The Energy Commission’s Diamond Building in Putrajaya, Malaysia has won the top prize at the ASEAN Energy Awards (AEA) 2012 held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The seven-storey Diamond Building is the first office building in Malaysia to earn a Green Building Index platinum rating and the first building outside Singapore to obtain the Green Mark platinum rating. The rating is equivalent in status – though measurement and criteria are different – to a 6-star Green Star rating.
The Diamond Building, designed by architects NR Architect and Dr Soontom Boonyatikam with IEN Consultants as the sustainability engineer, uses mostly natural light and its energy consumption is about one-third that of a normal building of comparable size.
Absolutely everything in the building is made from sustainable and energy-saving materials, from energy-efficient computers and lighting systems to non-toxic organic cleaning materials.
The unique building is self-shading for direct solar radiation and the facades and atrium are optimised to direct diffused daylight into the building. The crown of the atrium has spectrally selective glazing and a dynamic shading system so that balanced cool daylight is admitted to the atrium in response to outdoor lighting conditions.
It also features an integrated cooling system with cooling coils embedded in the concrete floor slabs. This allows for cooling during the night, further increasing the indoor comfort, with floors and ceilings having a surface temperature of 19 to 21 degrees Celsius.
The facts speak for themselves:
- Savings of roughly RM1mil annually in operating costs – about RM950,000 from energy efficiency and RM45,000 from solar power generation.
- Reduced carbon dioxide emissions of 1,400 tonnes per year, equivalent to taking 700 average cars off the road.
- A building energy index of 65kWh per square metre per year without photovoltaics and 56kWh per square metre per year with photovoltaics. The index identifies the annual amount of electricity used per square metre of a building.
- 71.4kWp of photovoltaic cells, which yield about 1,400kWh per square metre per year.
- Energy savings of 53 to 61 per cent in terms of overall electricity usage, including lighting and computers, and 34% in cooling.
- Lighting savings of 77 per cent compared to the Green Mark base, though energy consumption is expected to increase once task lights are distributed. The Green Mark base uses a reference building which is representative of buildings in the country.
- Rainwater harvesting also saves about 70 to 80 per cent on water usage.
- Solar power supplies about 10 per cent of the energy used in the building.
The eco-friendly measures cost RM3.4mil – about six per cent of the total construction cost. The estimated payback time is three-and-a-half years.
The AEA, which began in 2000, is an annual awards programme that recognises “outstanding work for excellence, creativity, practicality and dedication to a cause in the field of energy.”