Any new development next to a well-established public park will draw serious scrutiny. In view of this sensitivity, the architects intricately balanced between the client’s need of a landmark building that reflects their new corporate image and maintaining the public green space. At the same time, the project sets out to be a demonstration of true Green architecture that blends seamlessly with its natural setting.
The new PKNS headquarters is designed for lower energy consumption and emissions using the three inter-related aspects of passive design, active design, and operations and maintenance.
The thermally-efficient building envelope—with double glazed windows, a specially composed exterior/spandrel wall, a green roof and additional insulation between mechanically ventilated floors—is a key factor behind reduced cooling requirements. The ceiling along the façade perimeter is also designed with an angled slope to maximise the depth of natural light penetration. The overall massing, orientation and internal layout of the building is designed for optimal energy use, with most of the glazed façades facing north and south. Service spaces, such as toilets and storage, are located on the east–west sections of the building blocks, acting as an insulating buffer to the working space. The entrances to the offices are also located on the inner part of the building to reduce substantial cool air leak and heat transmission from the outside.
The building is boldly covered by a large grass roof, which blends it with its environment and provides civic spaces for the public. The grass roof with its soil system also reduces heat transmission from the roof and the heat island effect towards the city.
In terms of active design, the development uses individually controlled variable air volume units, supplemented by an absorption chiller that is powered by a large solar thermal system, for its cooling needs. In double volume spaces, such as the auditorium hall, a displacement ventilation system is used. Water consumption is reduced by over 60 per cent, with a dripping irrigation system, dual flush WCs, infrared taps and the use of rainwater and recycled grey water for all toilets and irrigation.
The building will offset more than 5,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, reducing energy use by 75 per cent compared to typical Malaysian office buildings. The project is close to existing public transport hubs and provides parking priority to carpools and Green vehicles, with provision of electric vehicle chargers.
During construction, a system formwork was used to minimise the use of timber and construction waste and to divert 75 per cent of waste that otherwise would be disposed at the landfills. During site clearance, 78, or more than half, of the existing trees were removed and transplanted at parks and other locations in Shah Alam. Construction materials were mostly manufactured or harvested within 500 kilometres of the site, encouraging local supplier participation and recycling of waste.
All these are only possible through the use of a multi-faceted approach involving different stakeholders, from the client to the consultants and contractors, to achieve an efficient design and construction execution. The result is a truly Green building that the owner, the public and the city can be proud of.
Project Name: Laman PKNS (PKNS Headquarters)
Location: 2, Jalan Indah 14/8, Seksyen 14, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
Completion Date: September 2017 (final works)
Site Area: 1.84 hectares
Gross Floor Area: 270,000 square feet
Building Height: 6 storeys
Number of Blocks: 4
Developer: Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (PKNS)
Chief Architect & Project Manager: Tuan Hj Ar Wan Muhd Hisham Wan Hawari
Architecture Firm: VERITAS Architects Sdn Bhd
Conceptual Design Architect: Ar Azril Amir Jaafar
Project Architect: Ar Noor Halwani Ab Rahman
Interior Design Firm: Skala Design Consult Sdn Bhd
Principal Designer: Shafie Alip
Geotechnical & Structural Engineer: Arup Jururunding Sdn Bhd
MEP Engineer: Arup Jururunding Sdn Bhd
Quantity Surveyor: Yusof Associates
Lighting Consultant: Neosigma Sdn Bhd
Landscape Architect: Nodes Sdn Bhd
Green Building Consultant: Neapoli Sdn Bhd
Main Contractor: Conlay Construction Sdn Bhd
Interior Fit-Out Contractor: Jurubena Experto Sdn Bhd
Images: PKNS; VERITAS Architects (Paul Gadd)