Parasol and columns SP Setia is one of the largest real estate developers in Malaysia. Their new large venture,SetiaAlam is located in Shah Alam, a city on the western border of Selangor. In these approximately five thousand acres, SP Setia decided to build their headquarters on a four-acre plot of land. This promoted the idea for a very formal design approach, to emphasise the company’s social commitment to Malaysia’s national development and to establish itself in this new city.
The building was designed throughout according to state-of-the-art green building standards and incorporating high performance features of green architecture to reflect SP Setia’s ability to provide a positive response to the environment. At the conceptual phase, the PersiaranSetiaAlam to the south and the large rainwater catchment pond on the east side played an important role in determining the design decisions.
The southeast facing façade was developed with special care to maximise public connectivity from a distance. Nine columns rising 40 metres lift the building like a parasol into the sky, translating classical Greek architectural language into the Malaysian context. A large, shallow water body at the ground level makes the building look almost as it is floating, while also honouring the importance of rain in this part of the world.
The avoidance of any typical boundary demarcations on the eastern flank, together with physical and visual links with the rainwater catchment pond and the surrounding landscape, endows the building with a certain humility without downplaying its actual identity.
Green architecture The façades facing north, east and south comprise double glazing curtain wall with full height low-E glass double glazed curtain walls to allow for optimal daylight penetration with minimal solar heat gain and glare. The west-facing façade is a reinforced concrete wall with minimal openings.Building services are located on the western façade with minimum openings to minimize heat gain, thus reducing reliance on mechanical cooling.
The roofs of the tower and annexe building are covered with turf and landscaped to help minimize solar heat gain. Furthermore, the roof gardens, which cover more than 25% of the rooftops, provide the staff with beautiful views out as well as a break-out space. The roof garden on the annexe building also acts as a multi-function space for cocktail parties and dinner parties.
The building uses energy very efficiently. The design stage simulation shows the figure at 96.242 kW/m2/year, which places it among the very few building in the country that is below 100kW/m2/year. The building envelop was designed to enhance the overall thermal performance of building envelop thus reducing the overall cooling load requirement to achieve an OTTV of 36.94 W/m2.
The use of sustainable materials was prioritised throughout the building. Low VOC paint was used throughout the building, and low VOC wallpaper on selected walls. Certified green adhesive with low VOC content adhesives were prioritised for the laying of low VOC carpets, wallpaper, etc. Certified green laminates were used for built-ins. Where possible, office furniture from the previous headquarters was reused in the new building to reduce wastage.
An auto sensor controlled lighting strategy which involves equipping general lighting along the perimeter zone with photocell sensors operates in conjunction with a day lighting strategy. When the building occupants turn on the lighting switch, the sensor-fitted lights will switch on only if the lighting level is less than 150 lux.
An auto condenser tube cleaning reduces equipment downtime, reduces the use of chemical cleansers and optimises energy consumption by automatically keeping heat exchanged tubes perpetually free from scaling. A heat recovery wheel recovers the total energy (Sensible as well as latent) to meet all the requirements of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), humidity control and energy savings. Kone elevators were installed because of their environmentally friendly and energy-efficient technology including the EcoDisk hoisting mechanism, regenerative drive and standby mode.
The installation of water efficient fittings with WEPLS label has enabled us to cut water consumption by 50% compared to conventional fittings. These fittings include dual flush water closets, water efficient urinals with manual flush, self-closing delay action taps for wash basin, water efficient shower fittings, and water efficient sink taps and bib taps.
A rainwater harvesting system efficiently collects rain that falls on the roofs of the building for use in toilet flushing and irrigation.
Renewable energy generated through 55 kWPV photovoltaic panel makes up to 2% of total energy consumption. Three units of solar water heaters are installed on the tower rooftop to provide hot water for showers and domestic use.
Indoor physical environmental strategy General open plan work stations with clear glass panel partitions 1m from floor level allow unobstructed views across open space whilst external views are shared by all. This also helps cut down on the need for artificial lighting.
Managerial offices face the open plan work stations with floor to ceiling partition to allow natural light penetration from the open office while allowing close supervision and collaboration conducive to efficient communication and productivity.
Dry wall partitions are asbestos free and CO2 gas emission friendly, helping to maintain air circulation. They also help with sound insulation whereby sound attenuation is more than 44dB. Standard plasterboards by Boral have also been certified green by the Singapore Green Label of the Singapore Environmental Council (SEC).
The raised floor system creates a plenum space for underfloor distribution of building services like air conditioning, power and data cabling, etc. From the interior design perspective, the advantage of this system is greater flexibility and efficiency in terms of furniture relocation or addition of work stations.
Perforated blinds are used to promote non-glare environment while allowing natural daylight to filter through. These blinds are mechanized and automated for easy control.
The interior lighting level is designed according to MS1525:2007. T5 fluorescent and LED lighting are generally used to achieve an office lighting level of 300 lux. Similarly, in meeting rooms, computer rooms, library and reading areas the levels are set at 300 lux. High frequency ballast is provided in all fluorescent luminaires for all office areas.
26.83% of the total NFA is controlled by motion sensors which are provided in toilets, lift lobbies, pantries, meeting rooms, individual office and etc. A lighting zoning and switching strategy ensures that all individual switch lighting switches which are located in the waiting areas and clearly labeled.
Advanced air filters are used at the main fresh air intake for a cleaner and healthier indoor environment. These electronic air cleaners known as two-state electrostatic precipitators are installed in all AHU to remove airborne particulates, dust, smoke, pollen, spores, bacteria and mould from indoor air.
Landscaping The overall landscape concept reflects the objective of creating a lush green forest-like landscape envelop for the iconic building that incorporates a large pond adjacent to the building site. Once the plantings mature fully, the building will appear as if it is emerging from a forest.
An internal courtyard on the eighth floor provides a tranquil space for contemplation. The focal point of the courtyard is a reflective pool with an island in the centre, which has a black granite bench under two trees. The island is set against a water wall that falls from a height of 8 metres and runs down a stainless steel cladding.
The roof of the Annexe was transformed into a garden to provide a charming view out for the main building as well as an open air function space. The roof garden also has a sustainable role as the layer of zoysia turf with its 300mm depth of soil mix plus the nor-drain drainage layer; provide good insulation from solar heat gain.
The landscape design was created to be sustainable. All water features utilise rainwater. The rainwater is collected at the respective levels and recycled into the water feature. The plants are watered using harvested rainwater. Local species of plants or other tropical plants were selected to ensure that they thrive with minimal maintenance and use of resources.
Connectivity and Accessibility There is car park provision for green vehicles (electric and hybrid). Bicycle parking lots are located close to the building entrance. The main entrance of Setia Corporate HQ is conveniently adjacent to Setia City Mall and Setia City Convention Centre. It is also connected to Setia City Mall via a covered pedestrian bridge on the 2nd floor, as a part of the plan for Setia City to be a pedestrian-friendly green commercial hub. Setia Corporate HQ is situated within walking distance of a transportation hub within Setia City, which will connect the township to key urban centres in the Klang valley. The transportation hub comprises a bus terminal and has provisions for a Light Rail Transit station.