Hike funding

Senate bill will kick-start funding for low-carbon construction

Although much of the commercial real estate talk has focused on a potential increase in taxes on deferred interest income, the US Senate’s proposed Cut Inflation Act of 2022 would also include funding. $5 billion for policies to drive aggressive emissions reductions in 2030.

The bill, backed by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, would funnel billions into greener affordable housing, federal projects and other construction and comes as commercial real estate companies work to cut emissions of carbon in their construction.

These measures could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 200 million metric tons by the end of the decade, according to non-profit organization Building Transparency and progressive think tank Third Way.

Among the provisions of the bill:

— $4 billion to improve climate resilience in affordable housing, including water efficiency, indoor air quality and sustainability.

– $2 billion for Federal Highway Administration Works Low-Carbon Transportation Grants.

— $2.15 billion for low-carbon General Services Administration buildings.

— $250 million for assistance with environmental product declarations to support the development and standardization of EPDs for construction materials.

— $100 million for low embodied carbon labeling of building materials.

The Cut Inflation Act is the latest incarnation of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better bill, which was scuttled earlier this year when Manchin withdrew his support, effectively killing him.

Under a new reconciliation deal backed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Manchin, parts of that bill could be revived, including climate initiatives, as well as a minimum corporate tax. of 15% intended to fill the loopholes of large companies and a three-year extension of the Affordable Care Act.

“This agreement marks an important step in driving decarbonization and sustainable infrastructure development, which highlights the importance of providing financing for low-carbon purchases if we are to make real progress in reversing of climate change,” said Stacy Smedley, executive director of Building Transparency. statement, adding that the effects could be equivalent to taking 51 million gasoline-powered cars off the road for a year.

However, there are still steps to be taken before the bill is adopted. Officials still need to review the bill to ensure it falls within the scope of the Senate, which could lead to some minor changes, according to Policy. Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who joined Manchin in otherwise split party votes, did not say whether she would support the bill.

The construction industry is responsible for 20% of the world’s annual carbon dioxide emissions, bisnow previously reported, although it has made incremental progress in efforts such as low-carbon concrete and liquid-applied roofing technology. This comes despite mixed policy decisions, including the recent US Supreme Court ruling that limits the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate carbon emissions.

“We have industries because there’s a planet to trade on,” said Jimmy Mitchell, Skanska’s senior director of business development for Georgia and South Carolina. bisnow.