An Analysis of A Low-Energy, Low-Water Use Community in Mexico City



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This study investigated how to determine a potential scenario to reduce energy, water and transportation use in Mexico City by implementing low-energy, low-water use communities. The proposed mixed-use community has multi-family apartments and a small grocery store. The research included the analysis of: case studies, energy simulation, and hand calculations for water, transportation and cost analysis. The previous case studies reviewed include: communities in Mexico City, Mexico, Austin, Texas, Phoenix, Arizona, New York City, New York and San Diego, California in terms of successful low-energy, low-water use projects. The analysis and comparison of these centers showed that the Multifamiliar Miguel Aleman is an excellent candidate to be examined for Mexico City. This technical potential study evaluated energy conserving measures such as low-energy appliances and efficient lighting that could be applied to the apartments in Mexico City to reduce energy-use. The use of the simulations and manual calculations showed that the application of the mixed-use concept was successful in reducing the energy and water use and the corresponding carbon footprint. Finally, this technical potential study showed taking people out of their cars as a result of the presence of the on-site grocery store, small recreation center and park on the ground floor also reduced their overall transportation energy-use.

The improvement of the whole community (i.e., apartments plus grocery store) using energy-efficient measures provided a reduction of 70 percent of energy from the base-case. In addition a 69 percent reduction in water-use was achieved by using water-saving fixtures and greywater reuse technologies for the complex. The combination of high-efficiency automobiles and the presence of the on-site grocery store, small recreation center and park potentially reduced the transportation energy-use by 65 percent. The analysis showed an energy cost reduction of 82 percent reduction for apartments and a 22 percent reduction for the store. In addition, for water cost there was a 70 percent reduction for apartments and a 16 percent reduction for the store. Overall, a 64 total percent reduction in carbon dioxide (CO_(2)) was accomplished by saving energy-use in the apartments, the grocery store and transportation.

Finally, a guide has been created for Mexico City to establish strategies and actions based on the results of this work in order to reduce overall energy and water-use in Mexico City. The guide is expected to be useful in the short term in Mexico City, and could be potentially adopted in the long term in other countries in the same manner as which Brazil and Colombia adopted the Mexican CONAVI?s 2010 Housing Building Code.