GSA Seeking Information on Low-Carbon Construction Materials

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October 13, 2022

By John Boling

On October 4, 2022, the General Services Administration (GSA) issued a Request for Information (RFI) to learn more about the availability of domestically manufactured, locally sourced low-carbon construction materials. This action builds on standards issued earlier this year dealing with concrete and asphalt used in nationwide GSA construction, modernization, and paving projects.

According to the GSA, the effort is prioritizing low-carbon selections for the most carbon-intensive materials (concrete, steel, glass, and asphalt) for construction and building projects. Those materials account for 98% of what the federal government spends on construction materials. The RFI is seeking information on these nine categories:

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

The GSA is encouraging industry and manufacturers to provide input on the current availability of these types of materials that contain substantially lower levels of embodied carbon as compared with industry averages, or other estimates of similar materials. Responses can be submitted using this online form or by emailing embodiedcarbon@gsa.gov by Thursday, November 3, 2022.

IIBEC encourages industry and manufacturers to respond to the RFI for all their products, especially question nine: “What, if any, are the technical, economic, or regulatory obstacles to reducing the embodied carbon of more of your materials or products?” GSA needs the information to get the full picture of the current market for these products in order to produce balanced guidance to their regions.