Sustainability and green building in Colombia

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Posted by:
Juan Carlos Hernández R.
Jones Lang LaSalle, Colombia 

World Green Building Week (Sep 19 to 23) will be celebrated by more than 80 Green Building Councils around the globe, all of them members as well of the World Green Building Council (World GBC). In Colombia, the local GBC (in Spanish Consejo Colombiano de Construcción Sostenible) will have an active participation on this celebration, and specifically will hold an Annual Forum named “Superciudades del Siglo XXI: Oportunidades en la transición hacia entornos sostenibles y resilentes” (Super-cities of the 21st Century: Opportunities in the transition towards sustainable and resilient environments).

Jones Lang LaSalle in Colombia (where we have an established legal entity since 2000), is a founder member of the Colombia GBC since 2008, so we are closely committed with the growth and development of the Council, as well as with the sustainability practice in the Building industry in the country.

In Colombia–mainly due to the continuous effort of the local GBC–sustainability and green building concepts are being taken more seriously, and seen as mandatory requirements for new buildings and building operations. 

Our local Council was created to promote the transformation of the country’s cities and its building industry to be more sustainable.  The main priorities of this Council are:

–  Srengthen knowledge about green building and generate innovative ideas to achieve more sustainable urban development
–  Support green building certification systems and the standardization of green building markets
–  Support the government in the formulation of responsible production and consumption policies in relation to the built environment and green building

The Colombia GBC promotes the use of any form of voluntary certification for sustainable buildings with international recognition. It is also a strong supporter of the creation of a sovereign building certification system developed by the Colombian government, with the support of the private sector and the academy, called Sello Ambiental Colombiano para las Edificaciones.

Regarding LEED, in 2010 there was the first certified project (Silver) in country, the new Building of Novartis in Bogotá. As of today, there are in total five certified projects, one of them at the Gold level: the Avon Distribution Center in Guarne (Antioquia). Also, there are more than 40 projects registered with the U.S. Green Building Council to pursue for the LEED certification in different categories.

As the Colombia economy is seen as one of the most stable of the Latin America region, many multi-national companies continue investing and developing their business in country, so the building industry will continue growing, necessarily framed within sustainable practices and standards.

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