Mexico City Building Codes Project

Under USAID’s Efficiency for Development Program, Berkeley Lab and partner ICM are working with the administration of Dr. Claudia Sheinbaum in an effort to achieve full implementation of mandatory energy efficiency building codes for commercial buildings.  The project takes advantage of the existence of federal codes developed by CONUEE, specifically thermal envelope specifications provided in NOM-008-ENER-2001.  While this technical code has existed for some time, as yet no Mexican municipalities have implemented its compliance through building permit requirements.  Successful completion of this project in Mexico’s largest city will therefore constitute a great step forward toward full compliance throughout Mexico.


With the help of LBNL in 1990s, Mexico developed two national standards through CONAE/CONUEE (Director Odon de Buen Rodríguez):

  • NOM-008-ENER-2001 – “Eficiencia energética en edificaciones, envolvente de edificios no residenciales”
  • NOM-020-ENER-2011 –  “Eficiencia energética en edificaciones, envolvente de edificios para uso habitacional.”

These national building codes are used as a reference in several local and state guidelines, but are not a mandatory requirement for construction in any Mexican locality. During the past mayoral administration of Mexico City, extensive attempts were made at implementation with the participation of CONUEE and international partners, but were not finalized


State of Play and Lessons Learned – This task will produce a brief document evaluating the history of building codes implementation efforts to date in Mexico City. 

Stakeholder Engagement Forum – Based on the outputs of the State of Play, Berkeley Lab and its partners will organize a workshop to bring together decisionmakers and implementers at the city with other Mexican institutions and international partners to discuss the priority and mechanics of building code implementation, as well as hurdles and strategies to overcome them.  


Workplan – The output of the Engagement Forum will be a work plan with identified leads and milestones towards implementation over the following 12 months.

Odon de Buen, Director General of the National Commission of Energy Efficiency (CONUEE); Michael McNeil, Director of the Mexico Energy Initiative at Berkeley Lab and Jose Alberto Valdes Palacios, Director General for Development and Sustainability at the Secretariat of Economic Development in Mexico City (SECTEI) during the kick-off of a meeting to discuss building codes for energy efficiency in Mexico City.