Beyond local regulations in the built environment

PLEA2007 – The 24th Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture, Singapore, 22-24 November 2007

ABSTRACT: Maracaibo’s architecture and construction sector is undergoing an interesting process in the area of energy efficiency in buildings. Although local ordinances regulate the way buildings should be designed and constructed, it is only since 2006 that a new ordinance addresses the need for energy efficiency and thermal comfort in the way buildings’ envelope are designed. The Ordinance on Thermal Quality for the city of Maracaibo, first in Venezuela, requires that all buildings comply with a maximum heat transfer value for its envelope (VTTG). Its implementation has forced the construction sector to change its business as usual practice in regards to architectural design and construction. Now more than ever before, firms are considering not only the variables to comply with the required VTTG, but are improving its envelope efficiency by as much as 30 per cent higher compared to the required value. This paper presents many of the considerations and implications architects and construction professionals have had to address to comply and go beyond the required standards, e.g. capacity building, design team improvement, incentives evaluation. The paper is based on a survey directed to several architects and consultants and their experience in integrating this Ordinance into their daily practice.

Going beyond local regulations on the built environment: considerations and implications in the design process for the city of Maracaibo, Venezuela

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