The World Bank today approved a $265 million loan to Turkey to enhance the safety of public buildings against earthquake risks while also improving energy efficiency to reduce energy bills and harmful carbon emissions.
The Seismic Resilience and Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings project will better insulate, strengthen or rebuild more than 140 schools, dormitories, hospitals and government buildings, directly benefiting the approximately 26,000 people who live, work or use these buildings, including school children and staff. On a larger scale, the benefits will accrue to the more than 6 million citizens who depend on the public services provided by the targeted buildings.
The project will make an important contribution to the training of female engineers and thus increase the number of female engineers in key technical roles. Turkey has one of the highest gender gaps in the world in workforce participation and this gap is most acute in the technical and engineering sectors.
Turkey is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world, with 76 earthquakes since 1900 resulting in nearly 90,000 deaths, affecting more than 7 million people and direct losses exceeding $425 billion Overall, buildings built before The year 2000 when modern earthquake resistance building codes were introduced in Turkey, faces a higher risk of serious earthquake damage. Tens of thousands of public buildings, constructed before 2000, that provide essential health, education, and public services to citizens in dire need of structural reinforcement or reconstruction.
The World Bank is pleased to support Turkey in its ambitious plans to make the country’s building stock earthquake-resistant and a source of energy savings. “While this project focuses on public buildings, it is an important step and its success is likely to lead to similar transformations in the private sector, thus contributing to Turkey’s climate change mitigation and adaptation agenda,” said August Kwame, World Bank Country Director for Turkey.
Energy efficiency is also critical for Turkey to maintain its economic growth while fulfilling its commitments on climate change and environmental sustainability. With the energy sector accounting for more than 70 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and global warming on the rise, thermal insulation and other green measures are essential to ensure building occupants are comfortable without increasing energy consumption. Investments in energy-efficient buildings can also reduce Turkey’s dependence on energy imports while reducing public spending on energy costs for more than 175,000 public buildings.
“The buildings that are most prone to disasters are also energy inefficient. By combining structural reinforcement for buildings with energy efficiency and renewable energy measures, this project will achieve significant cost efficiencies while enhancing resilience and long-term sustainability,” noted Alana Simpson, one of the leaders in World Bank project team.
“The project will also result in much lower operating costs that the government can redeploy for further improvements in the provision of public services,” added Jas Singh, another World Bank team leader.
The main components of the project include:
Investments in central government buildings to strengthen earthquakes and improve energy efficiency: This will include structural reinforcement to reduce earthquake risk and increased climate change adaptation interventions, which will include strengthening roofs to withstand wind and snow loads, and rainwater harvesting in times of water scarcity. Energy efficiency improvement measures will support increased functionality and comfort for building occupants during extreme heat and cold events, which are expected to increase with climate change. Promoting renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, will improve business continuity during disasters. Advanced Technical Assistance and Capacity Building: This includes developing a long-term, highly intensive investment program focused on increasing energy efficiency, structural strengthening, and multi-risk resilience for public buildings. The activities undertaken and lessons learned under this component will also have a wider applicability to private and residential buildings in the country.
The World Bank is a leading partner in disaster risk management, urban development, and energy efficiency in Turkey. In recent years, the Bank has implemented the Istanbul Seismic Risk Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness Project; The Safe Schools Project funded by the Refugee Facility in Turkey; Disaster Risk Management in Schools Project; Energy Efficiency Project for Small and Medium Enterprises; and the Energy Efficiency Project in Public Buildings, among others.
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