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Legal Update

Thailand Moves towards Energy Conservation in Buildings

5 May 2009
Mayer Brown JSM Legal Update

In keeping with its campaign against global warming, the Thai Ministry of Energy has issued a Ministerial Regulation (the "Regulation") calling for better energy conservation in buildings. Taking effect from 20 June 2009, the Regulation is aimed at combating rising fuel and energy costs, while at the same time promoting a greener environment.

To ensure efficiency and reduce unnecessary energy consumption, the Regulation lays down new design requirements for certain types of buildings. Plans for construction/modification that are filed before 20 June 2009, however, are exempted from the Regulation. Some of the main provisions of the Regulation are as follows:

Types of Buildings

When constructing or modifying any of the buildings cited below, energy conserving designs must be used if the total floor area of the building is 2000 sqm. or more.

1. Medical establishments
2. Educational establishments
3. Offices
4. Condominiums
5. Halls
6. Entertainment establishments
7. Hotels
8. Service establishments
9. Department stores/trade centres

Building Design Standards

Buildings governed by this Regulation must conform to certain standards and requirements to ensure maximum efficiency and energy conservation. These include limits on the overall thermal transfer value of the building, maximum electrical power for lighting systems, maximum efficiency values of air-conditioners and water heating equipment, and maximum overall energy consumption in the building.

To encourage the use of renewable energy, certain exemptions are given to buildings powered by such sources, such as deductions to their overall energy consumption.


In complying with the Regulation, developers may very well incur extra construction and modification costs. However, the long-term benefits far outweigh these. Implementing energy conservation measures will ensure increased efficiency and reduced overhead costs, which ultimately mean the chance to maximise profits and operate in an environment-friendly manner.

The Building Control Committee is currently considering whether this Regulation will be a building construction requirement. This would mean that developers would need to comply with this Regulation along with the Building Control Act 1979 and its regulations to obtain a construction permit.

For more information, please contact:

Anurag Ramanat ( )
Chawatak Ardnaseaw ( )

Learn more about our Thailand office, Construction & Engineering, Energy, Environment and Real Estate practices.

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