Sime Darby Idea House, Malaysia

Blending the latest renewable energy technology into a traditional Malay kampong house design

  • South-East Asia’s first carbon-neutral home; 450 sq m
  • Aurecon's role: ESD consultant
  • Client: Sime Darby 

A prototype developed by leading Malaysian multinational company Sime Darby, Idea House is South-East Asia’s first carbon neutral home, featuring an array of innovative design elements that can be employed in future sustainable community developments in the region.

Aurecon was engaged as the environmental sustainable development (ESD) consultant for the 450 square metre project, which aimed to blend the latest renewable energy technology into a traditional Malay kampong house design.

Aurecon conducted extensive computer simulations to optimise our design concepts, including daylight simulations, thermal comfort analysis and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to assess natural ventilation and capitalise on prevailing winds.

Vegetation was planted around the house to provide shade, reduce heat, combat high humidity and filter pollutants. Deep overhangs modelled on kampong houses also provide shade and protection from tropical storms.

Design features that take advantage of the tropical heat include floor plate angling for greater daylight penetration, solar photovoltaic cells on the roof, and a continuous roof and wall facade built with a lightweight luxalon sandwich product.

A rainwater harvesting system was installed to meet nearly all the household’s water needs, while grey water will be used for irrigation.

The house was built using eco-friendly material with a light thermal mass and a minimum 80 per cent recycled content.

Construction materials restricted to 300-millimetre multiples were tailored to the house’s modular design, promoting cross-construction integration and minimising waste.

Building was completed in five months, halving the design time and reducing normal construction time by 75 per cent compared with conventional residential properties.

Energy savings equating to 21 per cent of power typically used by a family of five have been achieved and the surplus is being fed back to the grid.

To date Idea House has won the following list of international awards:

  • Winner of BCI Asia Green Leadership Citation Award 2011 
  • Awarded BCA Green Mark Platinum Rating 2011
  • Winner of Best Green Development (Future) at the Cityscape Asia Awards 2010
  • Winner of Cityscape Dubai Environmental Award 2009
  • Shortlisted for the prestigious World Architecture Festival awards 2011. 

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