic preservation.
Sandra D. O'Connor Courthouse - Phoenix, AZ
$10 million for LEC glass to replace failing materials with glazing units that will reduce energy use and extend the building’s useful life.
Henry M. Jackson Federal Building - Seattle, WA
$17 million for LEC materials to address water infiltration and prevent subsequent degradation of structural columns on the historic plaza.
About GSA: GSA provides centralized procurement and shared services for the federal government, managing a nationwide real estate portfolio of nearly 370 million rentable square feet, overseeing approximately $87 billion in annual contracts, and delivering technology services that serve millions of people across dozens of federal agencies. GSA’s mission is to deliver the best customer experience and value in real estate, acquisition, and technology services to the government and the American people. For more information, visit GSA.gov and follow us at @USGSA.