Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Housing and sustainability: Eco-friendly places to live in Mexico

In recent decades, an increasing number of residential developments in Mexico have adopted sustainability practices. This arises as part of a trend that opts for a more sustainable development model aiming to meet “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” the definition of sustainability according to the United Nations Brundtland Commission in 1987.

Proof of this is that in September 2020, Mexico issued the first Sustainable Bond linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) promoted by the UN. Among the criteria considered as part of a sustainable model are the following:

  • Efficient land use
  • Energy efficiency
  • Renewable energy
  • Sustainable mobility
  • Preservation of the natural environment

Today we want to share with you some options for residential developments that offer a sustainable experience that respects both the environment and future societies.

Brasilia Sustentable, Guadalajara

This is a project with eight homes in a community; a sustainable microclimate is generated in the area. Some of its attributes include a hydraulic network for the treatment of rainwater, wastewater, and soapy water in the subsoil of the 1,600 square meter property. The water undergoes filtration, separation, and oxygenation for reuse.

Brasilia. (Courtesy Brasilia Sustentable)

“Sustainable construction materials were used, such as handmade compressed earth blocks. There were 160,000 blocks for this complex. In Brasilia Sustentable, soapy, black, and rainwater are separated; each type of water has its special treatment,” said architect Eliseo Van Aartsen Palomera, leader of the project.

“Also, the buildings have an orientation that optimizes sunlight throughout the day and year. The windows are designed for cross ventilation to maintain good temperatures inside the houses,” he added.

Regarding waste separation, organic waste is separated, composted, and turned into fertile soil for planting. Plastic, cardboard, glass, aluminum, and batteries are also separated; a truck from a collection center takes all the waste for recycling. On the rooftops, there are green gardens where the soil obtained from composting is used to grow vegetables, aromatic plants, and greens,” Van Aartsen explained.

Garden Village, five minutes from Amealco 

Garden Village. (Courtesy Garden Village)

Garden Village is a regenerative project surrounded by 120 hectares of forest, lakes and an organic farm. The homes have renewable energy systems, wastewater treatment and spaces designed to promote a lifestyle connected to nature.

In the development, food is grown organically and sustainably. Through an aquaponics system, fish, fruits and vegetables are produced monthly. In addition, residents will have access to specialized workshops such as permaculture, carpentry, blacksmithing and agriculture.

Periférico 2008, Mexico City

Periférico 2008 is a residential building located in one of the oldest, greenest and most beautiful neighborhoods in Mexico City: San Ángel, in the southern part of the city.

Periférico 2008. (Courtesy Periférico 2008)

In total, 50% of the development is green areas, with 200 trees, and its facade features a strategically distributed vertical garden to promote ideal temperatures that counteract the use of energy. Its main attributes include being a barrier to noise and air pollution. The building consists of 184 apartments spread over 30 floors. It also provides natural light and ventilation. Besides, 2000 square meters of its surface are designed for rainwater collection; Periférico 2008 can store up to 5,000 liters of water per day during the rainy season.

Lyra, Monterrey


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Una publicación compartida por Lyrabyastra (@lyra.byastra)

This community living project includes 93,000 square meters of green areas and four parks. It consists of 12 buildings with over 1,800 apartments and a cultural center in the central park. In this development, plastics have been eliminated in the provision of drinking water through a purification and distribution system that also provides ultra-purified water. Additionally, electricity is generated through a cogeneration plant that supplies the entire complex. This project has LEED v4 BD+C and WELL Core certifications.

Sustainability certifications that can help you decide where to live

If you are thinking of living or buying in sustainable development in Mexico, keep in mind that certifications such as the following can be a guide to ensure that your home or apartment is eco-friendly and socially responsible:

  • LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
  • PCES (Sustainable Building Certification Program)
  • WELL Building Standard
  • EarthCheck
  • EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies)
  • Living Building Challenge
  • NZEB (Net Zero Energy Building)
  • Parksmart
  • Passivhaus

Another benefit of living in sustainable homes is that they often generate significant savings in your finances, as they ensure the functioning of spaces in a more self-sufficient manner in the long term.

What other sustainable housing options in Mexico would you recommend?

Ana Paula de la Torre is a Mexican journalist and collaborator of various media such as Milenio, Animal Político, Vice, Newsweek en Español, Televisa and Mexico News Daily. 


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