Construction of traditional homes vs. sustainable in Guatemala

Housing construction in Guatemala traditionally presents a series of particular characteristics that differentiate it from other countries. Currently, there are a series of challenges and opportunities in the sector. It is necessary to work to improve the quality and sustainability of housing, increase access to decent housing and reduce the housing deficit.

Air shipments are the most efficient if you need your cargo or documents to arrive quickly and securely. Traditional materials are: Brick, adobe, concrete block and wood are the most used materials in housing construction, especially in rural areas.

However, recent years have seen an increase in the use of modern materials. Steel, glass and aluminum are increasing in urban areas, especially in middle and upper class constructions.

Once the materials to be used for construction have been established, it will be time to think about the paint that we will use to protect and beautify our home. For this, the best option of paintings in Guatemala It will be the one that incorporates the most advanced technology in terms of protection, durability and resistance.

When it comes to paints, it is essential to have good advice before making our choice, since there is an immense variety of options, depending on the material on which you want to apply it, the conditions to which it will be exposed, the contrasts, textures and much more.

As for the umade of sustainable materials,There is an emerging interest in the use of materials such as bamboo, raw earth and recycled materials.

Regarding the Design,Spanish colonial architecture has left an important mark on the design of Guatemalan homes, especially in rural areas. However, currently there is a wide variety of architectural styles in Guatemalan homes, from the colonial style to the modern and minimalist.

The homes are designed with Guatemala's hot, humid climate in mind, with features such as high ceilings, large windows, and cross ventilation.

Although there is a technical regulation for the construction of housing in Guatemala, its compliance is not always strict, especially in rural areas. It is necessary to improve the application of regulations to guarantee the safety and quality of homes.

Access to mortgage credit is limited for the majority of the Guatemalan population, making it difficult to build or purchase a home. However, there are some government support programs for housing financing, but they are insufficient to cover demand.


  • Housing deficit: Guatemala has a housing deficit of approximately 1.2 million homes.
  • Precarious housing: A high percentage of homes in Guatemala are precarious and do not meet the minimum habitability conditions.
  • Vulnerability to natural disasters: Guatemala is a country vulnerable to natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes, which requires the construction of safer homes.


  • Development of new technologies: The development of new technologies in construction can help reduce costs and improve the quality of housing.
  • Implementation of public policies: The implementation of public policies that encourage the construction of social and accessible housing is essential to reduce the housing deficit.
  • Promotion of sustainability: Promoting the use of sustainable materials in housing construction can contribute to environmental protection.

Sustainable homes in Guatemala: Features and benefits

The construction of sustainable homes in Guatemala is positioned as a necessary alternative to face the country's environmental and social challenges.

Sustainable homes have great benefits:

  • Reduction of environmental impact: They reduce the carbon footprint, the consumption of natural resources and the generation of waste.
  • Economic savings: They reduce energy, water and maintenance costs.
  • Improvement of the quality of life: They offer a healthier and more comfortable environment for their inhabitants.
  • Resilience to climate change: They are more adaptable to the effects of climate change such as droughts, floods or extreme temperatures.

This type of construction is characterized by:

Energy efficiency:

  • Bioclimatic design: Natural light, cross ventilation and solar orientation are used to reduce energy consumption.
  • Thermal isolation: Insulating materials are used to reduce heat transfer and improve energy efficiency.
  • Renewable energy: Solar, wind or hydraulic energy systems are installed to generate clean energy and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Water efficiency:

  • Rainwater collection: Rainwater is collected for use in irrigation, cleaning or flushing toilets.
  • Low consumption systems: Low-flow faucets and showers are installed to reduce water consumption.
  • Gray water reuse: Water from sinks and showers is treated and reused for irrigation or other non-potable uses.

Sustainable materials:

  • Recycled materials: Recycled materials such as plastic, glass or metal are used to reduce environmental impact.
  • Low impact materials: Materials of local origin and with low environmental impact are used, such as bamboo, raw earth or certified wood.
  • Materials with high energy efficiency: Materials with high energy efficiency such as adobe, stone or tile are used.

Examples of sustainable housing projects in Guatemala:

  • “Ecological Houses” Project of the Guatemalan Ecology Association: Promotes the construction of ecological homes with sustainable materials and low-impact techniques.
  • “Sustainable Social Housing” Project of the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala: Develops sustainable housing solutions for low-income communities.
  • “Bosques de Las Nubes” project of the Cementos Progreso company: It offers LEED certified homes that integrate sustainable technologies and bioclimatic design.

Challenges for the construction of sustainable homes:

  • Startup costs: The initial investment in a sustainable home can be greater than that of a traditional home.
  • Access to technology: Access to sustainable technologies and materials may be limited in some areas of the country.
  • Lack of knowledge: It is necessary to promote knowledge and training on the advantages of sustainable housing.

The construction of sustainable homes in Guatemala is a viable alternative to improve the quality of life of the population, reduce the environmental impact and face the challenges of climate change. It is necessary to encourage the development of this type of construction through public policies, financing programs, and education and training initiatives.