Building Codes Help Make Buildings Energy Efficient

May 1, 2017

Construction of the new residential building in Ashgabat / UNDP Turkmenistan

With every passing year the dynamically developing residential building stock of Turkmenistan consumes more and more heat and electricity, which requires expenditure of the main strategic export resource of the country – natural gas.

The United Nations Development Programme in Turkmenistan, together with with Government of Turkmenistan, is implementing the UNDP/GEF project Improving Energy Efficiency in the Residential Building Sector of Turkmenistan, with the goal of reducing energy consumption in the residential sector of Turkmenistan.

Building codes and regulations are one of the main instruments for state control in the area of energy consumption of buildings.  In Turkmenistan, a wide array of building codes and regulations are in force, directly or indirectly connected with energy consumption of buildings.  Thanks to the joine work of the Ministry of Construction and Architecture of Turkmenistan, the state design organization Turkmendovlettaslama, and the project, several building codes of Turkmenistan with the greatest importance for energy efficiency have been revised and confirmed:

·         SNT 3.04.03-94 Residential Buildings

·         SNT 2.03.10-2001 Roofs and Roofing

·         SNT 2.01.01-98 Building Climatology

·         SNT 2.01.03-98 Building Thermal Engineering

SNT Residential Buildings has been augmented by recommendations on the use of sealed window units with tinted glass, installation of enclosed entryways (vestibules), and lighting of corridors and elevator halls with LED lamps combined with motion sensors.

SNT Roofs and Roofing has been enhanced with requirements for the use of thermal insulation materials and for technology of production of roofing and insulation, as well as with recommendations on the proper selection of thermal insulation roofing material based on their thermal performance properties and cost-effectiveness.

In SNT Building Climatology, outdated values for climate parameters have been updated; old values have been refined; new climate parameters have been introduced for both the heating and cooling seasons of buildings, for assessment of their annual energy consumption; the reliability and safety of design of population centers, buildings, and structures have been increased; and the possibility of assessment of energy consumption of buildings has been provided for.

In SNT Building Thermal Engineering, requirements have been established for energy consumption by residential and public buildings; calculation methods have been developed for energy indices of residential and public buildings for confirmation of their compliance with the code; a rating system based on energy consumption for heating and cooling has been developed for residential and public buildings; and an Energy Passport form and a step-by-step process for filling it out have been developed as well.

The greatest effect from the implementation of the new codes will be noticed especially in conditions for the integrated construction of building envelopes with increased thermal performance.  Energy savings will arise not only from reduction of energy consumption by buildings, but also from the reduction of installed heating and electric load capacity, of the number of heat and electricity sources of buildings, and also of spending on equipment for building heating and cooling systems.  

The calculated values for average annual energy savings in operation of residential buildings are:

·         Energy for heating and ventilation of standard residential buildings reduced by 42 percent with automated heat controls, and by 26 percent without automated heat controls;

·         Energy for heating and ventilation of high-comfort buildings reduced by 15 percent with automated heat controls;

·         Electricity for cooling and ventilation of all residential buildings reduced by 16 percent.

The revised SNT Residential Buildings, SNT Roofs and Roofing, and SNT Building Climatology have already been officially adopted and entered into force.  The adoption of SNT Building Thermal Engineering is expected in 2017.

For the successful realization of the revised codes, the following have also been developed by the project in order to assist design organizations:

·         Guidance manuals for the revised SNT Residential Buildings, SNT Roofs and Roofing, and SNT Building Thermal Engineering;

·         Software for completion of the Energy Passport;

·         A compendium of technical solutions for joints of building envelopes of residential and public buildings.

The project has recently conducted a practical training seminar in Ashgabat on the results of the code revisions in building climatology and thermal engineering for 40 specialists of design organizations from the five velayats of the country.  During the seminar, new provisions of the revised codes, as well as Energy Passport software training, were presented to local architects and building designers,

In sum, the results from implementation and further development of building codes in the area of building energy consumption are a significant contribution to address the challenges of curtailing greenhouse gas emissions in light of the National Climate Change Strategy of Turkmenistan, and make it possible to effectively save the key strategic resource of the country – natural gas – and to resolve the challenges of state energy security.

Contact information

Irina Atamuradova

Project Manager


Irina Atamuradova

Programme Manager for Development of a Green Economy

UNDP in Turkmenistan



Irina Atamuradova

Programme Manager for Development of a Green Economy

UNDP in Turkmenistan



UNDP Around the world

You are at UNDP Turkmenistan 
Go to UNDP Global