News Article
October 3, 2018

RELEASE: Bogotá Doubles Down on Efficiency Efforts in Phase 2 of the Building Efficiency Accelerator

Bogotá, Colombia. Photo by Rosalba Tarazona/Flickr

BOGOTÁ, Colombia (October 3, 2018) — Today, Bogotá announced a new policy for more energy-efficient construction that is expected to reduce energy and water use in new buildings by 20 percent and 30 percent, respectively, when fully implemented.

Bogotá will integrate the energy and water saving goals of Colombia’s national building efficiency code into the city’s master plan. The city is also releasing the draft implementation protocol for the policy, which will allow it to properly implement the code.

Bogotá’s new commitments are the result of a two-year process of stakeholder engagement and technical analysis with the Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA), a public-private collaboration that turns global expertise into action to accelerate local government implementation of building efficiency policies and programs.

“Efficiency is one of the three pillars that we’ve raised for the new Master Plan, and sustainable construction is a main tool of this policy,” said Andrés Ortiz, Secretary of Planning for Bogotá.

Bogotá works with the BEA to help improve the wellbeing of residents while joining global efforts to address climate change by doubling the rate of energy efficiency improvements and making all new buildings net zero carbon by 2030.

“We are so pleased that Bogotá will be expanding its efficiency practices through the BEA,” said Jennifer Layke, Global Energy Director, World Resources Institute. “Efficient buildings offer huge opportunities to make the city more livable and economically competitive, and we’re thrilled to work alongside Bogotá’s government as they unlock this enormous potential.”

Bogotá is Colombia’s largest city and one of the highest capitals in the world. Due to its unique climate, the city requires little air conditioning or heating. But building energy use makes up roughly 45 percent of national emissions in Colombia and the adoption of new policy in the capital is expected to help set national precedent and achieve national climate commitments. As Bogotá’s population increases, the number of buildings will too – the city plans to double its number of homes and is already in the process of developing a new master plan that will determine how it grows over the next 12 years.

“Mitigating the impact that humans and buildings have on the environment will help us guarantee sustainable environmental, social and economic development,” said Juan Camilo González, Advisor to the Mayor of Bogotá, Enrique Peñalosa.

Bogotá has been a BEA city since 2016, when the city committed to implement a building energy code in city regulation and district plans. Within just six months, city officials won support from multiple city departments and presented their 18-month workplan at a BEA network meeting. In 2018, Bogotá worked with the BEA to make adjustments to Colombia’s national building code that make implementation more feasible for local governments.

“Through the BEA, we have a unique opportunity to extend Bogotá’s positive impact to other cities in Colombia, in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing and the 25+ stakeholders that participate in the program,” said Cristina Gamboa, CEO of Consejo Colombiano de Construcción Sostenible, Colombia’s Green Building Council.

"I’m excited to see the encouraging and positive impact that the Colombia Green Building Council is accomplishing with the Building Efficiency Accelerator in partnership with the World Green Building Council,” said Terri Wills, CEO, World Green Building Council. “The launch of this second phase will engage national and subnational authorities to support the main objective to ensure 2.89 million new homes by 2050 will have energy and water demand more efficiently. This will result in a 25 percent reduction in water and energy utility costs for the people living in the new, greener homes. This experience will be a leading example that can be replicated at a local and regional level across the WorldGBC Americas Regional Network.” 

Better building efficiency policies can result in 25-50 percent reductions in energy demand from both new and existing buildings, saving money and reducing pollution. The Building Efficiency Accelerator, part of the UN Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) campaign, works with subnational governments and global and local private and civil society partners to implement policies and programs to improve buildings. In its first two years, the BEA reached 253 cities with its resources and obtained 47 commitments on building efficiency action from 32 cities in 17 countries. Learn more at

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