America’s low-carbon construction plan
By Catrin Jones18 February 2022
US President Biden’s White House has announced that they will be making advances on ‘clean manufacturing’ by launching the Buy Clean Task Force that will support low-carbon materials made in US factories.
As directed by President Biden’s December 2021 executive order on making the federal government more sustainable, the Task Force will promote the use of construction materials with lower embodied emissions and pollutants across their lifecycle.
The Biden-Harris administration said that this will create more jobs and boost American competitiveness in global markets.
According to a press release from the White House, the advancement of carbon-based trade policies will seek to reward American manufacturers of clean steel and aluminium, such as through lowering tariffs with the European Union.
The General Services Administration (GSA), which manages a nationwide federal real estate portfolio and oversees approximately US$75 billion in annual contracts, are reported to be well underway with efforts on this initiative. Over the past year, the GSA has worked alongside stakeholders to learn and adopt best practices for reducing embodied emissions of buildings and materials.
It was also announced that the Department of Transportation (DOT) is announcing new efforts to support the use of low-carbon materials in federal transportation projects and reduce lifecycle emissions of construction materials used in transportation infrastructure.
A new pilot program will target key products and services to increase the use of Environmental Product Declarations and incentivise the acquisition of low-carbon materials.