CBS Newsletter
Spring 1994
pg. 15

Center Scientists Assist Mexico

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has approved funds for LBL to provide technical assistance to Mexico's Comisi—n Nacional de Ahorro de Energ'a (CONAE) in developing energy standards for commercial buildings. Past experience has shown that building standards can be a highly cost-effective energy conservation measure, especially for growing economies such as Mexico's.

With very few energy-engineering programs in the country, and no building energy standards at the present moment, Mexico is taking advantage of LBL's assistance to help ensure that the expertise to develop standards is available. Recent national legislation ("Ley Federal Sobre Metrologia y Normalizaci—n") abolished Mexico's previous mandatory national standards by October 1994 and established a framework for writing mandatory and optional standards in different regulatory fields. The legislation requires Mexico's Ministries to develop new standards in the mandatory categories, which include environmental and consumer protection.

Given the job of developing energy-related standards, CONAE has begun looking at nonresidential buildings. Last August, two CONAE professionals visited LBL facilities, the California Energy Commission, and the National Resources Defense Council to discuss the building-standards process in the U.S. Their visit was followed by an intensive week-long workshop in Mexico during which representatives of LBL, Pacific Northwest Laboratory, the California Energy Commission, and ASHRAE's technical committee on standard 90.1 worked with CONAE staffers to develop a draft standard. This draft will probably become the basis for the final standard. Center researchers are already at work providing follow-up technical assistance, which began with a cost-benefit analysis of the proposed standard and will continue with training, documentation assistance, and customer surveys.

—Nathan Martin

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Nathan Martin
Energy Analysis Program
(510) 486-5137; (510) 486-6996 fax

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