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CIBSE Global Chair Conference

In November, Graduate Consultant Erato Vasileiou from the Energy and Sustainability Division of HDR | Hurley Palmer Flatt, attended the CIBSE Global Chair Conference in Malaysia, as the Vice Chair of the CIBSE Young Engineers Network. It was a packed agenda for the group made up of 25 members of the CIBSE YEN Regions Chair and Vice Chairs, the ASHRAE Executive Committee Chair and the ASHRAE Malaysia Committee Chair.

The Herriot Watt University Malaysian Campus

Following the welcome conference hosted/presented by CIBSE President, Lynne Jack and CIBSE YEN Global chair, Alexandra Logan, the group visited the Herriot Watt University Malaysian campus which is based in the new Low Carbon Green City of Putrajaya, known as ‘the elevated city’. In Putrajaya, the principles of sustainable development have been applied at the early stages of layout planning and urban design. Serbia Hijja of HIJJA Architects and planners then gave a presentation on Putrajaya City’s sustainable vision, urban planning, infrastructure, energy and carbon reduction and how environmental sustainability can fully materialise when there is a complete and holistic ecosystem that allows for it. The presentation also gave an insight into the building’s environmental and passive design measures, as well as its functions. Also, in Putrajaya, the delegation visited the Energy Commission ‘Diamond Building’ with its unique diamond shape representing an optimum design approach to help achieve energy efficiency. The building symbolises transparency, value and durability characteristics that represent the energy commissions role and mission as a regulatory body.

The Energy Commission ‘Diamond Building’

Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur

The group then went on to visit the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the tallest twin towers in the world, reaching 452 meters above street level. The sky bridge between the two towers is located on the 41st floor and weighs approximately 750 tonnes; it is a functional component which facilitates movement in unusual wind conditions and helps to reduce long term fatigue due to the resonance of the legs between the two towers. Next up, the tour took the group to the Eco World development in Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC) Construction site, it is the biggest site redevelopment in the last year and is going to include 9 buildings, with the BBCC signature tower being one of them.

Travelling to Singapore, they then visited the Gardens by the Bay, a great project designed to highlight Singapore’s progress in green technology and commitment to innovation. The project has won 16 awards, including The Landscape Institute Award in  2013 for the design of a large scale public development. It holds a design of 18 supertrees (25-50m high) to act as vertical gardens that successfully blend nature, technology, environmental managements and imagination. 

The Gardens by the Bay

The final tour on the trip was to the iconic green airport of Singapore, Jewel Changi Airport, which aptly demonstrates a  biophilic approach to design. The airport combines the two environments of an intense marketplace and a paradise garden. Based on the geometry of a Torus, the building shape has a glass roof at its heart, which acts as an oculus that showers through a primary multi storey garden. The HSBC rain vortex is the world’s tallest indoor waterfall of natural rainwater that flows at a rate of more than 10,000 gallons per minute, helping to provide cooling and airflow in the landscape environment.

Overall, the trip was a great experience that provided the delegates with high level information, multiple inspirational visits including visual explanations about environmental and energy efficient design, and sustainable master planning of structural and building services of the most exceptional and iconic buildings in Singapore and Malaysia. The trip also provided an opportunity for all of the regional chairs and Vice Chairs to present the previous and future actions of the regional committees.