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WHEN S P Setia Bhd drew up the plans for its corporate headquarters at Setia City commercial centre at its flagship township Setia Alam in Shah Alam, the developer knew it wanted an icon that signified its commitment to sustainable development.
“As the core of everything that represents S P Setia, our corporate headquarters should represent the peak of our commitment to building a sustainable community for all. What’s more, it is where Team Setia is being housed,” says president and CEO Datuk Khor Chap Jen.
The headquarters was conceptualised based on a need — the need to provide a better and more sustainable work environment for Team Setia that stays true to its DNA of building sustainable communities for all based on its development philosophy of live, learn, work and play, he adds.
With a design that boasts a sense of grandeur, the building’s main facade stands out with its domineering giant columns. The building has a gross floor area of 33,798 sq m and is built on a 3.04-acre site in Setia City – the master-planned integrated green commercial hub of Setia Alam.
“As a developer that practises what we preach, we want to set the benchmark for other green developments within Setia City with the highest Platinum rating for our corporate headquarters to ensure that other developments within Setia City will follow in our footsteps in creating a sustainable environment for the community,” says Khor.
Since its completion, the Malaysian Green Building Index Platinum-rated building has received numerous awards. At the recent international Fiabci Prix d’Excellence Awards held in Panama City, Panama on May 25, it emerged the Gold winner in the Sustainable Development category. The building had previously received the QLASSIC Excellence Award 2014 from the Construction Industry Development Board Malaysia as well as The Edge-PAM Green Excellence Award 2015. It had also won the Best Sustainable Development title at Fiabci Malaysia Property Award 2015. Fiabci is the french acronym for The International Real Estate Federation.
Also present at the Fiabci Prix d’Excellence Awards gala night was Dr Tan Loke Mun from Archicentre, the architect of the Setia Corp Headquarters.
Some of the building’s key green features include the use of green certified architectural products and construction materials, high performance double-glazed windows and louvres to reduce heat gain, an energy measurement system to gauge and manage energy and water usage, energy-efficient lighting, solar panels, rainwater harvesting for landscape irrigation and a roof garden.
For Khor, winning the Fiabci Prix d’Excellence award proves that the developer’s commitment towards sustainable developments is being recognised at the global level as well.
“We embarked on building green townships as far back as 2005 with Setia Eco Park in Setia Alam. From there, we took bigger and bolder steps in embracing eco concepts and sustainability with Setia Eco Glades and the recent Setia Eco Templer,” Khor adds.
Setia Eco Park was recognised by the Fiabci Prix d’Excellence for Best Masterplan Development in 2007 and Best Residential (Low Rise) Development in 2011.
“We have never looked back since, and across six countries where S P Setia has a presence, our developments are synonymous with sustainability which also incorporate our development philosophy of creating meaningful spaces for the community to live, learn, work and play,” Khor tells TheEdgeProperty.com.
Besides Malaysia, S P Setia also has a presence in the UK with the iconic Battersea Power Station development, Australia, Vietnam, Singapore and China.
“It has always been our belief that it is our responsibility to ensure we do not harm the environment as we move towards development and growth.
“The key word here is ‘sustainability’ and that is a big word. Oftentimes, when we discuss sustainability, we refer to renewable energy sources, reducing our carbon footprints, environmental protection, ecological health, and promoting innovative solutions to drive sustainability without having to compromise our lifestyles.
“We have always strived to achieve that equilibrium,” says Khor.
The green efforts seen at its projects include the transplantation of trees and cultivation of flora and fauna at Setia Eco Park, Setia Eco Glades (Cyberjaya) and Setia EcoHill (Semenyih). For instance, at Setia Eco Glades, a a total of 2,000 grown trees and 3,000 saplings have been transplanted.
Indeed, landscaping is a key feature in its developments and its home buyers have come to expect at least the presence of pocket parks where they live.
The company worked with experts from the Penang Butterfly Farm, the KL Bird Park and the Malaysian Nature Society to cultivate the flora and fauna within its townships.
“At our upcoming Setia EcoHill 2 township in Semenyih, we will be planting more than 10,000 trees around the development,” says Khor.
“About 160 tonnes of CO2 is reduced annually due to these efforts. And we will continue to cultivate this eco culture.”
Innovation, he adds, plays a crucial part in efforts to find new and imaginative ways to create sustainability. He cites, for example, a RM4 million solar photovoltaic system which can generate up to 980 megawatt hour (MWh) per year on the roof of both Setia SPICE Aquatic Centre and the Setia SPICE Canopy in Penang.
“It is the biggest commercial solar PV farm in Penang and will help to supplement SPICE’s electricity consumption,” he offers. The Setia SPICE (Subterranean Penang International Convention and Exhibition Centre) project is a redevelopment of the former Penang International Sports Arena featuring a hotel, indoor stadium, convention centre, aquatic club, retail shops and F&B centre.
Moving forward, the developer aims to continue to develop projects with sustainability in mind and incorporate green features as part of its design and planning.
“Rest assured we will not rest on our laurels and will continue to innovate to reduce our carbon footprint,” says a determined Khor.