Passive Cooling in Southeast Asia

Request for Proposals - May/June 2024

This Request for Proposal (RFP) seeks to identify and support innovative, scalable projects/initiatives that integrate passive cooling strategies and solutions into residential housing in Southeast Asian countries where there are currently weak or non-existent building codes.

Funding Opportunity

The Clean Cooling Collaborative (CCC) has dedicated a total of USD$1.5 million for grantmaking through this RFP. We invite proposals for projects and initiatives of varying funding needs. Our goal is to select multiple successful applicants from this process with no more than USD$750,000 allocated to a single project or program.

RFP Key Deadlines

Concept Note Submission: Concept notes must be submitted by June 15, 2024.

Shortlist Notification: Applicants selected for further consideration will be notified by July 5, 2024, and invited to submit full proposals.

Full Proposal Submission: Shortlisted applicants prepare and submit full proposals by September 15, 2024.

Final Decision Announcement: Successful applications will be notified by November 15, 2024.

Grant Awards: Expected in Q1 2025, subject to satisfactory compliance review by ClimateWorks Foundation.

The Challenge

Residential buildings represent the largest share of energy consumption in the ASEAN building sector[1]IEA. (2022, April). Roadmap for Energy-Efficient Buildings and Construction in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. With rising temperatures, rapid urbanization, and increasing incomes, the demand for cooling is growing rapidly, posing risks to a currently carbon-intensive energy system and causing more global warming. Moreover, access to cooling remains a critical challenge, particularly in underserved and low-income communities that are most vulnerable to heat-related threats.

Passive cooling for residential buildings utilizes design and material-oriented strategies to improve thermal comfort and reduce reliance on air conditioning. Despite these benefits, the widespread adoption of passive cooling strategies faces multiple hurdles in Southeast Asia. While mandating passive cooling measures through building codes and green building certifications could foster adoption, progress has been sluggish due to weak enforcement of codes, as well as high costs and complexities associated with certifications.

Moreover, very limited mechanisms exist to engage builders in the self-built sector, who significantly contribute to the region’s housing stock. Additional barriers include the absence of performance testing, which makes it hard to distinguish high from low-quality products; a lack of awareness of locally sourced products; cost issues with imported materials; and a general reluctance to invest due to limited awareness of the benefits of passive cooling.

While building codes and green building certifications are important, in the context of the aforementioned challenges, this RFP aims to seek opportunities that do not rely solely on the regulatory or certification frameworks but identify approaches that will accelerate the adoption of passive cooling. We seek to stimulate innovative, actionable projects or initiatives that fill critical gaps on the ground, offering models that promote passive cooling and sustainable building practices in Southeast Asia’s residential building sector, focusing on ultra-low, low and lower- to middle-income groups.

Application Information

Eligibility Criteria

Type of Entities Eligible: This RFP is open to all nonprofits, international organizations, academic institutions, consultancies, and private sector enterprises that align with the mission of promoting sustainable and heat-resilient buildings.

Governments and public agencies are eligible to apply but must specify a preferred technical assistance provider (or multiple providers) that is best suited for their proposed activities. This technical assistance provider will serve as the recipient of funds.

Organizations already receiving CCC funding are eligible to apply.

Geographical Focus: Countries in Southeast Asia[2]Brunei, Cambodia, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Building Typology and Categories: Residential buildings: ultra-low-income/informal settlements; low-income, social/public housing; lower- to middle-income housing. Eligible types include single-family homes, multi-family units, and large multi-family complexes. Both existing and new buildings are eligible.

Types of Passive Cooling Strategies: Agnostic – any proven passive cooling strategies that are commercially viable and scalable in the geography where the project is proposed.

Size of Funding Request: We invite proposals for projects and initiatives of varying funding need. Please note that the maximum funding request for any single project or program is capped at $750,000.

Funding Duration: 12-24 months (for activities to be undertaken in 2025 and 2026, finishing no later than Dec 31 2026). Tranche payments will be made based on the completion of agreed upon program/project milestones.

Non-Eligible Activities

Technical assistance for building codes: Activities related to the development of new codes and/or updates of existing building codes, as the RFP aims to explore alternatives beyond building-codes-focused strategies.

Bespoke design for private villas: Design and construction services targeting high-end, private residential projects like private villas, which do not serve the broader objective of replicability and community-wide impact.

Pure research projects: Research that does not transition into practical applications or lack a clear path to tangible implementation within the scope of this RFP’s objectives.

For examples of desired outcomes (non-exhaustive), please see the Appendix.

Process, Templates, and Deadlines

Stage 1 – Concept Note Submission

Applicants are required to submit a concept note that outlines the main ideas of their project.

