South Korea and Malaysia Building Up To A Green Tomorrow

South Korea and Malaysia Building Up To A Green Tomorrow

South Korea confirmed its position as the Asian nation most determined to attain a low carbon future before anyone else with its Green Tomorrow plan set out by leading architectural firm Samoo at the second annual Green Building Asia event in Singapore last month, while Malaysia showed that it means business with its home grown Green Building Index and the work of Serina Hijjas, along with the important role played by IEN Consultants.

At the Green Building Asia Conference in Singapore 23/24 February, three presentation stood out amongst the others. To an audience of architects, engineers, developers, as well as Government representatives – and including abc carbon express editor – the two days involved a wealth of vital information and case studies of achievements from different countries in Asia Pacific.

Confirming the leadership position of South Korea was the presentation by two architects from the leading South Korean firm SAMOO, Byung-chul Shin and Michael Park. Some glimpses of what they covered are highlighted here.

Then Malaysia had its chance, and it had an ideal representative in the form of Serina Hijjas, Director of Hijjas Kasturi, Architects, who is also a contributor to the country’s Green Building Index.  Reinforcing Malaysia’s advance in this field was Poul Kristensen, Managing Director of Ien Consultants, who have been involved in a number of green building projects in Malaysia. More on Malaysia’s work follows:

Background on South Korea’s work on sustainable buildings:

In South Korea, as reported by Sung-Woo Shin of Hanyang University in a 2008 paper entitled “Current Work & Future Trends for Sustainable Buildings in South Korea”, a significant number of policies aimed at supporting a sustainable building related system has been implemented by the South Korean government.

These policies include those aimed at reducing the amount of raw materials used, saving energy, reducing waste, and improving building and material durability. As Professor Shin adds that other systems, such as those that rate a building’s energy efficiency and certify green buildings, were also created.

Shin says that as of late in South Korea, the number of green technology applications for differing types of construction has increased, most especially in the application of energy reduction technologies like natural lighting and insulation quality improvements.

As of 2006, according to data presented by Shin, 217 buildings in South Korea have been certified as being green, from a low of only three in 2002 to a high of 163 in 2006. The bulk of successfully certified buildings are multiple-family houses (171), while 32 office buildings, seven schools and seven mixed-use residential buildings also gained certification.

UK Trade and Investment reports that the South Korean government is making a very strong push towards the establishment of sustainable housing and buildings by initiating a multibillion-dollar green-building package. New homes are scheduled to be carbon-neutral by 2016, and there are commitments to “green” 1 billion existing homes and construct an equal number of new ones. Also, repair and restoration businesses are booming, and plenty of green initiatives are being offered as well

Korea, selected as a target nation of the second commitment period for the reduction of greenhouse gases by 2013, is making efforts to reduce the production of greenhouse gases in all industrial fields.

In particular, Korea is working hard to prepare for measures on the national level to reduce energy consumption and to limit the creation of carbon dioxide in the construction industry, which is responsible for over 40% of all carbon dioxide production. In order to pursue sustainability in the construction industry, existing development-focused construction activities must be transformed via a new paradigm focusing on sustainable development through the adoption of sustainable policies by the government and the development and dissemination of sustainable construction technologies.

For such reasons, this study examined sustainable policies, research, and education recently used in Korea to identify future trends in the sustainable construction industry toward which Korea should strive in terms of governmental policy, research, education, and projects.

Green Tomorrow, located in Yongin, South Korea, was designed by Samoo Architects & Engineers.

The main concept of this project is to adopt the sustainable design techniques into a traditional Korean architecture, promoting public awareness on energy saving and proposing a prototype of a green urban housing unit that accommodates a living space best suited for Korean climate and lifestyle. The south of the corridor is designed for regularly occupied spaces, which are living room and bedroom, whereas the North of the corridor is considered for temporarily used spaces.

On the far east side of the building lies the Korean Room, which resembles a traditional Korean summer pavilion, which is normally located near a lake as an independent entity in full openness. This traditional Korean architecture attempts to provide an eco-friendly space. The gallery space of this Korean room acts as a buffer space for energy savings and, therefore, double skinned facet is installed. The interior environment of the building is designed to raise the comfort level by using the optimal amount of heat, light, and air.

