Day 7, Malaysia

After a good night of sleep in our comfortable double bedrooms we woke up to day 7 of our study trip with (somewhat) renewed energy. Today we visited the ST Diamond building in the new city of Putrajaya, which has specially been founded to house Malayan government buildings. At present, 95% of all government buildings are found here. Imagine the view of a brand new, clean and structured city filled with large buildings, we could not help to think about Singapore. One could say Malaysia is creating it’s own little Singapore here.

One of the buildings in the city of Putrajaya is the ST Diamond building we visited this morning. It is designed by IEN consultants, a consulting company which specializes in so-called green buildings and strife to keep the building process low carbon. Charles Loo, employee of IEN consultants, was so kind to show us around and give a presentation about the sustainable aspects of the building. The ST Diamond building achieved GBI platinum and GreenMark platinum ratings and has been awarded a second place ASHRAE technology award


The presentation gave some insight in the sustainable aspects of the building that contributed to these recognitions. The first aspect is the shape of the building, which of course is a diamond shape (what’s in a name) and has many benefits for daylighting. The shape creates natural shading which is very useful in the Malaysian tropical climate. The trees surrounding the building reflect daylight into the offices at the facades. Rooms that are not adjacent to the facade receive daylight from the atrium, where angled panels provide more beneficial reflections into the rooms.

Another remarkable aspect is the cooling which is provided by two systems consisting of a cooled floor slab and air cooling. The air cooling is used during the day and the floor slab at night. The advantage of this system is that the thermal mass is used. It is not very common in Kuala Lumpur to use floor slab cooling because the surface temperature and humidity in the air must be controlled very strictly to prevent condensation. IEN consultants managed to control the air and surface temperatures and the humidity of the air, so no condensation will occur. Further, in contrast with the Netherlands district cooling service is used to provide chilled water. A downside of the system is the supply temperature of 8 °C, which is alright for air cooling but is way too low for the floor slab cooling. Now the chilled water is mixed with return water to increase the inlet temperature of the water to 19 °C, thus destroying the valuable temperature difference.

Other green aspects in the building are the rain water harvesting for re-use in toilets and other appliances.
After Charles showed us around the building, we even visited the green roof and had a look at the skylight of the atrium, the photovoltaic panels and all the HVAC systems. After this very interesting and inspiring tour we said goodbye to Charles and the staff of the Diamond building and continued our trip through Putrajaya. Our bus driver picked us up and brought us to the Putra Mosque where we enjoyed a great meal and view at one of the famous buildings of Putrajaya. We continued our journey as the bus drove us through the rest of the city showing us various other government buildings.


We subsequently spent our afternoon traveling to the Kuala Selangor lighthouse on the Bukit Melawati hill. The lighthouse is a reminder of the Dutch presence in Malaysia and is now surrounded by a forest inhabited by monkeys. After hanging around  with the monkeys for a while (yes, pun intended), we traveled to the Selangor river to enjoy a nice seafood meal and have a look at one of the worlds largest firefly colonies on the mangrove banks of the Selangor river. Here we enjoyed both the fresh river breeze and the beautiful scenery created by the firefly colony. A great ending of our day.

Selangor river

Tomorrow we’ll be enjoying a city tour and really, really high tea!

Christina & Niels