Format: Submit via this online form. A Word document version of the template can be downloaded here.

Deadline: Concept notes must be submitted via the link above by June 15, 2024.

Decision announcement: Successful concept notes will be notified by July 5, 2024, to proceed to the next stage.

Stage 2 – Full Proposal Submission (if invited)

Following a successful review of the concept notes, a shortlist of selected applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal. This detailed document should expand on the information provided in the concept note, including a comprehensive project design and implementation plan, deliverables and milestones schedule, detailed budgets, etc. Full proposals must also outline the project’s sustainability and scalability potential.

Format: Detailed templates and guidelines will be provided to invited applicants.

Deadline: Full proposals are due by September 15, 2024.

Decision announcement: Successful applicants will be notified by November 15th, 2024, to proceed with the grantmaking process.

Stage 3- Grantmaking and Compliance Review (for successful proposals)

Successful applicants will be notified by November 15th, 2024, to proceed with the grantmaking process. Please note that a successful proposal in the RFP process does not guarantee the receipt of a grant, as all potential awardees must still undergo a compliance review and other necessary evaluations by the ClimateWorks Foundation, the entity responsible for the grant award.

Format: Detailed guidelines will be provided to successful final applicants.

Timeline: Grant awards in Q1 2025.

Evaluation Criteria

To ensure the selection of the most effective and impactful projects, the following evaluation criteria will be used to assess submissions:

Project Feasibility and Impact (45%)

Viable implementation plan: Proposals must be grounded in realistic assumptions and a practical approach, clearly outlining a feasible implementation plan aligned with the project timeline.

Project Outcomes: Projects must demonstrate a potential to enhance thermal comfort. Any other expected benefits, including but not limited to energy savings and co-benefits, should be highlighted. Proposals should aim to quantify expected outcomes.

Strategic Partnerships: Proposals should demonstrate strong partnerships with entities that bring crucial expertise, resources, and/or community connections, enhancing the project’s potential for success.

Theory of Change and Scalability: There should be a clear and actionable strategy for how the project can be scaled up or replicated to extend its benefits beyond the project lifetime and maximize impact.

Monitoring and Evaluation: Proposals need to include a robust plan for monitoring progress and evaluating the impact of the project.

Local Leadership (20%)

Priority will be given to projects that are led by in-country and/or local groups or organizations, or have them as key partners. A successful proposal should have at least 50% of the total project funding allocated to in-country/local partner(s). This substantial sub-grant(s) signifies the in-country/local partner’s pivotal role and substantial involvement in the project, underscoring the importance of local expertise, leadership, and contextual understanding in achieving long-term success and sustainability.

Team Experience (15%)

Proposals must demonstrate that the project team has relevant experience and a proven track record in successfully implementing similar initiatives. The team should have expertise in the specific areas of passive cooling, sustainable building practices, and project management in the Southeast Asian context.

Finance Mobilization (10%)

Projects that demonstrate effective finance mobilization strategies, including securing additional funding sources or partnerships that provide financial support, will be viewed favorably. This indicates a strong financial foundation and enhances the project’s sustainability and scope for broader impact.

Project Budget (10%)

The budget should be realistic and justified, demonstrating the overall cost-effectiveness of the proposed activities.

Appendix - Examples of Desired Outcomes (non-exhaustive)

Successful projects under this RFP should aim to achieve a subset of the following near-term outcomes*, among others:

Tangible Benefits: Delivered tangible benefits to residents/communities, including enhanced thermal comfort, energy savings, and other co-benefits.

Local Champions: Developed a network of local advocates and leaders among key stakeholders—such as builders, residents, policymakers, and businesses—who actively promote and champion the adoption of passive cooling solutions.

Strengthened Market Ecosystem: Enhanced the local supply chain for passive cooling materials and established robust mechanisms for accessing performance data.

Workforce Development: Enhanced the skills of the local workforce for building thermally-efficient homes utilizing passive cooling techniques and improved materials.

Financing and Resource Mobilization: Successfully mobilized public and/or private financing and resources to support the adoption and implementation of passive cooling solutions.


* In the context of a 12- to 24-month project, this RFP defines ‘near-term outcomes’ as the specific changes or impacts that are expected to be achieved within the project timeframe. These outcomes serve as critical milestones that demonstrate progress toward the project’s ultimate goals and facilitate the early evaluation of its effectiveness.

Submit Concept Note

Download the RFP concept note template (Word) here.


For any questions regarding this RFP, please contact Xiaoyi Jin at


Please note that the Clean Cooling Collaborative reserves the right to withdraw this request for proposals at any time.