Cynthia Espinola Cano

Reduction of Energy Consumption and Application of Renewable Energies in Suburban Gated Communities in Mexico

[Thesis developed in collaboration with SOM]

Mexico and other underdeveloped countries need new ways of sustainable design strategies in their built environment to develop sustainable cities in balance with their natural environments. Energy demand generated by suburban neighbourhoods represent 80% of residential energy consumption, the country presents a significant potential for diverse implementations of strategies to reduce to energy and the application of renewable energies due to its geographical location. The project showed significant improvements on the energy consumption and embodied CO2 emissions by reducing both for more than 50% when modifying the buildings’ envelopes and applying international lighting standards. As for when applying shading devices, these allowed to decrease the energy consumption by 20% and CO2 emissions for 15%. The implementation of solar panels could cope by 100% the energy consumption of the site with the initial investment recovered in 3 years. Solar panels could also prevent by 95.5% the environmental degradation compared to the damages that the current national mix generates.