GREEN CHAPTER AHEAD: The eight annual BCI Asia Top 10 Awards singled out the top ten developers and architectural firms in Malaysia with the highest aggregate value of projects on their drawing boards in 2011
The portfolios of the BCI Asia Top 10 Awards 2012’s top ten winning architectural firms with USD $8.7 billion (RM27.2 billion) worth of properties is scheduled to start construction in Malaysia this year while the portfolios of the nation’s top ten developers containing USD $3 billion (RM9.4 billion) worth of projects will also make an impact on the built environment. Combined, the consolidated figure of USD $11.7 billion (RM36.6 billion) of projects currently on the drawing board is certainly a sizable and significant amount that will contribute to the overall impact this will have on society at large.
Moving beyond mere statistics, the numbers represent the sheer volume of the total value of projects that will shape the city skylines and the built environment for Malaysia based on the BCI Asia Top 10 Awards 2012 roll-out of winners identified from leading property developers and architecture firms. Clearly, the numbers say it all.
The background work to ascertain the country’s leading top ten developers and architects come at a hugely rigorous number-crunching exercise. Consider for instance, the fact that BCI Asia, the acronym for the Building & Construction Information Asia - a regional building and construction media group as well as information specialist, conducted more than a quarter of a million interviews with architects, developers, engineers and contractors reporting on over USD $400 billion (RM1.25 trillion) worth of projects over a 12-month period from January to December last year. BCI Asia’s depth of involvement in disseminating information in the building and construction world has resulted in its acute knowledge that is the by-product of its “day-to-day” role in the market.
In a nutshell, this means that the top ten developers and architectural firms identified by sheer market acceptance and building volume as having the greatest aggregate value of projects under design in 2011 that will be constructed in 2012, also wield the most significant influence on the built environment.
BCI Asia as a group employs 400 people in 18 cities and publishes over 150,000 reports annually on future construction projects taking place in Asia-Pacific while promoting efficiency and transparency through its research services via its project-centric CRM system called LeadManager as well as its FuturArc journals.
“In the examples of projects by this year’s Top 10 Award winners, we see both innovation for great designs and long-term solutions for sustainability.
The fact that buildings are responsible for as much as one third of global greenhouse gas emissions and 40 percent of global energy used is starting to be more recognised by the market players around the world. This is a trend we are witnessing in Asia as well,” says Dr. Matthias Krups, chairman and chief executive officer of BCI Asia.
Kelvin Yong, country manager of BCI Asia Malaysia agrees, saying that by virtue of the immense responsibility that comes with the built environment, ensuring a sustainable future is paramount for the Top Ten developers and architectural firms as they are “building the Asia of tomorrow”. He adds that since the inception of the awards in 2005, it has increasingly been gaining a reputation of being a reliable source for identifying the most active practices in the region.
“The BCI Asia Top 10 Awards highlight key industry players and moves the spotlight unto the nation’s leading developers and architectural firms. The awards are bestowed to firms that will shape the built environment of tomorrow, enabling the market to better understand the important roles these firms play and their impact, both socially and on the environment,” he says.
According to him, BCI Asia has given recognition to ten of the most active architectural firms in the seven Asian countries it operates in namely Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Hong Kong SAR and Malaysia. The BCI Asia Top 10 Awards is a regional event attended by the industry’s top architects and building professionals that recognises the ten most active property developers and architectural firms building and designing the greatest volume of projects.
The BCI Asia Top 10 Awards 2012 that was held recently was a testimony of the growing stature and recognition accorded not only to the architectural projects that will shape the skylines of the city, but also by virtue of acknowledging the Top Ten developers with the most aggregate value of projects, it also recognises the impact on the built environment these developments will have on a regional scale.
The Top Ten developers recognised with the BCI Asia Top 10 Developers Award 2012 were Dijaya Corporation Bhd, IJM Land Berhad, Mah Sing Group Berhad, Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (PKNS), Sime Darby Property Berhad, Nadayu Properties Bhd, NAZA TTDI Sdn Bhd, SP Setia Berhad, Sunway Berhad and IOI Properties Berhad.
The BCI Asia Top 10 Awards for 2012 in the architecture category meanwhile was presented to Akipraktis, ArchiCentre Sdn Bhd, Arkitek MAA Sdn Bhd, ATSA Architects Sdn Bhd, B.L.
Tay Architect, BEP Akitek Sdn Bhd, KAZ Akitek Sdn Bhd, NWKA Architects Sdn Bhd, SA Architects Sdn Bhd and VERITAS Architects Sdn Bhd.
