The ASEAN Centre for Energy has awarded its top prize in the ASEAN Energy Awards (AEA) to the Diamond Building, the eight-story headquarters of the Energy Commission (Suruhanjaya Tenaga) of Malaysia in Putrajaya. The passive-design, energy-efficient structure is designed to use mostly natural light and to consume about one-third the amount of energy of a conventional building of its size. The building, completed in 2009, earned Platinum ratings under Malaysia's Green Building Index (GBI) and Singapore's Green Mark program.
The Diamond Building (Bangunan Berlian in Malay), so named for its unique shape, is topped with photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, which generate about 10 percent of the building’s energy. Rainwater harvesting systems save about 70 to 80 percent of water usage. The Diamond Building’s inverted pyramid configuration allows more roof space for solar panels and more ground space for greenery. The centerpiece of the building is a large central atrium designed to admit and regulate daylighting using “an automatic roller-blind system responsive to the intensity as well as the angle of the incident sunlight,” according to the Energy Commission.
According to Allan Koay, writing for The Star, the Diamond Building was designed by NR Architect of Kuala Lumpur, with Thai architect Dr. Soontorn Boonyatikam serving as principal for the project. IEN Consultants of Kuala Lumpur provided sustainable design consulting and engineering services.
IEN says that the building “is self-shading for direct solar radiation,” with facades and an atrium “optimized to direct diffuse daylight into the building.” The group says that “The crown of the atrium has spectrally selective glazing and a dynamic shading system balanced so that cool daylight is admitted to the atrium in response to outdoor lighting conditions.” The building’s integrated cooling system utilizes coils embedded in the concrete floor slabs that keep floor and ceiling temperatures between 19 and 21 degrees Celsius.
ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, is an international body made up of ten countries in Southeast Asia. The ASEAN Centre for Energy, sponsor of the energy awards program, is an intergovernmental cooperative organization representing the ASEAN nations, established to initiate collective projects focused around energy. The Energy Commission of Malaysia is the country’s energy regulatory body located in the city of Putrajaya, the seat of Malaysia’s federal government.