First Buildig with BEQ label in Colombia

The General Direction of Bancolombia s the first building in Colombia that certifies their energy consumption practices through the new program for energy labeling of buildings, BEQ, from ASHRAE.

Fuel consumption per kilometer helps us decide which car to buy, the nutrition labels on foods help us to plan a healthy diet. However, what indicator shows us how our buildings use energy and what is the way to make it more efficient.

BEQ is a program of energy labeling of buildings developed by ASHRAE, which establishes standardized procedures to certify the energy performance of buildings, both in the design stage (with the BEQ-design certification) and in its operation phase (with the bEQ- operating) certification.

´BEQ-design´ describes the amount of energy you will use in a building, based on its independent power design and standard conditions of occupation and use of the building. This certification goes hand in hand with ´BEQ-in operation, consisting of an alphabetical classification describes the level of energy efficiency which operates the building, it uses real data of energy consumption. The certifications ´BEQ-design´ and ´bEQ- in operation´, are independent, and therefore can be obtained separately or jointly.

The challenge practices of certifying building energy consumption logo Bancolombia had the support of ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers), ASHRAE - Chapter Colombia, Bancolombia, Sodexo (building operator Bancolombia) , ACAIRE (Colombian Association of Air Conditioning and Refrigeration) and CSL (Commercial and Services Larco), who accepted the initiative formulated from ASHRAE in the United States for the first certification process BEQ (Building Energy Quotient) in Colombia.

This certification process began with a preliminary field assessment work, conceptual design of the building and ended with a tour of inspection. It was led by Engineer Ross Montgomery, certified engineer ASHRAE in "Evaluation and Performance of Buildings" and supported by ASHRAE Colombia chapter members, engineers José Luis Correa and Fabio Clavijo, Gabriel Gonzalez (Administrator Sodexo), and team members CSL.

The headquarters of the General Direction of Bancolombia building located in Medellin - Colombia (see Photo 1), received the ´BEQ-operating´ certification with the classification of A-, confirming the excellent operational practices in energy use the building and classified as ´very good´. Both the classification and their corresponding descriptions are shown on a label (see Photo 2), so that the public can easily understand the characteristics of building energy efficiency when making decisions about investment in real estate.

"The main objective of the program BEQ is to promote  buildings more energy efficient and give owners more control on energy costs," said ASHRAE President, David Underwood, who also concludes that "For the consumer understand the characteristics of energy use in a building is the first and most critical step in identifying and implementing measures to economically reduce energy usage and cost. Overall, ´BEQ-design´ and ´BEQ-operating´ close the gap between potential and actual energy performance of a building. "

The headquarters of the General Direction of Bancolombia building is the first in Colombia and  one of the first in the region, which will use the BEQ classification not only as an indicator of their energy use and what you can do to control it and to improve it, but also as useful information for decision making by owners, building operators, tenants and potential investors.

Showing the level of energy consumption is already mandatory in the USA, in the states of California and Washington; particularly in the cities of Washington, D.C.; Austin, Texas; Boston, Mass; Philadelphia, Pa; City of New York, N.Y.; San Francisco, Calif; as well as in Australia and some countries of the European Union.

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ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. The Society and its more than 50,000 members worldwide focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability. Through research, standards writing, publishing, certification and continuing education, ASHRAE shapes tomorrow’s built environment today. More information can be found at

More information about bEQ can be found at or contact ASHRAE Colombia

Unofficial english translation by Gerardo Alfonso - Ashrae Colombia Chapter


Photo 1  Building headquarters of the General Direction of Bancolombia, Medellin - Colombia.


 Photo 2 Energy rating label, in operation, the building of Bancolombia.