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Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council Publishes Proposed Rule to Implement Enhanced Sustainable Procurement Requirements for Federal Construction Contracts

The Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council is publishing a proposed rule to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement a requirement for agencies to procure sustainable products and services to the maximum extent practicable—including for construction contracts.

The proposed rule includes a new clause for use in all solicitations and contracts. This clause directs contractors to: (1) deliver and furnish sustainable products and services for government use, including use at government-owned contractor-operated facilities; (2) incorporate sustainable products and services into the construction of a public building or public works; and (3) furnish sustainable products and services for contractor use in performing services under the contract, where the cost of the products is a direct cost to the contract (versus costs that are normally applied to a contractor’s general and administrative expenses or indirect costs).

Moreover, the FAR Council is proposing specific updates regarding construction contracts. Currently, federal agencies must ensure that all new construction, major renovation, or repair and alteration of federal buildings complies with the “Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High-Performance and Sustainable Buildings.” The proposed rule would update this requirement to provide that: (1) all new construction and modernization projects greater than 25,000 gross square feet are designed, constructed, and maintained to meet and, wherever practicable, exceed federal sustainable design and operations principles for new construction and modernization projects in accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality’s “Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings and Associated Instructions”; and (2) all renovation projects of existing federal buildings must use, to the greatest extent technically feasible and practicable, federal sustainable design and operations principles for existing buildings in accordance with the Guiding Principles. 

Comments are due by October 2, 2023 and can be submitted here using FAR Case 2022-006.

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