Over $60 million awarded for building improvements at Whittaker Courthouse in Kansas City under President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda

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Kansas City, Missouri – The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) celebrated the award of a $62.4 million contract to JE Dunn Construction Company for improvements to the Charles E. U.S. Courthouse Building

This initiative is part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda, focusing on the repair and restoration of the Charles E. Whittaker U.S. Courthouse in Kansas City, Missouri. The project is a shining example of the administration’s commitment to reducing environmental impact through the use of low embodied carbon (LEC) materials, enhancing the efficiency and performance of federal buildings.

Under the spotlight of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Buy Clean Initiative, this project stands as a pioneering effort by the federal government to prioritize the purchase of construction materials like asphalt, concrete, glass, and steel, which are associated with lower greenhouse gas emissions throughout their lifecycle. The initiative underscores a broader ambition to revitalize America’s industrial sector, confront the climate crisis head-on, and create quality jobs in the process.

The investment, sourced from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), contributes to a larger $96 million endeavor encompassing comprehensive window replacement and essential roof repairs. A significant portion of the glass, produced by Vitro Architectural Glass in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, aligns with the GSA’s IRA requirements for low embodied carbon materials. This glass not only meets the courthouse’s need for efficiency and aesthetics but also boasts a reduced manufacturing emissions footprint, verified by a third party.

GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration with American manufacturers committed to innovation, sustainability, and job creation. The federal government anticipates the emergence of more environmentally friendly products in the market, reflecting a convergence of sustainability and economic growth.

The renovation project promises to enhance the Whittaker Courthouse’s energy efficiency, security, and occupant comfort by introducing 100,000 square feet of new LEC glass windows and skylights. This upgrade, equivalent to the size of two football fields, also aims to generate over 300 jobs throughout its 27-month timeline, demonstrating the project’s significant economic and environmental benefits.

Moreover, the initiative is expected to yield a 2.6% annual energy savings for the entire building and avoid approximately 38 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, illustrating the tangible impacts of adopting low embodied carbon materials in construction.

With construction set to begin soon, the project has received commendations from local and federal officials alike. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II praised the IRA’s role in facilitating sustainable improvements and job creation in Missouri. Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas highlighted the project’s dual benefits of enhancing local employment and advancing environmental sustainability. JE Dunn Construction’s Vice President, Ryan Watzke, expressed pride in contributing to the GSA’s mission of delivering high-performance federal facilities.

This project is part of the GSA’s broader strategy under the IRA to invest $3.4 billion in creating more sustainable and efficient federal buildings. With $2.15 billion allocated specifically for low embodied carbon materials, the GSA is on track to achieve a net-zero emissions federal building portfolio by 2045, potentially reducing carbon emissions by 2.3 million metric tons.

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