Mix of ‘Zen’ and green living

It is not unusual nowadays to see developers jumping on the “green” bandwagon in their new developments. However, newcomer Sentral City (M) Sdn Bhd has gone one step further by incorporating a touch of Zen in its green concept development in Puchong.

And though the more sceptical may consider this a mish-mash of conflicting design philosophies, Sentral City appears to have achieved a harmonious unity that appeals to potential buyers of its maiden project, the Zen Residence @ Asplenium condominium.

Since its launch in mid-November, the condo development has seen a 90% take-up for its 143-unit Tower A. Tower B, opened for booking in March, has seen 35% of its 143 units sold.

The Zen Residence @ Asplenium project, which has a gross development value (GDV) of about RM100 million, was officially launched in February and construction started the following month. “We have received overwhelming response from buyers, especially those staying in Puchong, who make up half of the total buyers. The rest are investors from the Klang Valley, Subang, Shah Alam and Klang,” says Pang Swee Haw, general manager of Sentral City.

Besides the green living appeal, the other attraction is the special financing package. “Purchasers can own a unit at an initial cost of RM8,000 and enjoy zero-financial burden during the three-year construction period. We will try our best to deliver it within two years as we are bearing the progressive interest cost for each unit,” says Pang, adding that the interest will cost the company RM3.5 million for the three years.

Other goodies thrown in are built-in kitchen cabinet, glass shower screens, centralised water heaters for all bathrooms, air-conditioners for the living rooms and bedrooms and a home alarm system for each unit.

The Zen philosophy
With its Zen living concept, the developer seeks to offer calmness and peace to residents, especially after a hectic working day.

“To us, Zen is a form of philosophy, and it means embracing a lifestyle that emphasises nature and tranquillity,” he adds.

Scheduled for completion in 2012, Zen Residence @ Asplenium consists of two 21-storey blocks sitting on 4.08-acres of leasehold land, which was acquired by one of the company’s partners some years ago.

Built-ups range from 1,178 to 1,493 sq ft. The biggest duplex units, sitting on each side of the two towers, are at 2,550 sq ft. Each unit has three to five rooms. The condo units are priced from RM272,900 to RM750,000.

Sentral City has introduced the “quadrant” security system whereby all units are clustered into groups of four and share a common access door on each floor. There are two quadrants or eight units per floor, accessible via three lifts equipped with CCTV and a card access system. Residents can only access designated floors.

“To reach an individual unit’s main door, a resident who lives within the quadrant must first pass through a common security door equipped with CCTV and a card access system. This will provide an additional level of private security,” says Pang, adding that security is vital for “peaceful living”.

To provide lower-density living, every unit is a corner unit with a semidee layout. In addition, a 12,000 sq ft clubhouse will be built. The clubhouse will feature two squash courts and a gymnasium on its first floor. A cantilever-styled cafeteria will also be built on the ground floor, with an extended dining deck practically hanging over the swimming pool.

The project is located off the 14th-mile Jalan Puchong. It is accessible via the LDP, Kesas Highway, NPE, Bukit Jalil highway and the dual-lane Jalan Puchong that leads to Cyberjaya. Nearby are Bandar Puteri, IOI Mall, IOI Boulevard and Tesco.

Environmentally-friendly features
Sentral City wants its maiden development to incorporate environmentally-friendly features. “We want our project to incorporate green elements to promote healthier living,” says Pang. Among these is the “hot spring” offered in the clubhouse. The two hot springs use  solar power to generate heat from the centralised water storage tank for the whole system. “This is actually a Japanese-styled jacuzzi inspired by the hot springs in Japan and set in the middle of Japanese rocks and bamboo garden. The jacuzzis are housed separately for each gender.

“In using this system, not only do we save electricity costs in the long term, we are also doing our bit to help conserve nature,” he adds. Though one should not expect any mineral-rich hot water boiling with fumes of natural sulphur, each hot spring, measuring 3m by 5m, can accommodate about 10 to 16 people for a soothing hot water spa experience.

Another interesting green feature is the cantilever-styled master bathrooms, with sizes ranging from 25 to 40 sq ft, that come partly with a glass wall. The spacious “sky shower” bathroom is designed to allow maximum natural lighting.

To add more greenery, the project offers three different types of gardens, namely the scented garden, Zen garden and the healing garden. The first will be decorated with different types of scented flowers and shrubs in an open lawn concept. The second will have a walking path filled with rocks, while the healing garden will be decorated with bamboo grooves such as stone and yellow bamboos, a Japanese tea area and a reflexology path.

And there’s more to the green concept — Pang says the company will harvest rainwater from a “reflective” pool at the lobby, to water the plants in the gardens.

Moving forward, Sentral City is seeking to replicate its successful Zen-cum-green living development to other parts of the country. “We will try to promote the Zen concept of living incorporating green features to conserve nature,” says Pang.


This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 755, May 18 – 24, 2009.



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