Sustainable Infrastructure Development in Mongolia Supported by Germany | S. Tserendash

A program applied by the Mongolian Government with support from Germany focuses on the poverty alleviation through affordable eco-friendly housing. The program titled “Integrated Urban Development, Construction Sector & TVET Promotion” aims to improve basic infrastructure, ecological sanitation, HVAC, air quality and Mongolian construction sector in general, as well as mitigating the energy consumption and carbon footprints in the environment of the lower and middle urban class.

S. Tserendash, representing the Mongolian Ministry of Roads, Transport, Construction & Urban Development (MRTCUD), explains that this program has achieved a few results, including the development of “Eco-City Berlin” and innovative green or eco-products construction materials such as energy efficient stove and natural stone pavement. The Eco-City Berlin construction is not yet started due to lack of proper infrastructure, but it is touted to involve green design and green infrastructure with mixed market segments (residential, commerce, service, public) and applied sustainable technology to enhance water management system for houses and greeneries, thermal insulation, renewable energy, etc. More insight is shared on the following exclusive interview by


Can you briefly explain regarding “Integrated Urban Development, Construction Sector & VET” program and its relation with green buildings?

The “Integrated Urban Development, Construction Sector & TVET Promotion Program” implemented by the Mongolian Ministry of Roads, Transport, Construction & Urban Development (MRTCUD), Ulaanbaatar City Government and GTZ is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The program contributes to the Millennium Development Goals and poverty alleviation through advisory service in environmentally friendly and affordable housing including basic infrastructure development, ecological sanitation and heating devices for the Ger districts, improving the air quality in Ulaanbaatar, improving the quality of the Mongolian construction sector and Technical and Vocational Education & Training (TVET) in the construction sector. The ultimate aim is to improve the living conditions of the lower & middle urban income strata creating a healthier environment with less energy-consumption reducing CO2 emissions.

The program consists of the following seven components:
1) Energy- and cost-efficient new construction
2) Thermo-technical rehabilitation of pre-cast panel buildings
3) Environmentally-friendly Ger district development
4) Demand-driven TVET in construction

The program has a practical approach implementing pilot projects to show what is possible in the coldest capital of the world with the highest DELTA T (∆t) factor of 60 degrees Celsius as difference between outside (-40 degrees Celsius) and inside temperature (+ 20 degrees Celsius) in winter.

Is the project already concluded? If so, what is the outcome?

Up until now following results have been achieved. These are:

Mongolian-German ECO CITY “BERLIN”

A Master plan for the Mongolian-German ECO CITY “BERLIN” on a plot of land of 72,5 ha provided by the UB City Government has been completed. The urban plan has attractive neighborhoods with mixed functions (residential, commerce, service, green areas for recreation). Altogether 2500 residential units (apartments & row houses) will be accommodated there representing a township with 10.000 inhabitants. It will be a city of short ways and a green city because of the intended black water recycling system recycling up to 45% as grey water for toilet flushing, washing machines and watering of the greeneries. The buildings will be oriented towards the south with the bigger openings (windows) in order to profit of the passive solar energy gains and packed towards the north to prevent the cold wind from entering. The first two model houses have been erected using solar energy for floor heating and warm water provision. The houses dispose of a strong thermal insulation of 25 cm around the whole house even under the foundations. The next five units are under construction to be terminated by July 2012. The whole new township is supposed to be completed within a time span of 5 years. A growing number of Mongolian and international investors are showing interest to invest in the Mongolian-German ECO CITY “BERLIN”. All documents, studies, designs, Posters and the model have been completed for presentation to the MRTCUD and UB City Government for official approval of the urban plan.

Designing and the introduction of a new technology with girders and hollow blocks is underway to considerably reduce the m2 price for construction. The row houses have been redesigned to accommodate 2 families each with 50 m2 each.
This project is considered as a part of “100 000 housing unit program” of Government of Mongolia. Therefore the Government of Mongolia will finance the Infrastructure provision for the ECO City through the Development bank of Mongolia.

