Capturing the value of sustainability in a well-planned township
The need for green townships in forming a healthy yet thriving community
Global warming has been growing significantly over time, causing destruction and furthering the decline of the environment. Recent Climate Change Performance Index indicates that Malaysia has fallen to 56th in the charts. This is in comparison to climate protection performances of countries that are responsible for 90% of greenhouse gas emissions.
While travel restrictions and economic decline caused by the pandemic were expected to combat climate change by almost 6% in 2020, this change is only temporary. When the world economy recovers from the pandemic, temperatures are predicted to rise again. However, the global recession presents a potential for a fundamental, structural change towards a more sustainable approach, one that benefits both the community and the planet. And with that comes the application of green buildings, a key component to sustainability.
It emphasises on the protection, usage and recycling of natural resources to promote public health and ensures the safety and general welfare of urban people. Understandably, human activities such as transportation, development and infrastructure have to be balanced through the cautious usage and conservation of natural resources. How do we cope with global warming? It starts with our home and the community we live in.
Throughout the years, climate change continues to impact our lives, some in very detrimental ways. Hence, the need for sustainable practices has become vital. Sustainability is more than just a consideration towards profit. It creates an enormous effect on society and the environment, ensuring the ability of our future generations to procure their own needs.
The demand for green elements such as green spaces and energy-efficient initiatives are growing tremendously. It is revealed that the condition of residential homes is determined by the spaces surrounding them. There has been an increased awareness that well-designed, well-managed green spaces adjacent to and within homes are critical to keeping communities liveable while substantially contributing to a quality standard of living. Sustainable townships are not only safer for the climate, but they also offer a major advantage to homeowners and investors:
Easier breathing environment
Forward-thinking sustainable property developers strive to be as environmentally conscious as possible during the construction phase. They apply paints, coatings and other sustainable materials containing less toxic emissions. This improves indoor air quality while creating a healthier environment for you and your family.
Lower utility bills
With the current pandemic and restrictions in place, more time is being spent at home, ultimately leading to more energy consumption. The incorporation of ecofriendly methods such as solar panels, switching to LED lights, insulation and the use of efficient plumbing will reduce the utility costs of your home.
A long-lasting home
Building a quality home is essential to preventing extreme renovations that waste resources and increase greenhouse emission. Green homes are made with higher quality materials, and they are built to last a lifetime.
Long-term and increased resale value
Green homes result in a higher resale value than regular homes. Not only do you spend less on utilities, but such homes can also be maintained for a longer period. As such, green homes as an investment bring greater value in return.
Live healthier and happier
Apart from reducing toxic materials, green homes provide you with the opportunity to reduce stress while encouraging a healthy lifestyle. Some green features include exceptional ventilation, better indoor air quality, as well as the enjoyment of better daylight and view of the outdoors within your living space, all of which contribute to your long term happiness and comfort.
Because of this notion, providing a quality yet sustainable township has become a primary and vital core for master community developer Sunway Property. Sunway Property integrated sustainability not only in its development and townships but also inculcates it into the daily lives of its communities. Known as Nature’s Capital City, Sunway City Iskandar Puteri in Johor is another successful development by Sunway Property, having integrated a sustainable township to meet the diverse needs of the present generation and community while accomplishing sustainable living to address environmental issues.
As much as 40% greenery or 720 acres of vegetation has been dedicated to the development. Thus, it is unsurprising that Sunway City Iskandar Puteri received the Green Building Index silver rating. To date, Sunway City Iskandar Puteri has has planted more than 12,000 trees and shrubs in its own nursery and about 4,100 trees and shrubs has been restored as part of the landscape of the township. This will positively impact the climate while promoting good health and well-being within the community.
Sunway City Iskandar Puteri chief executive officer Gerard Soosay said the introduction of sustainability into the lifestyle of Malaysians will make them more aware of the importance of conserving Mother Nature while addressing the effective usage of resources to enhance the quality of living.
“We are here to guide homebuyers in taking their first step to determine their dream homes that will benefit them as they take into account the sustainable methods to lessen their carbon footprint, allowing them to live a simpler, happier and healthier lifestyle,” he said.
Sustainability is here to play an impactful role in their developments. There are a few ways this can be implemented in the township to ensure that their self-sustained integrated development can provide a conducive environment that strongly supports the growth of the community:
Dedicated to protecting life both on land and below water, Sunway City Iskandar Puteri has preserved the 7.5mil sq ft mangrove forest along the 7km Pendas River, besides the constant water monitoring. Additionally, they are also planning to build a special buffer zone and a wildlife sanctuary to protect both the flora and fauna of the township, not forgetting constant environmental monitoring to assess the surrounding conditions.
Managing quality of indoor and outdoor environment
Sunway embraces the idea of a natural environment through the usage of natural lighting and ventilation in its interconnected malls. Outdoor, the township has developed and engineered each precinct to be self-sustaining integrated developments that promote a low carbon footprint.
Use of environmentally friendly materials
To derive clean and pure energy from the sun, 200,000 sq ft of solar panels have been installed over the roof of the Sunway Big Box Retail, which is capable of generating about 3mil watts of solar energy. Solar panels are also installed at the Sunway International School to combat greenhouse gas emissions.
“Every individual can do their part and take the right step to live sustainably while businesses can work their way towards enhancing productivity and find ways to reduce costs by identifying the most effective sustainability strategy and initiatives that will one day change our fate and lives,” concluded Gerard.
The process of creating a sustainable township may be a long ride, but the basic ingredients are already in place. More research and development will come to enhance those ingredients towards green living, ultimately pushing forth more efforts and practises among developers and the community. This, in turn, will create sustainable cities and towns for present and future generations.