Ensuring the energy sustainability of Ciudad Mujer Honduras

Ensuring the energy sustainability of Ciudad Mujer Honduras

Energy efficiency plays an important role in buildings where administrations operate in contexts of budget limitations and where it is essential to optimize energy consumption without relegating levels of comfort and service. Likewise, renewable distributed generation is one more step in favor of self-consumption and cost reduction through green energy generation.

Women’s City Centers – Closing gender gaps

Social infrastructure encompasses all kinds of constructions whose main objective is to respond to basic needs and improve the quality of life of the population. The Women’s City Centers (CCM), a model for closing gender gaps, represent a highly innovative approach to the provision of public services provided by and for women, addressing challenges that still significantly affect the development of the region, such as inequality in economic participation, violence against women and maternal health.

El Salvador was a pioneer, inaugurating the first CCM in 2011 and the model is currently being replicated in Mexico, Honduras, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic. The CCMs belong to the Integrated Services for the Empowerment of Women (SIEM) program, where free and specialized services provided by multiple public institutions are integrated in the same physical space.

In the case of Honduras, it already has six CCMs that are located in strategic cities in the country: Tegucigalpa, Juticalpa, Choloma, San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, and Choluteca; the last three financed by the IDB.

These centers are divided into large modules according to the service they offer: Attention to Violence, Economic Autonomy, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Child Care and Attention to Adolescents. More than 577,000 users have benefited from these centers in the last 5 years.

To improve the operation of current centers and future projects, these models of care are constantly evaluated and regularly collect lessons learned. As part of these evaluations, the National Directorate of the Ciudad Mujer Program (DNPCM) of Honduras detected relatively high operation and maintenance costs, largely due to the consumption of electrical energy.

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The IDB, which is committed to reducing carbon emissions in the region, seeking to build infrastructure that is resilient and adaptable to the environment, supported the execution of an energy audit in order to understand the composition of consumption, seek cost-effective alternatives to improve energy efficiency and identify areas of opportunity to improve the sustainability and sustainability of buildings.

Energy efficiency to improve the performance of social infrastructure

In the last semester of 2021, energy audits were carried out in the 6 CCMs in the country, in order to develop an analysis of the energy consumption profile that would allow a proposal to be made to optimize resources. The results of the audit indicated that the system with the highest consumption is the air conditioning system, representing on average one third of the total energy consumption, followed by the lighting system.

The fact that the largest amount of energy consumed is associated with air conditioning put the focus on the building envelope, making the development of passive measures to reduce heat loads inside buildings a priority. One of the tools used for the diagnosis of the buildings was thermography, showing that the high levels of energy consumption were due to the high temperatures in the roof and openings of the building; opening the opportunity to improve energy efficiency by optimizing building insulation.

Ensuring the energy sustainability of Ciudad Mujer Honduras
Corridor, thermal and visible image – Module for the Care and Protection of Women’s Rights (MAPRODEM) – CCM Choloma

Renewable distributed generation for the sustainability of social infrastructure

The study also included a pre-feasibility analysis for the installation of photovoltaic generation systems connected to the grid. Although this alternative represents a high initial outlay, it is presented as the option with the best financial indicators, with investment recovery periods of 3.5 years on average. Limitations for the selection of this measure were found in the type of roofs that are curved in all the buildings, with the exception of the reception building. As a result of this consultancy, the bank will finance the purchase and installation of photovoltaic systems in the Choloma and San Pedro Sula Centers.

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Passive and active actions on the energy efficiency of the centers not only contribute to reducing maintenance costs significantly, but are also consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Where SDG 7 pursues access to accessible, reliable and sustainable energy for all and SDG 13 Climate Action that aims to accelerate action to stop the climate crisis by promoting mitigation and adaptation measures. Assuming an average saving per CCM in carbon emissions of 200 tCOtwoequivalent/year

Learn more about the Ciudad Mujer Honduras Centers and the services they provide to Honduran women here.

Guest Authors:

Nidia Hidalgo:

She is a Lead Specialist in the Gender and Diversity Division of the IDB in the Country Office of El Salvador. She has a Master’s Degree in Rural Development Sciences with a specialty in gender and a Doctorate in Agroindustrial Economic Problems in the Specialty in Rural Financial Markets and Gender from the Autonomous University of Chapingo (Mexico). Before working at the IDB, she was coordinator of the UNDP gender area for El Salvador. In addition, she has worked as a gender consultant for various international organizations.

Cecibel Guzman:

She is a consultant in the Gender and Diversity Division (GDI) as an operations analyst consultant supporting the preparation and execution of operations in Honduras and El Salvador. She specializes in project management for development. She is an architect by profession from the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) and has a master’s degree in Senior Project Management with PMI methodology from the José Cecilio del Valle University (UJCV).

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TOshley Morales Cartagena:

She is a civil engineer with extensive experience in construction project management and disaster risk management. She was a consultant in the Social Infrastructure Unit at the IDB in Washington, DC, where she supported the design and construction of hospitals and schools with a focus on resilience and sustainability. Prior to the IDB, he was in charge of the risk management department of the National Office for Seismic Evaluation and Vulnerability of Infrastructure and Buildings (ONESVIE) and has supervised the performance of social infrastructure construction works in the Office of Supervising Engineers of Works of the State in Santo Domingo, as well as in the private sector in the Dominican Republic.

Ashley has a master’s degree in geotechnical earthquake engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which she completed as a Fulbright scholar, and a master’s degree in construction management at the Santo Domingo Technological Institute (INTEC), in addition to other postgraduate studies in disaster risk management.

She is currently the director of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) and works as an international consultant in seismic risk reduction, supporting Japanese cooperation projects, among others.

In 2020, she founded Mujeres en la Ingeniería República Dominicana (MIRD), from where she works to promote the presence and growth of girls and women in engineering.

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