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Seismic Mitigation Project (SMP)

9 Benefits of SMP


Project mandates
These overall objectives have been adopted by the United Nations across duty stations following the recommendations of the strategic capital review.


  • Life-cycle replacement: maintain the property value of United Nations (UNESCAP) premises, through the replacement of all outdated building systems that have reached the end of their useful lives (mechanical, electrical, plumbing, IT).
  • Seismic code compliance of the Secretariat and Service buildings, achieved through seismic retrofitting [Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) wrapping technology] of selected structural elements in both buildings.
  • 16-18% Increase in energy efficiency achieved through the upgrading of outdated building systems as well as the full replacement of the glazing (Windows) and exterior cladding (Carrara marble, Stucco finishes, etc.) on the North and South facades of the Secretariat building, to reduce heat gain.
  • Creating accessibility, inclusiveness and technology for all to achieve compliance with the General Assembly resolution 70/170 (the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities).
  • Removal of hazardous materials from the areas of the Secretariat and Service buildings impacted by the construction works.
  • Meet industry norms related to health and safety, including fire and life safety planning and systems design.
  • Sustainability through design elements and construction practices as well as through the use of sustainable materials, finishes and fixtures.
  • 20% Space efficiency gains through an interior renovation and complete redesign of office layouts in the Secretariat building. 
  • Business and operational continuity throughout the project implementation by keeping project-related disruptions to a minimum.

Project benefits

The Seismic Mitigation Project will transform Secretariat and Services buildings into a safe, modern, sustainable, and accessible workplace and these are some of the benefits you can expect from the project.

  • The value of UN capital assets (Secretariat and Service buildings) is maintained through timely intervention to upgrade major building systems (mechanical, electrical, plumbing, IT) that have reached/will reach their useful lives.
  • Safer buildings for occupants, delegates and visitors through reinforcement of structural and non-structural elements to meet seismic code compliance and withstand the impacts of an earthquake in the region.
  • 16-18% Increase in energy efficiency and reduced long term maintenance costs is achieved through the implementation of an upgraded mechanical and electrical system and complete façade replacement.
  • An accessible and inclusive Secretariat building for persons with disabilities, through modifications to the built environment, the use of select interior finishes and ergonomic furniture solutions and the deployment of supporting technology. 
  • The complete removal of hazardous materials including any asbestos found from areas impacted by the construction works, results in a safer environment for all.
  • Compliance with building regulations related to fire and life safety ensures adequate fire rating and protection for the buildings and its occupants in case of an emergency. Key features are effective fire rated refuge spaces, vertical circulation and emergency evacuation routes including for persons with disabilities. 
  • Improvements to occupant wellbeing due to increased access to natural light for all, improved air quality and better climate control due to the upgraded heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system and the use of ergonomic furniture. Occupants can also choose from a variety of workspaces for different types of activities and have increased access to wellbeing spaces [pantries, staff lounge areas, quiet spaces, coffee corners etc.] as well as other value-added services.
  • More efficient vertical circulation system through upgrades to the existing elevators, including the application of smart controls and increased accessibility features.
  • 20% increase in space efficiency supports better utilization of the Secretariat office space. Reconfigured space layouts support collaboration and co-location of UN entities with common mandates and programmes of work and reduces duplication of resources. 
  • Sustainable practices in design, construction and selection of material and finishes will help reduce ESCAP’s long term environmental impact and promote a culture of environmental responsibility.
  • Optimized swing space strategy and phased construction methodology to allow a maximum number of occupants to remain on-site for the duration of the project, thereby supporting business continuity with minimal disruptions.