The U.S. General Services Administration announced it is distributing $301.4 million to its first group of federal building renovation projects under the federal Climate Act—with the aim of upgrading the facilities to make them more energy efficient and increase their use of low embodied-carbon materials.

The agency estimates that the initial group of eight projects would help cut greenhouse gas emissions by 120,000 metric tons and trim energy costs by $35 million over 20 years. 

GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan announced the funding action on Dec. 19 at the San Luis I Land Port of Entry, a border station in Arizona. The building will receive the largest allocation among the initial batch of projects—$100 million for an upgrade and expansion. GSA intends to seek LEED Platinum green building certification, as well.

GSA says it intends to use low embodied-carbon asphalt, concrete and steel and take other steps to reduce emissions and improve the land port of entry's energy efficiency.

The project also will draw on funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. In October, GSA announced it had awarded a $228.1-million design-build contract for the project to Hensel Phelps Construction Co.

Colorado, Missouri, Michigan Projects

Other projects on GSA's list include the Federal Center Health and Human Services-Food and Drug Administration laboratory in Lakewood, Colo., which will receive $80 million toward an all-electric, high-performance facility.

A federal courthouse in Kansas City, Mo., will get $61 million for an upgrade that includes replacing a "deteriorating" curtain wall with low-carbon windows, says GSA.

The Patrick V. McNamara Federal Building in Detroit will receive $24 million for structural system improvements to what GSA describes as a "rapidly deteriorating" garage. Plans call for using low embodied carbon asphalt, concrete and steel and new technologies in the project. The agency also is studying converting the mechanical system to all-electric power.

In Salt Lake City, a renovation of the Frank E. Moss U.S. Courthouse will use $23 million from the Climate Act for a project that it says will “address seismic and structural deficiencies" as well as upgrading the courthouse’s mechanical systems and other improvements. 

GSA also says it is considering converting the building to all-electric power, resulting in making it a net-zero operational emissions facility.

Smaller Climate Act allocations include $7 million to renovate a federal courthouse in Richmond, Va.; $3.2 million for renovation of the federal courthouse in Portland, Maine; and $3 million to consolidate the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services real estate portfolio in Chicago into two to-be-renovated existing buildings.

In all, the Climate Act—also known as the Inflation Reduction Act—provides GSA $2.15 billion for use of low-carbon materials in construction and renovation projects, plus $975 million “to support emerging and sustainable technologies" and $250 million to convert more federal buildings into high-performance green buildings. The measure was signed into law on Aug. 16.