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GSA Seeks To Cut Emissions from Building Materials


By Dan Hounsell Design & Construction
pouring concrete

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) recently announced actions to reduce emissions from building materials. GSA released two requests for information (RFIs) to gather marketplace insights from industry, including small businesses, on the national availability of concrete and asphalt materials with environmental product declarations, low embodied carbon or superior environmental attributes. GSA also will participate in the first-ever Buy Clean Task Force established by the White House Council on Environmental Quality to find ways to harness the federal government’s purchasing power to support low-carbon materials. 

Low embodied carbon materials have less climate impact associated with mining, manufacturing and transportation. GSA plans to use the industry’s RFI responses to shape its deployment of new national low-carbon concrete and sustainable asphalt standards for land port of entry projects, including pavement upgrades, funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The industrial sector is central to tackling the climate crisis, with 23 percent of total global emissions being attributable to concrete, steel and aluminum alone. 

“GSA is proud to be contributing to the Biden-Harris Administration’s all-of-government approach to decarbonizing the U.S. economy and reinvigorating clean manufacturing,” said Sonal Larsen, GSA’s senior advisor on climate. “Building materials are a major contributor to global emissions, and we’re excited to hear from industry about innovative products and approaches that can reduce carbon pollution while strengthening our homegrown manufacturing base.”

Dan Hounsell is senior editor, facility group

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