Shah Alam’s new green Icon

Project : PKNS HQ, Selangor, Malaysia

Architects : VERITAS Design Group, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Resides humbly along the strips of Famous Shah Alam Lake garden, proposing a building next to a well established public park opens up a serious public scrutiny of the scheme. Acknowledging the sensitivity surrounding the site, the project aims to intricately balance between the needs of the client to have a new landmark building as a symbol of their new corporate image whilst maintaining the public requirement of a park and the functions surrounding it. Green design initiatives are adopted at the onset of the design process to link the objectives together in an attempt to create a green building where the owner, the public and the city can be proud of. The right approach at the very beginning in terms of overall massing, orientation and internal layout is paramount in an attempt to get the most efficient use of energy in a building. In general the building massing is broken up into series of smaller blocks with the shaded transition spaces as plazas in between them. The plazas promote air flow between the blocks creating pleasant airy spaces apart from passively cool the building.

Externally, the building is boldly covered by a large grass roof. Besides masking the existence of a build object within a nature’s setting the grass provide unique civic spaces for the public to enjoy the park without interfere with the building function. A total of 2.7 acres of outdoor area for public use is to be added. The internal spaces of the building are designed as an open plan office space with the appropriate depths to take advantage of the natural light coming into the spaces. Light shelves are also introduced along the perimeter of the building to bounce light deeper into the spaces. While maximizing the natural light penetration into the building, care also taken to reduce glare especially at the immediate fringes of the windows by incorporating shading elements with appropriate architectural features. PKNS headquarters building is an attempt to create a green architecture not solely as a an iconic ‘greenwash’ symbol but a truly working energy efficient solution with interesting spaces for people to enjoy reflecting current state of technology that blends seamlessly with its natural setting .

WELLNESS
The right approach at the very beginning in terms of overall massing, orientation and internal layout is paramount in an attempt to get the most efficient use of energy in a building. In general the building massing is broken up into series of smaller blocks with the shaded transition spaces as plazas in between them. The plazas promote air flow between the blocks creating pleasant airy spaces apart from passively cool the building. Besides that the design takes full advantage of the east and west linear orientation of site by locating the most of the glazed façades facing the north and south direction. By doing this the solar transmission from the east and west direct sun greatly reduced. In addition to that the services spaces such as toilets and storage are located on the east west sections of the building blocks which would become insulating buffer to the actual working space. These are some of the passive measures through the internal layout planning that reduce heat generation in the interior of the building therefore reducing energy required to cool the building later.

The entrances to the offices are also located on the well insulated inner part of the building to reduce substantial cool air leak and heat transmission from the outside. Apart from creating a relatively measurable energy efficient building, the design also strives to create quality spaces inside, within and outside the buildings for the occupant to enjoy. The internal spaces of the building are designed as an open plan office space with the appropriate depths to take advantage of the natural light coming into the spaces. Light shelves are also introduced along the perimeter of the building to bounce light deeper into the spaces. While maximizing the natural light penetration into the building, care also taken to reduce glare especially at the immediate fringes of the windows by incorporating shading elements with appropriate architectural features. Efficient LED and T5 electric lighting linked to motion and daylight sensors in addition to user controllable task lightings are also incorporated within the interior spaces to ensure appropriate and non excessive level of lighting for the intended tasks.

The mechanical ventilation system will make use of CO2 sensors to modulate fresh air intake to suit the occupancy requirements and heat recovery wheels. A visible feature during the construction of the development that contributes to social and cultural sustainability is the change of approach from conventional construction practices to enviromentally conscious construction had a positive impact on the project’s cost and a change of mindset of stakeholders involved in the development of the building. A multifaceted approach involving different stakeholders from the client to the consulants and contractors enables different viewpoints to be taken into consideration to achieve an efficient outcome in design and construction execution. Thus shifting the cultural mindset from an individually based design and construction execution to an open ended team approach encouraging involvement from all parties.

EMBEDDEDNESS
From the green design perspectives, the grass roof with its soil system provides excellent insulation on the roof of the building that greatly reduces the heat transmission to the interior of the building from the roof. In addition to that grass roof with its heat absorption properties also extrovertly reduce heat island effect towards the city. PKNS Headquarters Building will offset over 5,000 tones of CO2 emissions per year reducing energy usage by 75% compared to typical Malaysian office buildings. In addition, LAMAN PKNS will promote the sustainable transportation by downsizing the carpark, locating the project in close proximity to existing public transport hubs and giving parking priority to Green vehicles and carpools/vanpools. Provision of electric vehicle chargers is facilitated for 5% of the car park lots. Externally, the building is boldly covered by a large grass roof , the Sky Park. Besides masking the existence of a build object within a nature’s setting the grass provide unique civic spaces for the public to enjoy the park without interfere with the building function.

Replanting of Existing trees on site was done site clearance, 78 (over half) of the existing trees were rescued and transplanted at parks and other locations in Shah Alam, rather than being disposed off to the landfill.  A key deliverable during the construction of the project is to predominantly use materials manufactured or harvested within 500km of the project site, which encourages local suppliers to actively participate in the project. Also, the suppliers are actively engaged in taking back the material waste to encourage post-consumer recycling of materials and to encourage meaningful re-use of waste to minimise the volume of waste channeled to landfill.

