Buildings get an energy efficiency boost from new regulations in Mexico City

September 1, 2016

Part of recent efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase sustainability in the Mexico City’s vast urban landscape, the municipal government recently integrated energy efficiency into the city’s latest construction regulations. Both new constructions and existing retrofits were addressed by the update, which was an initiative of Mexico City’s Ministry of the Environment (SEDEMA). The SE4All Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA), led by the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities provided support for the new regulations, specifically for the adoption of energy efficiency components. The BEA also helped the Mexican government establish a national building energy code, which provided a solid foundation for Mexico City’s energy efficiency work in buildings.

The updated regulations introduce new Complementary Technical Standards that will enable the creation of energy-efficient buildings. The standards include guidance on construction materials, efficient lighting, air conditioning and other building equipment, as well as how to design effective thermal insulation and integrate renewable energy sources. The regulations now address topics ranging from solar-powered water heaters, to efficient lighting, to energy efficiency in pumping systems and elevators.

With these new changes, both users and owners of new and retrofitted buildings will notice savings on their electricity bills. Buildings that meet the guidelines should experience a reduction in energy use of up to 20 percent.