General Services Administration invites input on low-carbon concrete

Sources: General Services Administration; CP staff

The agency overseeing much federal building development and construction has formally issued “Request for Information Regarding Concrete: Environmental Product Declarations and Low Embodied Carbon Products,” inviting EPD data and responses to a nine-point questionnaire at a dedicated portal. Over a two-week survey concluding March 1, the General Services Administration aims to gather information on concrete producers’ ability to provide mix-specific, cradle-to-gate Type III EPDs and insights on concrete exhibiting low embodied carbon characteristics. Candidate mixes for agency review are those whose embodied carbon threshold have a reduced global warming potential, expressed on EPD as kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent per cubic meter, when measured against industry averages. 

Along with the Request for Information, GSA has engaged trade associations, architectural firms specializing in sustainable construction, U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, plus state and local governments on the topic. Low embodied carbon concrete mixes for buildings and pavement may be readily available and cost-competitive, with regional variation, the agency finds. GSA seeks to learn more regarding any barriers to the production of sustainable concrete and any opportunities to more consistently use such products in the future. The agency’s survey of low carbon concrete mixes aligns with White House Executive Order 14057, Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability. It compels appropriate agencies to “promote use of construction materials with lower embodied emissions.”