City&Country: Pilot Group banking on green and luxury design for success

Contractor turned developer Pilot Group is banking on the green and luxury elements of its maiden project — the RM120 million Duta Kinrara at the highest point in Bandar Kinrara, Puchong — to make it a success.

The freehold and guarded 3.72-acre development is situated 250m above sea level behind the Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve and comprises five bungalows and 24 semi-detached houses.

Pilot Group is aiming to obtain Green Building Index (GBI), Quality Assessment System in Construction and Construction Quality Assessment System certification, among others, for the project.

Each unit in Duta Kinrara comes with a roof garden and an energy-efficient lift while selected units have an infinity swimming pool.

Pilot Group’s director C K Ang says all units are three storeys high and are targeted at high net worth individuals. The project was opened for sale at an exclusive viewing in March and sales have since reached 55%.

The semidees have a gross built-up of 5,600 sq ft and are tagged at an average price of RM3.6 million. The bungalows have a built-up of 8,600 sq ft and are selling from RM5.8 million onwards.
Currently under construction, the project is scheduled for completion in two years.

Incorporated in 1979, Pilot Group is registered with the Construction Industry Development Board Malaysia as a Grade G7 and PKK Class A Contractor for Building, Civil and Design and Build Contractor.

It had acquired the Duta Kinrara land on the open market in March last year.

“This project has a luxurious and sustainable design and residents here will be surrounded by different green elements. The roof garden will reduce heat while residents taking the lift can see the greenery through its  transparent glass walls. The lifts by Schindler are part of our green efforts,” Ang tells City & Country.

Antah Schindler Sdn Bhd’s director and head of new installation business Michael Kok says the new lift model — Schindler 3300 AP — that will be fitted in the Duta Kinrara homes cuts energy consumption by up to 40% compared with a lift with a conventional geared motor.

“The car [of the lift] is made of honeycomb metal instead of ordinary metal as it is lighter, at between 200kg and 250kg. The belt is made of a polyethylene and rubber compound instead of metal, which helps reduce noise. A smaller motor is used for the light, which further reduces energy consumption and space. The lift switches off when not in use.

“Schindler 3300 AP also has a glass touch-sensitive system,” he explains.

Honeycomb metal is natural or man-made and has the geometry of a honeycomb. This minimises the amount of material used, which means minimal weight and minimal material cost. Honeycomb metal is also used to build aircraft.

If there is a power failure, the lift automatically stops at the nearest floor and opens.

As the lift’s mechanism is installed in the doorframe and the motor is fixed at the top of the lift shaft, there is no unsightly structure on the roof unlike in an ordinary lift.

“As the top of the lifts in our units is flat, we use it for our solar-heating system,” says Ang.

Schindler’s market mainly comprises medium high-rises and high-rises but its lifts are increasingly being installed in low-rise buildings like bungalows, 3 to 4-storey villas and shophouses in Malaysia, Kok says.

“It is not just the lifestyle but having a lift at home is more convenient, especially for the older folks. Lifts are slowly becoming a necessity as the population gets older,” he adds.

Ang says: “Despite the higher prices, we want to give our customers a quality product with good finish. We look beyond the price factor. After all, branding and after-sales services are very important.”

Prior to this project, Pilot Group and Antah Schindler had worked together for eight years in the construction of buildings where hypermarkets like Giant, Mydin, Carrefour and Tesco hypermarkets are housed.

Future projects

Pilot Group is looking to launch another two projects — one in Kuala Lumpur and the other one in Melbourne, Australia — by this year-end that will also focus on green features.

It is looking to launch the Mesui serviced suites in Bukit Ceylon, Kuala Lumpur. Located in front of the Somerset Hotel, this freehold project sits on a 11,600 sq ft plot in Jalan Mesui.

The 36-storey building has a food and beverage section, a fully automatic car park, ser­viced suites, a recreation and rejuvenating deck, serviced office suites, a sky lounge and a chillout deck. The developer is working on obtaining GBI and Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority’s Green Mark certification for the project.

“We will appoint an international hotelier to run and operate the serviced suites. There will be a recreational and rejuvenating deck on the 23rd floor while the spa and gym will have views of the KL Tower and KLCC. From the 33rd floor onwards, there will be serviced office floors that MNCs are keen to take up,” Ang says.

In Melbourne, the company is developing 15 townhouses on a 3,418 sq m site. Located 12km from the central business district, the freehold project is targeted at Malaysian investors.


This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 855, Apr 25-May 1, 2011

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