GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan touted a $2 billion investment the agency is making in low-embodied carbon materials for future building projects.

GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan touted a $2 billion investment the agency is making in low-embodied carbon materials for future building projects. Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images

GSA plans $2 billion in cleaner construction projects

The agency is utilizing funding from the Inflation Reduction Act to support 150 construction projects using “low-embodied carbon” materials.

The General Services Administration is committing $2 billion in funding for a series of construction projects using lower-carbon materials, officials said Monday. 

In a post on the agency’s website, GSA officials said they would deploy funding from the Inflation Reduction Act towards more than 150 projects around the nation, using low-carbon asphalt, concrete, glass and steel.

The move is part of the Biden administration’s Buy Clean Initiative, which aims to have the federal government use its purchasing power and procure lower carbon materials to reduce the emissions generated from its construction projects. 

“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,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan, in a statement.

The agency’s planned construction projects will leverage “low-embodied carbon” materials, which have less climate impact from their manufacturing process, pledging $384 million for LEC asphalt, $767 million for LEC concrete, $464 million for LEC glass and $388 million for LEC steel. 

The investments range from “facade and window replacements, structural repairs, repaving projects and seismic upgrades” to a variety of buildings to land ports of border entry, with the goal of reducing 41,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and adding 6,000 jobs annually. 

The announcement follows a GSA pilot program for procuring LEC construction materials that ran for six months and adhered to the Environmental Protection Agency’s global warming protection limits that gauged the potential climate impact of the materials obtained.

“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 GSA’s Public Building Service Commissioner Elliot Doomes, in a statement. “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.”

GSA officials said the project — a major portion of the $3.375 billion provided to the agency by the IRA — is in line with the administration’s goal to achieve a net zero emissions federal building portfolio by 2045 and net zero emissions procurement by 2050.