Have you ever thought about living life a little bit more ‘eco’, and a little less harmful to the environment?
Green buildings are increasingly hot property in Malaysia today, with the aspiration of a green home becoming a more popular concept with homebuyers.
Green developments are springing up across the country, as developers seek to meet the demand for this environmentally-positive style of property.
It might surprise you to know that there’s a defined criteria for what makes a house an eco building in Malaysia.
That’s good information for you as a buyer, and good for developers who know what to aim for in their sustainable architecture plans.
So what is a green building, what are the benefits of living in such a development, and just where can you find them anyway? Let’s talk eco with our guide to green buildings.
What Is A ‘Green Building’?
First off, a green building is one which is designed to ensure outstanding efficiency in energy use, water use, and sustainability of materials used in construction.
It does so in order to provide a more positive living environment that improves the health and well-being of residents throughout the building’s life-cycle.
In Malaysia, green buildings are designed and accredited according to a system called the Green Building Index (GBI).
The GBI offers guidance and rating tools for developers to understand and create buildings which align with the efficiency and positive environmental goals of green design.
They’re measured across six major areas:
- Energy efficiency – Improved energy consumption, minimising solar heat gain, harvesting natural light, adoption of renewable energy, ensuring proper testing and maintenance.
- Indoor environment quality – Good indoor air quality, acoustics, visual and thermal comfort. Use of low volatile organic compound materials, quality air filtration, temperature control, movement and humidity.
- Materials and resources – Sustainable materials as well as proper construction waste management systems.
- Sustainable planning and management – Appropriate sites with access to public transportation, open spaces and landscaping. No damage to environmentally sensitive areas. Reducing the strain on existing infrastructure capacity.
- Water efficiency – Rain water harvesting, water recycling, water saving fittings.
- Innovation – Innovative design solutions that meet other GBI goals.
Who Decides If A Building Is Green?
The Green Building Index and its accreditation panel were established by the Malaysian Institute of Architects (or Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia/PAM), in 2008.
The aim was to provide a trusted and consistent source of information and accreditation for the growing number of green buildings in the country.
GBI buildings are rated in four categories depending on how green they are deemed to be, with a points-based rating system:
- Platinum – 86-100 points
- Gold – 76-85 points
- Silver – 66-75 points
- Certified – 60-65 points
That means any building which scores above 50 in the GBI assessment qualifies for the term green building, with further categories describing improved performance over and above this score.
The Pros And Cons Of Living In A Green Building
Look at that amazing list of things that green buildings are designed to deliver to you and your loved ones!
Outside space and landscaping? Good quality air? Better natural light? Low energy costs? You can see why green buildings is quite the popular place to call ‘home’ now.
The green building concept is ultimately about building better places to live, with an environmentally friendly development that recognises both the practical and personal benefits of sustainable building.
The downside? You’re likely to have to fork out more for the privilege. We’re going to make a pros and cons list for you here, but let’s face it, we’re a pro at that!
Benefits of a green building
Downsides of a green building
Positive living environment
You pay for all these benefits
Greenspace and landscaping
Limited number available (but growing)
Low energy use
Tend to be luxury rather than affordable properties
Lower operational costs due to energy efficiency and renewable options
Sustainable living choice
Improved natural light and air quality
Access to transport a major design feature
Designed to the highest standards
Independently accredited for comprehensive oversight
Often include enhanced community services
Examples Of Green Buildings In Malaysia
Green buildings are probably sounding pretty awesome at this point? You’re right. The good thing is there are a growing number of GBI-certified buildings in Malaysia for you to explore.
Let’s offer up some examples of green buildings from across the certified spectrum, with one example from each Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum GBI category.
1) Certified Rating – Leisure Farm Resort Central Spine @ Iskandar Malaysia, Johor
- Size: 1,765 acres
- Types of Property: Townhouses, semi-detached homes, bungalows, villas
- Launch Price: RM480,000 – RM2,350,000
Leisure Farm Resort Central Spine @ Iskandar Malaysia represents the very first GBI-certified property in this huge multi-billion Ringgit development corridor.
Leisure Farm benefits from the close proximity to Singapore, and significant development drive of the Iskandar Malaysia project in Johor.
It’s built on the principle of Sustainability, Energy, Environment, Design, and Security (SEEDS) for a positive sustainable building policy.
Having won numerous awards for liveability, property achievements, and architectural excellence, the wider masterplan for this luxury eco-development incorporates extensive natural land to enjoy, as well as a golf and country club.
Leisure Farm was first established in 1991 as a ‘haven for mind, body and soul’. And if that sounds a bit cheesy, well you can’t really fault them for delivering on the promise.
2) Silver Rating – Bandar Rimbayu Township @ Telok Panglima Garang, Selangor
- Size: 60 acres
- Types of Property: Condominiums, pool villas, double-storey terrace houses, commercial
- Launch Price: RM420,000 – RM590,000
Bandar Rimbayu Township is designed to provide the comfort of an environmentally friendly township development, offering a residential development in a natural setting while also delivering outstanding connectivity to major highways throughout the area.
Bandar Rimbayu also operates on a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principle that incorporates security into the landscaping of this extensive development. Homes are environmentally designed with eco benefits such as renewable energy and energy efficiency.
The community also benefit from an award-winning community space which incorporates the positive value of shared activities into the overall concept of green design.
3) Gold Rating – Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC) @ Kuala Lumpur
- Size: 19.4 acres
- Types of Property: Office towers, residential suites, a hotel and shopping mall
- Launch Price: N/A
The iconic development of Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC) is among a number of flagship green building developments springing up across Kuala Lumpur.
BBCC will also include what’s soon to be Malaysia’s tallest building, with the PNB 188 skyscraper set to stretch over 2,000 feet into the air above downtown Kuala Lumpur.
This integrated green development will include green outdoor areas and landscaping as part of a connected building ecosystem, with the highlight (literally) in the form of a stunning rooftop park.
This greenery is not only designed as part of the external space, but interweaves with the building structure to enhance the ambience, aesthetics, and green living environment for residents.
With state-of-the-art energy efficiency technology and comprehensive green design, BBCC takes Gold Rating in GBI certification.
4) Platinum Rating – Tun Razak Exchange (TRX)
- Size: 70 acres
- Types of Property: Offices, serviced residences, The Exchange Mall, Kuala Lumpur’s new Central Business District (CBD)
- Launch Price: RM1.44 million – RM2.48 million (serviced residences)
Tun Razak Exchange probably needs no introduction to anyone with even the slightest appreciation of Malaysia’s property market.
This multi-billion Ringgit 70-acre development has been constructing its way into KL’s skyline for over a decade.
The first residential release as part of this development, Core Residence@TRX, was launched in February 2020.
TRX brings green design to the heart of KL’s business district, with comprehensive use of sustainable practice and materials throughout.
The commitment to energy efficiency, sustainable materials, positive built environment, and waste management earned it a Platinum GBI-certification.
TRX has also picked up a provisional Gold Award for LEED recognition for Neighbourhood Development.
If you want to see an example of the TRX vision, then look no further than the 10-acre city park right at the heart of this development.
This stunning green space as the focus of a development is just the kind of positive natural environment that a GBI building is expected to provide.
Want to discover more GBI-certified buildings in Malaysia? Experience These 12-GBI Certified Townships For Yourself!