October 28, 2015

Factory Extension a Stunning Example of Sustainable Construction

Factory Extension a Stunning Example of Sustainable Construction

What looks like a park or community space is actually a factory in Malaysia - and it's even greener than it looks. Photo Credit: Chaosrain via Blogspot.com

Reflective panels that capture the sun’s light, a roof that gets watered, and a central tower shaded by swathes of creeping ivy characterize a recent extension to the JST Malaysia factory in Johor.  The project aims to use the power of rainwater, sunlight, wind, geothermal heat and vegetation to minimize carbon emissions. It is, altogether, a stunning example of sustainable construction.

Designed by Ryuichi Ashizawa Architect & Associates as a sustainable factory, the majority of this structure is topped by a large green roof.  The soil and grass above keep the lower floor of the factory from becoming too hot, saving on energy costs while absorbing CO2 from the air.  A central tower rises above this raised piece of grassland, shrouded in vines of ivy that are trained to grow up wires and create a leafy façade shading the tower and encouraging employees to stroll on vine-veiled catwalks around each floor.

Down below, reflective panels bring sunlight into the lower floor that increases worker productivity while reducing the need for fluorescent lighting.  Arabesque columns throughout the structure are used for support, as well as to pump water upwards and nourish the green roof above.

The building is a sign of the times – sustainable construction is becoming popular in Malaysia of late.  Green housing projects are being sold out before they are even completed, initiatives for sustainably-erected buildings are encouraging developers to consider the environment, and a national standard for green building (the Green Building Index or GBI) has given businesses guidelines to work with and goals to shoot for in creating a greener urban environment for Malaysia.

Buildings like the JST Malaysia factory provide inspiration for this growing movement – their inspiring ingenuity and beautiful design leading by example a trend that could improve Malaysia’s future economically, socially and environmentally at the same time.

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