Panama signs an agreement to provide incentive for sustainable construction

The International Finance Corporation (IFC in its English acronym), an institution within the World Bank Group’s private sector, signed an agreement with the government of Panama to design a new regulatory framework that will promote eco-efficient construction and reduce energy and water consumption in new buildings.
The project is part of a global programme that IFC has embarked on to help develop green building codes. This includes projects in Colombia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Vietnam, among other countries.
Opportunities exist to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in Latin America – a region in which 80% of the population lives in cities – through the design and construction of green buildings, however, so far few countries have adopted green building standards to develop a more sustainable urban infrastructure.
One of the first Latin American countries to sign an agreement of this type was Panama. It is intended to provide incentive to use more sustainable materials and technologies and define design standards and eco-efficient construction. The main objective is to design a green building code that will be valid for all new construction in Panama after the regulation is approved.
The project seeks to deploy smart measures for saving energy with little impact on costs for the construction market in Panama: a better design of windows to lower the daytime temperature or the use of rain water for toilets, are some examples. Growth of 15% is expected in new construction in the coming years, so the new code could have a major impact.
The plan will be possible thanks to the partnership between IFC, the government of Panama and the private sector, including the Chamber of Commerce and the Panama Green Building Council which is part of a global union of councils for the green building market.