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Colombia is the site for the next green building boom

A large number of building professionals and LEED experts recently gathered in Columbia’s capital to attend CONSTRUVERDE, the annual conference of Colombia GBC, or El Consejo Colombiano de Construcción Sostenible. According to experts, public and private sector changes are predicted to drive the country’s green building boom.   Colombia is the fourth largest market for LEED building in Latin America, with 56 LEED certified projects and another 134 in the pipeline.  It is a market primed to compete with regional powerhouses, Brazil and Mexico.    
Here’s why:   The Colombian Ministry of Housing, Cities and Territories recently set new guidelines for new construction projects to achieve 10 to 15 percent savings in energy and water use over the national baseline. LEED certification has grown by 20% in the last year alone and by over 85% in the last two years. Colombia is the fastest growing market for construction spending according to a recent study from I.H.S. Economics.  There is pent up demand for commercial office space by both national businesses, as well as public and private sector investors looking to make Colombia the tech capital of Latin America. A strong and growing community of LEED professionals and the growing influence and strength of CCCS to advance market transformation. Award-winning public and alternative transportation projects in major cities like Medellin and Bogotá.  These are all strong factors that will undoubtedly contribute to rapid uptake in green and sustainable building practice, but two of them stand out as particularly influential.   1.  The strong market demand for buildings.  
For certain investors and tenants the demand is for better, high performance buildings. While government may not yet call for third party verification of better energy and water savings, investors and tenants are likely to demand LEED certified space.  
New LEED Gold Core and Shell projects in Colombia including ALPASO Plaza, Rochester School, Tierra Firme and Centro Empresarial Colpatria Torre 2 will be ahead of the curve in offering investors a valuable certification and attracting tenants to premium spaces in Bogotá.  
2.  Location, location, location near to innovative new transportation is the second major factor likely to make LEED and green building widespread in Colombia.  Of the many LEED projects certified in 2015, all three projects to be honored at CONSTRUVERDE (ALPASO Plaza, Colpatria Torre 2 and Tierra Firme) were awarded an exemplary credit for providing access to alternative transportation.

Plus, they achieved nearly all of the possible points for sustainable sites and alternative transportation with Tierra Firme reaching the high mark at 96% of points achieved for sustainable sites.

Read full article on USGBC.org Written by Nicolette Mueller   Photo: Rochester School in Chia, Columbia | Daniel Bonilla | LEED GOLD

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