Green Tomorrow

The sustainable design starts from the coexistence with the nature. Besides the direct and specific
sustainable design such as energy saving, low carbon emission and resources recycling, energy-
efficient design becomes on demand in terms of design process, construction, and maintenance.
As far as the sustainable design is concerned, appreciation on the characteristics of the land and
the climatic environment should come first. Especially, in South Korea with distinctive four seasons
and large temperature differences in the summer and winter, it is critical to utilize the passive
design in spring and autumn to minimize energy consumption. To that end, the targeted amount
should be set first, and then, the passive design be applied to minimize the excess load to create
the pleasant indoor environment as much as possible. This, in turn, leads to the utilization of the
active design and renewable energy.

Green Tomorrow has implemented the environment-friendly approaches by the passive design in
its initial schematic design. And Korea’s traditional concept has been introduced in this project.
This has resulted in the realization of the eco-friendly architecture for the first time in Korea and
raised the public awareness level on the sustainable design by acquiring the globally-
acknowledged LEED Platinum certification for the first time in Northeastern Asia.




Green Building Index

A Green building focuses on increasing the efficiency of resource use – energy, water, and materials – while reducing building impact on human health and the environment during the building’s lifecycle, through better sitting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal. Green Buildings should be designed and operated to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on its surroundings.

Ar Serina Hijjas is a senior practicing Architect and Director of Hijjas Kasturi Associates Sdn, an architectural practice based in Kuala Lumpur. Ar Serina graduated from Bartlett School of Architecture and University of Sydney followed by a three year working stint with Foster & Partners.

Ar Serina has been practicing for 20 years with an active interest in the area of Energy Efficiency and Sustainability and has received three Asean Energy Efficiency Awards for Telekom Malaysia Headquarters Building (2005), Securities Commission HQ (2003) and the Putrajaya International Convention Centre.

Ar Serina was on the first SIRIM Working Committee for MS1525:2001 and is a member of the PAM Sustainability Committee.

PAM’s architects have over the years been developing and working more and more towards a more sustainable and green architecture. In 2008, the need for a localised Green Building rating tool became more evident especially in the light of increasing demand from building end-users for Green-rated buildings that would not overly and adversely contribute to the destruction of the environment. This was also inline with the objectives of many companies today where good corporate social responsibility (CSR) calls for them to only support environmentally friendly initiatives including their office premises.

In August 2008, PAM Council endorsed and approved the formation of the new Sustainability Committee who was tasked primarily to develop and set-up the Green Building Index and the accompanying Panel for certification and accreditation of Green-rated buildings.

In addition, Greenbuildingindex Sdn Bhd was incorporated in February 2009, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PAM and the Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia (ACEM), to administrate GBI accreditation and training of GBI Facilitators and Certifiers.

GBI accreditation for buildings is separated into three tiers. At the highest level is the GBI Accreditation Panel, the independent regulatory body for GBI accreditation. At the intermediate level are the GBI Certifiers, consisting of experienced professionals that conduct the assessment and accreditation of project submissions. On the front-end level are the GBI Facilitators, professionals who together with clients and design team to enhance their projects to meet or exceed GBI rating system requirements.


IEN Consultants

This is just one of IEN Consultants projects.

 The new low cost carrier terminal (LCCT), situated next to KLIA airport, is targeting to become a highly sustainable development with certification under LEED (Gold) and the Green Building Index (GBI). IEN Consultants has been engaged by the main contractor, UEM – Bina Puri J.V., to achieve the desired green building design targets under this design and build contract for the Main Terminal Building as and Satellite buildings.

Another is the building for SunPower:

The administration building for the ½ km long solar photovoltaic plant built by SunPower is targeting to achieve the first LEED Platinum certification rating in Malaysia. IEN Consultants has been engaged by the contractor, Hexagon, to ensure that the building project achieves it targeted green building certification. The building completion is early 2011.


One Response to “South Korea and Malaysia Building Up To A Green Tomorrow”

  1. Thanks for the share! I am a communicator for project Advanced Technology and Design Korea and fully support the globalization of Korea Tech and Design related content. Green and the Green Tomorrow plan is definitely a topic I follow so thank you for the post and keep up the blogging! Come visit the blog (,, or follow us on twitter (@advancedtechkr).

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