Criteria for assessing the sustainability of buildings in emerging countries: The case of Ecuador.
The application of the sustainability paradigm in the world of construction has become a priority and an indispensable argument in more developed countries. Nowadays, the minimization of environmental impacts, the reduction of energy consumption, and the emissions of greenhouse gases, while improving comfort conditions for users and the optimization of the economic costs, are unavoidable challenges that need to be tackled at the time of designing and building.
However, these aspects must be properly contextualized in emerging countries in which quality standards and construction technologies do not reach the levels of the developed world, and where there are other social, climatic and economic challenges equally or more important than those previously stated.
in general, all Latin American countries, particularly Ecuador, have a low carbon footprint in proportion to its territory, while a very high percentage of their homes are lacking basic services. Challenges such as achieving "healthy living spaces" become a priority.
According to this, the application of complex tools for assessing the sustainability of buildings as the use of the ones internationally recognized would require a major adaptation effort and significant financial charges associated with their use. The analysis of the principal tools during the research of the most appropriate indicators of easy application to the Ecuadorian case seems the most suitable option.
Consequently, the aim of this proposal is to define single criteria and single indicators as a tool of free use which allows a first approach to the assessment of sustainable behavior of the Ecuadorian buildings, an experience that can be extrapolated to other emerging character and similar boundary conditions.
IP: Cordero, Raúl (U. Cuenca).