TOPEKA (KSNT)— The Biden-Harris administration announced a $2 billion investment for more than 150 construction projects that use cleaner construction materials.
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), along with John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President, visited the Capital City Monday morning to announce the historic investment.
“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.”
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.
In Topeka, $25 million will go LEC (low-embodied carbon) construction materials for the Frank Carlson Federal Building and Courthouse. 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.
The material will be used to meet the administration’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from thousands of federal office buildings across the country. According to GSA officials, they’re hoping to be “net zero” by 2045.
“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.
According to the administration, 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. GSA is hoping to use the government’s “purchasing power” to increase demand for LEC materials to further the administration’s “Buy Clean” initiative.
Other projects in Kansas and the Kansas City region include:
- Robert J. Dole Courthouse Facade in Kansas City, Kansas
- $11 million for LEC glass to repair and replace windows, eliminate leaks, and increase energy efficiency.
- Charles E. Whittaker Courthouse in Kansas City, Missouri
- $61 million for materials to help the Whittaker Courthouse project reduce its embodied carbon footprint while improving efficiency and tenant satisfaction. GSA will replace the deteriorating curtain wall, including windows and seals. GSA plans to install new low-embodied carbon glass windows over 100,000 square feet of curtain wall.
- 2306 E. Bannister Road Structural Repairs in Kansas City, Missouri
- Richard Bolling Federal Building Parking Lot Repaving in Kansas City, Missouri
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; and
- $388 million for steel.