In Cambodia, demand for space cooling is set to double in the next 20 years. Passive cooling solutions can help optimize buildings performance, reduce the need for active cooling, and expand access to thermal comfort.

Southeast Asia is experiencing significant urbanization, economic and population growth. Without intervention, these factors and a warming climate will lead energy consumption for comfort cooling and related emissions to increase exponentially.

According to the 2021 Cambodia National Cooling Action Plan, demand for space cooling is set to double between 2020-2040 to 3.7 million tons of refrigeration in Cambodia. Buildings are responsible for one third of the total final energy consumption in Cambodia. With a hot- humid climate, energy demand for space cooling accounts for the largest portion of electricity use in buildings’ operation.

Action to reduce the need for mechanical cooling is critical to avoid emissions, as well as the negative impacts of the growing use of cooling appliances on the energy grid. Extensive national government and expert consultations, including during Cambodia’s National Cooling Action Plan development, have pointed to the need for greater municipal intervention on cooling and extreme heat.

Integrating passive cooling solutions (PCS) in national building laws and urban strategies will optimize buildings performance, maximize mitigation and climate benefits from efficient, climate-friendly cooling, and deliver cooling services to ensure thermal comfort to users.


In consultation with the Ministry of Environment of Cambodia, the project will pursue impactful measures to reduce cooling demand in buildings and cities, with a focus on Passive Cooling Solutions (PCS) and mitigation of the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE).

The project will include:

  • Policy interventions through the inclusion of PCS in building energy regulations.
  • Demonstrate passive cooling applications in buildings.
  • Deliver awareness raising and capacity building for large scale replication.
  • Support the inclusion of GHG emission reductions from PCS in the next cycle target for Cambodia’s NDC.

The project is co-led by the Cool Coalition Secretariat and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and funded by the Clean Cooling Collaborative (CCC).

Policy Guidelines
The project will develop Design Guidelines for Passive Cooling of Buildings in Cambodia based on technical analysis of prevalent building typologies and climatic zones of the country. It will define provisions for minimum performance requirements for PCS, which can be included in building regulations under development and green building guidelines.
Technology Mapping
The project will compile a compendium of applicable and available passive cooling solutions in the country and region. This tool will support building sector stakeholders to understand PCS technologies, their technical specifications, case studies, details of country/regional vendors and cost information.
Demonstration in Buildings
The project will provide technical support for the design and implementation of effective PCS integration in building projects. These buildings will become light house projects to illustrate the use of PCS to achieve ultra-low energy and low cooling buildings in the country. The project will analyse the UHIE around the demonstration projects and propose recommendations for mitigation and resilience enhancement.
Awareness Raising
The project will raise awareness on integrated design process and simulations on energy consumption to reduce cooling demand in new and existing buildings through PCS integration. Key activities include an awareness raising campaign, a regional workshop and technical knowledge dissemination programs.
Passive cooling solutions are considered a priority by building sector stakeholders, and preferred options to relying on active cooling systems.
2% of the existing building stock (residential and commercial) are retrofitted with PCS and 20% of the upcoming building stock includes PCS.
Unlock saving potential of 10% – 20% through integration of PCS in retrofits or new buildings compared to conventional energy performance of similar standard buildings.
Performance requirements for cool roof and envelope are integrated into new building energy regulation resulting in an increase on the uptake of these solutions.
PCS policies and adopted practices are adequately accounted and monitored in the GHG inventory and contribute to the achievement of the NDC commitments.
Based on estimates, the project implementation would contribute cumulatively around 0.5 MtCO2eq reduction by 2030.
To support the project or to be kept informed on its development please contact us here.