Revisiting Kuala Lumpur for the eight round this year, the annual awards was the second time in which the BCI Asia Top 10 Developers Award winners recognising the nation’s busiest developers were announced. The awards was expanded last year for the first time to include the category of Top Ten developers apart from previously only awarding the Top Ten architectural firms. In addition to the BCI Asia Top 10 Awards, the FuturArc Prize (International Green Design competition) and FuturArc Green Leadership Award (International Awards for Green Built Projects) were also announced.
The fifth annual FuturArc Prize 2012 was awarded to entries from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Phillippines, Singapore and Thailand. Representing Asia’s foremost Green Building Design Competition across Asia-Pacific calling for a rethink of the Man-Nature equilibrium according to the design theme for this year conducted by a panel of international jurors, the FuturArc Prize saw no announcement of winners from Malaysia.
Back for its third year, the FuturArc Green Leadership Award 2012 recognising the contribution of the teams behind Green built projects demonstrating “the best in innovation and environmental stewardship in architecture” for sustainable designs or green built projects in the different countries that BCI Asia operates in went to local architectural firm, ArchiCentre Sdn Bhd representing Malaysia.
Based on the performances in terms of numbers and recent developments of projects undertaken by the Top Ten recipients for both developers and architectural firms, Krups believes that Malaysia’s construction sector is now undergoing value-added benefits to its infrastructure as seen in the “significant boost” that will result from the “hugely significant MRT project.” “Not only in terms of volume has Malaysia a lot to show for: (The) Green building (concept) is alive and well – and booming – in Malaysia. I checked the numbers for last year and found almost twice as many green-rated projects in Malaysia than in Singapore, including ratings for the Green Building Index (GBI), Green Mark, Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) and the Green Star.
“I take this as a clear sign that Malaysia is taking on a leading role in (designing) sustainable buildings in the region.
It gives me great satisfaction to note that Top Ten architects and developers are right in the middle of the action: I found that 21 per cent and 14 per cent of all green-certified projects in Malaysia respectively were in fact planned and/or delivered by the Top Ten architects and developers,” he observes.
BCI Asia Top 10 Awards 2012 has indeed come a long way from its inception in 2005. Conceived to recognise the architectural firms that had the greatest impact on the built environment then, the awards now also recognises the Top Ten developers exerting the most impact on the built environment by the sheer force of the volume of their projects.
Growing in stature and strength, the awards has become one of the most coveted prizes for architecture and the built environment in the region.
Tangible realisations of hope: “It’s interesting working in the neighbourhood. When you have an economist or a researcher who goes into these underserved communities, (he or she sees) nothing but poverty (and) social problems. But when a designer goes in, (he or she sees) nothing but opportunities.
“You know the way that we think – we imagine the future. As you begin to work with these clients, the users of the structure, you realise that you’re making tangible realisations of hope.” This quote, extracted from an interview with Cameron Sinclair, co-founder of Architecture for Humanity at the World Sustainable Building Conference 2011 in Helsinki, Finland was published in the latest issue of FuturArc.
The statement itself is a pertinent harbinger underlining the greater meaning of architecture and the building sector at large. Ultimately, the message of social architecture and the role of the built industry for the greater good of society form a fundamental part of this year’s theme of the FuturArc Prize given by BCI Asia.
Taken together in a holistic context, the larger picture encompassing the daily work of the architectural profession and building sector at large highlights the fact that these two industries, more significantly now than ever, have the power and potential to alter, improve and change people’s lives for the better.
“We have to consider some stark facts: Half the world’s population lives on less than $2.5 (RM7.80) a day and more than 1 billion people live in squatter settlements. BCI has approximately 250 team members in countries that would witness these conditions in front of their doorsteps day-in and day-out.
“It is precisely for this reason that BCI launched a project in 2010 funded with US $50,000 (RM156,300) to study construction at the so-called bottom (level) of the pyramid. Additionally, BCI is sponsoring a PhD project that carries the aim of identifying and quantifying the market potential of key building materials in the informal construction sector,” says Krups in his opening address at the recent BCI Asia Top 10 Awards 2012 held at a leading hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
“What drives us to engage in these projects is a deeply held belief that the right to decent housing for the poor is an overriding moral principle.
“In view of the increasing levels of urbanisation, the provision of affordable low impact housing is essential for paving the way towards a greater overall preservation of this planet’s natural resources and eco-systems,” he adds.
Greening of the Top Ten Awards: Guided by the advocacy for a “sustainable built environment”, this has led to the new chapter that will be introduced to the Top Ten Awards starting next year. This ensures that besides looking at the total aggregate project value that architectural and development firms have been involved in during the past 12 months, sustainability will also be a key criterion in the judging process. According to Krups, the future awards will also be taking into consideration the green building certifications of the projects.
“This change will favour those players that are showing true leadership in not only shaping the built environment but also enabling sustainable development that will benefit future generations,” analyses Krups.
Pics courtesy of BCI Asia.