First appeared in

Asian Development Bank

100 Climate Actions from Cities in Asia and the Pacific


Ulaanbaatar is targeting leaky building facades with a retrofitting program to improve insulation and decrease the heating required in the cold Mongolian winters.

The Mongolian capital is targeting insulation improvements in some of the central apartment buildings that are over 30 years old and extremely inefficient.


By targeting 375 buildings in the first phase with improved wall and ceiling insulation, as well as installing triple glazed windows, the city estimates they can save almost 7,000 tons of CO₂ equivalent annually. The savings will primarily come from reduced demand for coal-intensive heating and power.

For the first phase, the government is focusing on retrofitting 375 building blocks over the next five years at a cost of $72 million. In preparation for the start of the scaling up of the building retrofitting project, the municipal government has begun a demonstration project retrofitting with an initial 51 building blocks, at a cost of $2.5 million.

If the project goes well, the city could look to implement similar retrofits to the rest of the 1,072 building blocks.

Ulaanbaatar is piloting an energy efficiency program in the 375 buildings in the central district to reduce emissions and fuel bills for residents (photo by ADB).

The Challenge

The energy sector is responsible for around 70% of Mongolia’s greenhouse gas emissions, of which the building sector accounts for 11% through heat and electricity consumption. This highlights the need for energy efficiency improvements in both new and existing buildings throughout the city.


Social Private sector participation is expected to create over 1,000 new jobs in both construction and manufacturing sectors in Ulaanbataar.

Health The project will reduce air pollution through reduced energy demand in the buildings which is coal-based, improving air quality for citizens.