RESILIENCE
Besides the passive approach, the project also exploring the incorporation of various active initiatives such as harvesting renewable energy and rain water as well as recycle waste and grey water.The building is targeted to be among the most energy efficient building in the country where the energy consumption to be 88 kWh/m2/year of Building Energy Intensity (BEI). In order to achieve this, each mode of energy consumption which is cooling, ventilation, lighting, lifts is to be optimized. Some of the areas like corridors would be naturally ventilated. In addition to reduction of the thermal transmittance through passive approach, priority was also given to building envelope optimization with superinsulated roof, walls and windows (U-Values: 0.50 W/m²K for walls, 0.4 W/m²K green roof and 1.2 W/m²K for the low-e double glazing).About 60% of energy consumption in a building is for air conditioning, therefore apart from reducing air conditioning requirement in the building, emphasize has also been given in further reducing energy consumption for air conditioning by other innovative method.

The method explored in this project is an innovative cooling system powered by approximately 2120m2 of solar collector – one the worlds largest solar air-conditioning systems. By employing this, approximately 10% of energy requirement for the air-conditioning system shall be from renewable source. On the water efficiency initiatives, water consumption is reduced by over 60%, by using rainwater and recycled grey water for all toilets and irrigation. In addition, dripping irrigation system, dual flush WCs, and infrared taps contribute to maximum water efficiency. Recycling initiatives in this project will focus on processing of office products so that they become ready for another use. Special bins have been provided to collect various objects like paper, cardboard, plastic bottles and cups, metal cans and glass bottles. The main advantage of recycling these products is that they can be reused and reprocessed properly. During construction, system formwork is used to minimise the use of timber and construction waste and divert 75% of waste that otherwise would be disposed off to the landfill. Besides that, during site clearance, 78 (over half) of the existing trees were rescued and transplanted at parks and other locations in Shah Alam, rather than being disposed off to the landfill.

ECOSYSTEM
Laman PKNS through its sought after double Platinum ( GBI & LEED ) rating got its management to decisively and rigorously fit within the concept and practice of sustainability. Although, in essence, an office building whether rated or traditional requires the standard competence and dedication to extend cost effectively its life cycle, in the case of Laman, special attention was given to the aspect of maintenance. Maintenance, in a case of a high tech , high rated building, proceeds from an alternative approach so as to supersede the short term or corrective maintenance by a more cost-effective and rational preventative one which limits are pushed through the implementation of predictive maintenance, extensively used in technologically advance industry such as Oil & Gas, Automated production lines to name a couple. As such Laman PKNS, by design, have made extensive use of DGU’s and insulation constitutive of a minimal heat transfer strategy.The resulting building envelop can only serve its purpose on the long haul if faulty, degraded material can be identified.

At Laman PKNS, the technology elected to address and mediate those potential issues called for a comprehensive usage of N.D.T ( non-destructive testing ) through its IR ( long infra-red ) application. In effect, a DGU losing its interstice gaz or dampness behind floor & Wall finishes or collapsed rock wool insulation can only be “seen” owing to IR cameras. Also Laman PKNS with its 5000+ solar evacuated tubes to fire up an absorption chiller in order to reduce maximum demand of its AC chillers can only be checked for integrity and vacuum persistence through IR camera handled expertly by a well trained and sustainability aware maintenance team which requirement is imposed by the Platinum rating. For additional information a total solar collector area of 2120m2 will power an innovative cooling system, one the worlds’ largest solar air-conditioning systems.

The building also have achieves Building Energy Intensity (BEI) of 88 kWh/m2/year, making the project the second most energy efficient office building in Malaysia after PTM GEO building. The design team created and implemented an Erosion and Sedimentation Control (ESC) Plan for all construction activities associated with the project. The plan conforms with local and national erosion and sedimentation control standards and codes in order to accomplish the following objectives: Prevent loss of soil during construction by storm water runoff and/or wind erosion, including protecting topsoil by stockpiling for reuse and Prevent sedimentation of storm sewer or receiving stream.

About VERITAS Design Group

The VERITAS Design Group was founded in 1987 upon the principles of constant innovation and a commitment to quality.

Lillian Tay, Vice President and Director, VERITAS Design Group

Today the VERITAS Design Group is led by its Group President David Mizan Hashim and Vice President Lillian Tay, Principal Ng Yiek Seng, Azril Amir Jaafar, Edward Chew, Syah Kamaruddin, Eric Tham, Shah Jaffar, Shamsuddin Wahap, Richard Raymond, Khalifah Jamaludin, Fazelyna Rashid, Kenny Wong and is backed by a team of over 340 qualified professionals and professional support staff. Although VERITAS began as an architectural practice, it now offers a full range of supporting design services through subsidiary and associates companies.

For More Info : http://theveritasdesigngroup.com/


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