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Monday, October 25, 2010

Environmental preservation wins top marks

KUALA LUMPUR: Since organising the inaugural Malaysia Property Award (MPA) in 1992, the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) has been striving to raise the standard of the local property sector through this annual event.

Tougher qualifying rules and transparent judging processes over the years have ensured that many local property players keep with the times and also on par with the world’s top class developers.

Yeow ... ‘MPA award has set benchmark on how today’s local developers embark on their projects.’

The awards, which is today considered the “Oscars” of the local property industry, had set the benchmark on how today’s local developers embarked on their projects, said FIABCI-Malaysia president Yeow Thit Sang.

“Local developers know the kind of awareness winning this award brings. Many of them are tailoring their designs to these (FIABCI) standards. They look at our guidelines on how to improve their projects.”

Over the years, FIABCI Malaysia has placed increasing emphasis on environmental awareness and preservation. Initially, the impact of a development on the environment used to account for 10% of the judging criteria for the MPA. This year, it’s 25%.

“Environmental awareness is a global concern and it’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure everything they do has a minimal impact (on the environment),” said Yeow.

He said many local developers today were cautious with the way their projects impacted the surrounding landscape.

Yeow cited Mulpha International Bhd’s Pinggiran Bayou Village Homes, the winner in the best residential development (low-rise) category at the 2007 MPA.

He said prior to construction, the company took great pains to ensure minimal impact on the surrounding ecosystem.

Apart from preserving the environment, Yeow said many developers also designed their projects so that the surrounding elements actually became the highlight of the projects.

“Today, houses built are no longer just boxes on pieces of land. They’re a lifestyle masterpiece.”

Yu ... ‘Environmental awareness will account for more than 25% of the judging criteria at next year’s MPA.’

FIABCI Asia Pacific executive director Yu Kee Su said environmental awareness would account for more than 25% of the judging criteria at next year’s MPA.

For the first time this year, the judging process comprised a three-tier system as part of the organiser’s efforts to raise the bar of the participants, he said. In previous years, the judging process comprised only two levels.

“We evaluate the judging process every year. We get feedback and try to improve ourselves,” he said.

The first tier consists of site visits by evaluators who are senior personnel from the real estate industry. The second tier comprises a jury of senior representatives from various organisations within the property industry while the third tier comprises independent judges from various sectors.

FIABCI Malaysia will be organising the 2010 MPA on Nov 11 in Kuala Lumpur with Malayan Banking Bhd as the official sponsor.

The categories to be contested are: Property Man of The Year, Master Plan, Hotel Development, Office Development, Public Sector, Residential Development (low rise and high rise), Resort Development, Retail Development and Special Award for National Contribution.

Winners of the MPA in their relevant categories will represent Malaysia the following year at the International Prix d’Excellence, an annual competition that honours the world’s best property projects.

By The Star

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