GSA Seeks Industry Input on Clean Construction Materials

October 4, 2022

Outreach further supports Biden-Harris Administration's Federal Buy Clean Initiative

WASHINGTON – In support of the Biden-Harris Administration's Federal Buy Clean Initiative to spur markets for low-carbon products made in America, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) today issued a request for information (RFI) to learn more about the availability of domestically manufactured, locally sourced low-carbon construction materials. For the first time, the entire federal government will prioritize the use of American-made, lower-carbon construction materials in federal procurement and federally funded projects.

"Today's action follows our successful model of seeking industry input from concrete and asphalt manufacturers," said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan. "Using domestic, lower-carbon construction materials is a triple win – creating good-paying American jobs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and ensuring a healthy planet for the next generation. We are eager to hear from the experts and share our findings with our agency partners as we work across government to tackle the climate crisis."

The Buy Clean Task Force is prioritizing low-carbon selections for the most carbon intensive materials (concrete, steel, glass, and asphalt) for construction and building projects, which account for 98% of what the federal government spends on construction materials. Today's outreach to industry partners, including small businesses, seeks information on low-embodied-carbon materials in those and five other high-priority categories:

  • Concrete, including pre-fabricated products
  • Steel, including structural and rebar
  • Flat glass, including window assemblies
  • Asphalt
  • Aluminum, including curtain walls and storefronts
  • Insulation, including enclosure, equipment, piping, and acoustical
  • Roofing materials
  • Gypsum board
  • Structural engineered wood, including mass timber and cross-laminated timber

GSA encourages industry partners to provide input on the current availability of these materials with substantially lower levels of embodied carbon as compared to industry averages, or other estimates of similar materials. Industry feedback will be shared with other landholding federal agencies to inform governmentwide construction procurement. Responses can be submitted using this online form or by emailing embodiedcarbon@gsa.gov by Thursday, November 3.

President Biden's Inflation Reduction Act provides a boost to these efforts with $3.375 billion that will allow GSA to invest in federal buildings with lower-carbon materials and sustainable technologies, and leverage emerging clean technologies that help achieve greater carbon reductions and catalyze American innovation. These investments help boost the competitiveness of American manufacturers developing sustainable materials and technologies.

In March, GSA issued new standards for the concrete and asphalt used in nationwide GSA construction, modernization, and paving projects – the first standards in the U.S. to apply beyond a local jurisdiction. To date, GSA has completed seven Bipartisan Infrastructure Law-funded (BIL) paving projects using the new asphalt standards, all of which were awarded to and completed by small or disadvantaged businesses without cost impact from the new standard. These and other investments enabled by the BIL will reduce carbon emissions from the federal supply chain by millions of metric tons per year, save millions of dollars in energy costs, and support the achievement of GSA's sustainability goals.

Respondents to GSA's previous concrete and asphalt RFI released February 15 do not need to respond again.

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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 $75 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.

Last Reviewed: 2022-10-11