As the coverage rate of the solar energy for floor heating and warm water provision amounts to 60% over the year according to one year of measuring and evaluation performed, the Program is searching for possibilities to connect to the newly built central heating line adjacent to the plot.

Thermo-technical rehabilitation of a pre-cast panel building

The thermo-technical rehabilitation of one pre-cast panel building with a m2 price of USD 140 has been done for the first time in Mongolia. Heat consumption can be reduced by up to 60 %, but in the reality the saving was 30% due to not consumption based tariffs. If all 500 pre-cast panel buildings in UB would be thermo-technically rehabilitated, 600.000 t of CO2 could be saved annually. Mongolia could enter into the carbon market trade (CDM/Clean Development Mechanism). KfW and ADB have taken up the approach. ADB is conducting a CDM baseline study to apply for CDM and KfW will conduct a feasibility study in 2010 to multiply the approach in the near future. Both studies are ongoing and been considered to be finished by the end of 2011.

Energy-efficient stove for Ger districts

GIZ energy-efficient stoves reducing the emissions and the fuel consumption by half while doubling the heat storage capacity through cladding the combustion chamber with Chamotte made out of kaolin from the Gobi Desert and by introducing a secondary air supply contribute to reduce the air pollution. 300 stoves have been disseminated so far. A “green” credit line of XACbank supports the purchase of the stoves. A new stove for detached housing in the Ger Districts is being developed now.

A new compact stove has been developed recently with an efficiency rate of up to 85% and extremely low CO emissions. The stove has been tested by MCA (Millennium Challenge Account) and might enter into the “Energy & Environment Program” of MCA. It shall be ready for mass production for the upcoming winter season. There are two versions of the stove: one with 3-5 KV for the yurts and one with 6-12 KV for detached housing in the Ger Districts also in combination with wall heating. These stove work perfect with the ordinary Nalaihk (Name of deposit) coal.
Another highly efficient compact stove to be fired with wood has also been developed.

Natural Stone Pavement

The trade of natural stone pavement has been introduced using different granite stones available in Mongolia to beautify open spaces, plazas and walkways. More than 250 unemployed young people from the Ger districts have been trained in this process hence receiving a profession to earn their living. The most prominent places for laying natural stone pavement were the old Gandan Monastery Courtyard and Choijin Lam museum.

A new Workshop for Road Maker has been installed in the Technical & Technological College in UB to train workers and unemployed young persons in Road Maker. The installation of the Workshop was strongly supported by the Technical & Technological College. A first course was run between April 26 and May 7, 2010.

The GTZ Program has produced an officially recognized Module for training of Road Maker and was moreover officially recognized as non-formal training institution for Road Maker.

The respective Mongolian Standard for Road Maker is obsolete and will have to be actualized in due course.

How will the owners of the houses developed during the project be benefited by purchasing or living in the houses?

The above mentioned model houses in the Eco city will be used as show rooms for general public. There is still no big construction in the Eco city due to lack of infrastructure.

Regarding the thermo-technical rehabilitation, the residents/owners of such apartments are benefited at least by improved living comfort and increased market value of their apartments. In case of introduction of consumption based tariffs for heat energy they will be benefited by lower heat bills.

How much is Mongolian market open to the energy-efficient housing, in terms of public awareness or incentives available for businesses?

Now the market is much more open for the energy-efficient housing then few years ago. Many other international and national entities/organizations have been involved in this area. Also the Government has installed some incentives in frame work of Air pollution reduction law to promote energy efficient buildings. For example, families insulated their houses to the standard level will receive 50% reduction of their monthly power bill during the heating period. But there is still little understanding among the public on the energy efficiency issues.

What are the main obstacles to green buildings? For example, difficulty to buy materials, government regulations, lack of public understanding? What would be your suggestion to solve this problem?

There are:
-Lack of financial incentives, programs, supports from Government
-The low income of people


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