indepth

Sustainable, plain and simple

Below 10 years non-strata office category Gold: Menara KEN TTDI

Menara KEN TTDI has a rather unassuming facade. Having said that, I will still choose the same design if given a second chance. I want this building to be sustainable and be able to stand the test of time,” says KEN Holdings Bhd group managing director Sam Tan, the brain behind the development of the 13-storey commercial building.

Menara KEN TTDI is the newest landmark on Jalan Burhanuddin Helmi in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, standing out among the landed houses and shoplots for its minimalist-style glass facade.

“I had lost count of the many designs we’ve received for Menara KEN TTDI. Eventually, our executive chairman Datuk Kenny Tan and the top management settled for this simple glass facade because it fitted our vision for this building which is to be sustainable and comfortable for its users,” Sam says.

The full-height double-glazed low-emission glass facade allows users to enjoy maximum views of the outdoors while minimising the heat. It also maximises the amount of natural light coming into the building, hence saving energy cost for lighting. By keeping the design simple, it also means minimal cost and manpower on maintenance, he explains.

Completed in 2017, Menara KEN TTDI is the first commercial development project by KEN Holdings hence Sam and Kenny were determined to get it right from the beginning. It took eight years to study, plan, design, construct and complete the project.

“I am grateful for the chairman’s support, guidance and help in making this building a reality,” says Sam.

KEN TTDI is a platinum-grade green building with approximately 300,000 sq ft in lettable area. The building has four basements, three storeys of commercial and 10 storeys of offices as well as one storey of roof-top facilities with a total gross floor area of 41,389 sq ft.

Coming from an engineering background, Sam stresses that no compromise was made in ensuring the project receives maximum natural light diffused into every corner of the building. Meanwhile, good indoor air quality must be maintained especially when centralised air-conditioning is switched off after regular working hours. All these resulted in some unusual design features such as the signature central glass atrium from the rooftop all the way to the main foyer of The Space (the event space at Level 2), which lets in natural light, allowing occupants even to work along the corridors of their respective offices, giving them an outdoor feel.

The building is also equipped with excellent energy and water-efficient fittings, such as sub-metering for water usage and a leak detection system. These are all linked to the main building management system which is monitored regularly. Rainwater is also harvested and used in the irrigation system to water the plants within the building.

“As a pioneer of green developments in Malaysia, sustainable design features and principles are incorporated into the design of Menara KEN TTDI. Based on this concept, the design of architectural and M&E services has been taken into consideration for energy efficiency, water efficiency, environmental protection, indoor environmental quality and other green features,” Sam shares.

The project has won multiple awards and green building recognitions such as the US Green Building Council’s LEEDS Platinum Award, Singapore BCA Green Mark Platinum Award for Building, Malaysia GreenRE Platinum Award and FIABCI Malaysia Property Award 2019 in the Sustainable Development Category. Now, the latest top-up to its string of accolades is the Gold award in the below 10 years non-strata office category at EdgeProp Malaysia’s Best Managed and Sustainable Property Awards 2020.

Forward thinking

Sam describes Menara KEN TTDI as a cultural office rather than a typical office building as it offers more than just office space. It also houses a performing arts theatre, an art gallery and a versatile and flexible event space. There are also three floors designated for F&B outlets and at the rooftop level are a sports bar and a gym with an infinity pool.

The current occupation rate of Menara KEN TTDI is about 70% and the rental psf for the offices is from RM6 to RM6.50 psf. Some of the tenants are Nestle Global Procurement Hub, DKSH Corporate Services, Common Ground Co-working office, BFM Radio and Babel Fit.

“We have been receiving some interests but we don’t mind waiting a bit longer for the right tenant. For example, we wish to bring in F&B tenants that can operate beyond just the normal working hours for audiences who attend the shows in the theatre in the evening and users who work late in the office. We never go far from the vision of the building — plan, design and operate the building from the users’ perspective,” Sam emphasises.

The in-house management team constantly collects feedback from tenants and visitors so that the building can best serve its occupants and visitors, such as putting tables and chairs in the common area and having a convenience store and vending machines.

Sam attributes the efficient building management to the team’s forward thinking in the early planning stage such as the decision to install the Building Automation System (BAS) and Energy Efficiency Management System (EEMS) in order to monitor the building’s performance in all M&E services. Both systems, says Sam, have been of vast help in the maintenance and operations of the building — saving time, effort and cost.

Of note is the property management team, which was actually the in-house construction team previously. This gives them the advantage of being very familiar with the ins and outs of the building, and they are dedicated to see that it is in good running order now and in the future.

Get the full results of EdgeProp Malaysia’s Best Managed & Sustainable Property Awards 2020 here: https://www.edgeprop.my/awards2020

View the virtual awards ceremony here: https://buff.ly/2YFNcVg​

This story first appeared in the EdgeProp.my e-Pub on July 2, 2020. You can access back issues here.

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