Heriot-Watt University is Malaysia's first purpose-built green campus

The construction of Heriot-Watt's new £35m purpose-built green campus in Malaysia has been featured in a leading publication in environment and sustainable businesses in Asia Pacific.

The construction of the Malaysia Campus, which started in May 2012, is well advanced with significant elements of the structure now complete. Over the last three months considerable progress has been made in the interior design and work has now started on the construction of an arching green roof from ground to fourth floor.

The new campus will create space for up to 4,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students to study a range of courses providing UK higher education qualification in science, engineering, business, mathematics and design.

First purpose built green campus

The first purpose-built green campus will open its doors in Malaysia's administrative capital Putrajaya in September 2014. Located on the waterfront commercial district of Precinct 5, the campus will offer integrated educational facilities combined with  a small number of commercial outlets.

The campus building has been designed to allow buildings behind the campus, higher than five storeys, a lake view. These upcoming developments include apartments and commercial properties to complement the existing hotel and water sports complexes.

Hijjas Kasturi Associates won the tender for the design of the project on a competition hosted by Putrajaya Holdings Sdn Bhd, the company behind the delivery of the Malaysia Campus.

Serina Hijjas, Director of the firm, said, "The key concept of the project is to combine nature and technology. We also want to bring in more daylight and natural ventilation. This is an open campus so there is a lot more daylight and cross ventilation in the classrooms."

An iconic curved green roof

The March edition of Green Prospects Asia features the new campus and its arching green roof curving from the ground to the fourth floor. According to the publication, "It is expected to be a landmark feature in Putrajaya."

The top of the roof will act as an observation deck accessible from the glass lift from the ground floor. Serina Hijjas, Director Hijjas Kasturi Associates adds, "The concept of this green roof is that it holds within it hidden treasures. The inspiration is that you find a space you occupy that is hidden underground and connectivity is important for a university campus, from bridges to internal walkways."

The 300 metre long, 30 metre wide green roof, the first of its kind in Malaysia, requires the use of particular soil at various parts, waterproofing, irrigation system and suitable grass.

"Because of the 30 degree curvature on the green roof, the soil density on the roof will vary. The combination of varied types of soil, grass and irrigation is important to avoid erosion. The green roof will also be subject to hydraulics tests.", says Arfizan Arshad, project architect from Hijjas Kasturi Associates.

The green roof will feature prominently as properties over five storeys high located behind the campus will be able to enjoy the scenic view of the green roof as well as overlooking the waterfront.

Other green features

Rajendran Muthiah from Mechanical and engineering firm Perunding Wangsa Sdn Bhd, says, "The campus will include a built-in control system driven by overall thermal transfer value which essentially measures the energy consumption of air conditioners.

"The campus lighting will be €˜powered' by the maximum use of natural daylight through passive design such as natural glass glazing with no blinds installed. The building will also feature a rainwater harvesting system."

The air-conditioning system used for the campus will be a combination of variable refrigerant volume (VRV) and gas district cooling (GDC) systems in a cooling strategy which optimises the usage of air-conditioning in a building.

Click here  to view pictures of Heriot-Watt Malaysia green campus.