Search Articles

Find tips, tools and how-to guides on every aspect of property

Here's why you should live in a green building today


It is time to embrace green buildings as a must, not a nice-to-have.

© Jekaterina Nikitina | Getty Images

The green building movement is developing steam in our country and we should be glad. We have not, as a society, always considered the impact our carbon footprint has on the environment and on our health as well.

Buildings (direct emissions in buildings from fossil fuel combustion) represented 28% of global energy-related CO2 emissions, whereas building construction works contributed another 11% of global CO2 emissions. -The Global Status Report 2017, UN Nature-

In line with growing concerns about climate change and the need for sustainable building designs in Malaysia, the Green Building Index (GBI) tool was created in 2008. An initiative developed by Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM) and the Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia (ACEM), GBI serves to encourage developers to keep the environment in mind when designing and constructing buildings.

This tool grades a development using key green building measures where the better the score, the higher the certification level. Ranked from GBI Certified, followed by GBI silver, GBI Gold and GBI Platinum, these certifications are issued by the GBI Accreditation Panel (GBIAP), an independent panel comprising senior professionals.

For more info on GBI, check out this article: Going Green Makes Sense 

Some Malaysian developers have risen up to the GBI challenge and have begun to invest their time, energy and funds into creating low carbon footprint and energy-efficient buildings. One great example is the PJ Midtown mixed-development in Section 13, Petaling Jaya, which has garnered a GBI provisional Gold certification.

Standing 30-storeys-tall, PJ Midtown offers 758 serviced suites housed within 2 towers on top of retail units and commercial offices. © PJ Midtown

Most of the materials used for the building’s construction are sourced from within 500 km of the project site. Recycled materials were also used extensively in the building process, to reduce the use of raw materials. Not to mention, PJ Midtown strongly encourages a recycling-focused lifestyle by providing strategically placed bins and recycling rooms within the development.

These initiatives are just the tip of the iceberg though. Let’s dive into the 4 major benefits of living in a green building:

#1 Superior indoor quality

Breathe better indoors – The developers of PJ Midtown have committed to using low volatile organic compounds (VOC) and Non-Formaldehyde products in its construction to ensure that its residents breathe clean and fresh air during their stay there.  © PJ Midtown

One of the key design features of a green building is optimal indoor ventilation. The idea is to use intentional architectural design, consideration on the weather and study of wind flow to ensure that the air within never becomes stagnant.

People spend an average of nearly 90% of their time indoors and what we breathe indoors on average, is 2-5 times more toxic than what is typically outdoors, due to poor ventilation and off-gassing of toxic chemicals from a host of products such as carpeting and furniture. -Survey funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-

This creates ‘sick building’ syndrome, a label given to buildings that cause illness among its residents because of poor ventilation and maintenance.

Hence, why PJ Midtown employs the single-loading architectural design, which promotes optimal airflow and ventilation through the structure. On top of that, more than 50% of the Net Lettable Area (NLA) is designed to be day-lit, allowing ample natural ventilation and sunlight into the living spaces.

#2 Increased living comfort via passive design

The bulk of PJ Midtown’s façade faces a Northwest-Southeast orientation, thus mitigating the effect of excessive heating from direct sunlight. Specially selected performance glass is also used to help reduce heat gain. © PJ Midtown

These design features are further complemented by abundant greenery – PJ Midtown boasts a landscape area provision that is 25% more than what is required by local authorities. The additional foliage will go a long way in reducing the urban heat island effect.

DID YOU KNOW: Herb gardens will contribute to 10% of the total landscape area at PJ Midtown. Useful, everyday plants such as pandan and ginger will be planted around the perimeter of the development.


Other benefits of employing passive design strategies include a boost in acoustic comfort as well. For instance, the developers of PJ Midtown have ensured that the development’s internal spaces are designed to reduce noise levels (STC >45) for better privacy and comfort.

STC is an integer rating which gives you a rough idea how much sound a building partition might stop. Therefore, what a STC > 45 rating means is that the enclosure/wall partition/door reduces noise by 45 decibels.

#3 Say hello to lower utility bills

Aside from installing an Energy Management System for more efficient energy usage, PJ Midtown will be leveraging on solar energy to power up common areas, which contributes 2% of total management energy load, thus reducing the dependency on electricity. © wklzzz | 123rf

Most of a green building’s design aspects focus on creating better ventilation and reducing heat gains. With this, there may be a hopeful decrease in dependency on electrical appliances such as air-conditioning, air purifiers and humidifiers to manage these issues, which inevitably should result in lower utility bills over time.

Some green buildings, PJ Midtown included even have water efficiency fittings and leaking detection meters to prevent excessive water wastage. As compared to normal fittings, the use of efficient water fittings could reduce water consumption by approximately 50%. A rain harvesting system is also put in place to reduce the use of potable water.

#4 Higher resale value down the road

Higher resale value down the road
©Andrii Yalanskyi | 123rf

A SmartMarket report by Dodge Data and Analytics in 2016 showed that green building practices and designs will increase building value by about 7.5% over time, while the operational costs of these buildings stand to decrease by about 8-9%. While green buildings at the moment may still seem like a novelty, with time, that perception is expected to change and more people will find it essential to live in one.

Serving as a testament to this point, the same study suggests that green buildings may have a 3.5% increase in occupational ratio as well. This would make the idea of investing in a green building property incredibly attractive to discerning home and property buyers today.

And if everything we’ve said about green buildings really interests and excites you, and you want to explore owning and living in one, the newly-completed PJ Midtown may just be the ideal property for you.

Strategically located along Jalan Kemajuan in Petaling Jaya, PJ Midtown is not only offering the benefits of a green building lifestyle befitting to its GBI provisional Gold certification rating, but it also provides easy access to numerous key townships such as PJ New Town, SS2, Section 17 and Seapark.

Having both the Columbia Asia Hospital and University of Malaya only a 5-minute drive away means that residents will have access to world-class health care and education within very accessible distances. Not to mention, retail conveniences, namely the Digital Mall and Jaya 33 are a mere 500 metres away. Residents will also get to enjoy bus services to the nearest LRT station too.

For more information on PJ Midtown, please visit or contact the developers IOI properties and Sime Darby Brunsfield at 016 299 2177 today.

Even better, drop by the developer’s booth this weekend from 26-28 April at the Mid Valley Exhibition Centre, KL. The Expo is held in conjunction with the Home Ownership Campaign 2019, which is a government initiative to encourage homeownership amongst the rakyat. As part of the effort, those who purchase a residential unit between January to June 2019 will be exempted from stamp duty payments. *T&C applies.

Disclaimer: The information is provided for general information only. Malaysia Sdn Bhd makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information, including but not limited to any representation or warranty as to the fitness for any particular purpose of the information to the fullest extent permitted by law. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate, reliable, and complete as of the time of writing, the information provided in this article should not be relied upon to make any financial, investment, real estate or legal decisions. Additionally, the information should not substitute advice from a trained professional who can take into account your personal facts and circumstances, and we accept no liability if you use the information to form decisions.

More Articles