The federal government pursues a low-carbohydrate (on) diet for most building materials

The federal government pursues a low-carbohydrate (on) diet for most building materials

Isaac Shapps's photo

On October 4, 2022, the General Services Administration (“GSA”) published A Request for Information (“RFI”), for information “on the availability of locally manufactured, low-carbon building materials” for government-wide construction procurement. Significantly, the results of the RFI are expected to help inform how the General Services Agency is spending the $2.15 billion allocated through Section 60503 of the Inflation Reduction Act (“IRA”) to “acquire and install materials and products for use in the construction or modification of buildings” “GSA subject to” have significantly lower levels of embedded greenhouse gas emissions associated with all relevant stages of production, use and disposal than estimated industry averages for similar materials or products[.]”

Building on previous GSA efforts to implement new ‘low carbon’ concrete and ‘environmentally preferred’ asphalt used in GSA construction projects (covered over here), management seeks to expand its scope Clean Purchasing Initiative Most carbon-intensive materials—including concrete, steel, glass, asphalt, aluminum, insulation, roofing materials, gypsum board, and structural wood—are used in the construction of buildings, roads, and bridges. The GSA divided these materials into three layers in descending order of priority, with Tier 1 materials (concrete, steel, glass, and asphalt) as the “most carbon-intensive materials”, followed by Tier 2 (aluminum, insulation, and roofing materials) and finally, Tier 3 (wood engineering construction).

Specifically, the GSA is requesting public comments on the following questions:

  • What strategies have you used to reduce the carbon embodied in your products or materials?
  • If your company currently produces building materials or products that are lower in embodied carbon, approximately what percentage of your building material sales currently are in embodied carbon products?
  • Do you currently offer building materials or products? . . Which is significantly – and obviously – lower in embodied carbon, compared to industry averages for similar materials or products?
  • Does your company currently track greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacturing process?
  • If yes, have you developed a product-specific EPD for any of your building materials or products? And if yes, which one(s)? If no, how do you measure and document lower embodied carbon compared to industry averages?
  • How does the cost of your company’s lower embodied carbon materials or products compare to the cost of conventional formulas used to serve the same purpose?
  • Has your company, customers or users encountered any quality, operability, or durability challenges with building materials and lower embodiment carbon products? And what are the technical, economic, or regulatory barriers to reducing carbon embodied in more of your materials or products, if any?

Federal building contractors should follow this measure closely as it represents the administration’s boldest measure yet to limit the types of building materials it will purchase government-wide. Now with more than $2 billion in federal funding available, significant opportunities await building contractors able to assist the GSA in its pursuit of the emissions reduction goals set by Executive Order 14057.

#federal #government #pursues #lowcarbohydrate #diet #building #materials

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *