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Friday, April 2, 2010

Sime plans green township

KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Property Bhd aimed to be the industry leader by introducing a new system of property development that supports carbon neutrality using renewable energy and recycled materials, said managing director Datuk Tunku Putra Badlishah.

Datuk Tunku Putra Badlishah at the signing ceremony.

“We hope to revolutionise the local market with the introduction of Sime Darby Idea House project, a carbon-neutral concept dwelling that shows how sustainable housing can be developed to minimise mankind’s impact on the environment and the depleting natural resources,” he said.

Tunku Putra said this yesterday at the signing of technical collaborative agreements between Sime Darby and some of the world’s leading green technology and solutions providers.

The tie-up brought together 16 companies that offer the best innovation, solutions and technologies available in their respective fields to improve energy efficiency in homes and reduce the consumption-limited resources.

Tunku Putra said a common house needed 18 to 22 months for completion but the Sime Darby Idea House project took only six months, using modern methods of construction (pre-fabrication and modularisation).

“This will reduce the time of construction and, at the same time, reduce the financial and resource burden,” he said, adding that the project, located at Denai Alam along Guthrie Corridor Expressway, would be open to the public early next month.

Tunku Putra said the prototype house would be rolled out for future property developments but the timeframe would depend on public demand.

“It may be costly to have that kind of house but in the long term, it will save you money as you are using renewable energy,” he said.

By The Star

Sime Darby Idea House set to be the first carbon-neutral residence in Southeast Asia

The Sime Darby Idea House. Clockwise from left: Aerial view, front view, back view

Sime Darby signed technical collaboration agreements with some of the world's leading green technology and solutions providers for its Sime Darby Idea House project on April 1.

The Sime Darby Idea House is a carbon-neutral concept dwelling to show how sustainable housing can be developed to minimise mankind’s impact on the now fragile environmental and depleting resources.

Sime Darby Property managing director Dato' Tunku Putra Badlishah (front row, fifth from left) and the 16 other partners

At the signing ceremony, Sime Darby Property was represented by its managing director Datuk Tunku Putra Badlishah, while its 16 partners to the signing include Cisco, Mesiniaga, Shimizu, Home Research Pte Ltd, MEGAMAN Electronic & Lighting Sdn Bhd, Hunter Douglas (M) Sdn Bhd, Saint-Gobain Construction Products (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd, Myhomepalm Integrated Sdn Bhd, Nippon-Paint (M) Sdn Bhd, MyZwood Sdn Bhd, Hewlett-Packard (M) Sdn. Bhd, SmartPools Sdn Bhd, Thinkscape Group, Jardine Engineering (Singapore) Pte Ltd, Jurusanwa Enterprise Sdn Bhd, W.Atelier Sdn Bhd and Melco Sales (M) Sdn Bhd.

“The first-of-its-kind in Southeast Asia, the Sime Darby Idea House was conceived as a test bed for new ideas in sustainable architecture, from which Sime Darby Property hope to incorporate the learning and technologies from this house into future development in our townships as part of our commitment to build sustainable communities," said Tunku Putra.

The Sime Darby Idea House is one of the two pilot projects for Green Building Index (GBI) certification in the residential category. “GBI is very pleased to be associated with Sime Darby and we fully support its Idea House project,” said Dr Tan Loke Mun, Chairman of the LAM/PAM Green Building and Sustainable Committee.

Cisco Systems (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd managing director Anne Abraham said, “Cisco is honoured to work with Sime Darby Property to transform the way cities and communities are developed, achieving economic, social and environmental sustainability and changing the way people work, live, play and learn in Malaysia.”

“Mesiniaga is pleased to play a key role in implementing Cisco’s Smart & Connected Communities technologies for Sime Darby’s Idea House. The benefits will take the shape of enhanced security, better energy and resource management, and a variety of community services that were once the realm of science fiction,” said Mesiniaga managing director Fathil Ismail.

Some of the green building technologies that will be incorporated into the Sime Darby Idea House are 100% recyclable roof system, rainwater harvesting system, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified timber products, certified energy efficient appliances, CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) and LED (Light-Emitting Diode) lighting system, environmentally-friendly light bulbs, solar panels and 100% recyclable kitchen cabinets, among others.

Taking into consideration the needs of Malaysian demographic and the expansion and contraction of the family nucleus, the Sime Darby Idea House has been designed with void spaces that can be filled to create further living or sleeping spaces as the family expands, or can be removed in the future as the children grow up and leave home. The promotion of clean renewable energies in the scheme also mitigates the reliance on artificial or mechanical means of lighting and cooling, thus saving on energy bills.

The Sime Darby Idea House is still under construction, but was already a winner in the Environmental Category in the Cityscape Awards 2009 in Dubai. It is hoped that the collaboration between the partners will forge the creation of what will be a benchmark in sustainable design and a precedent for Malaysian lifestyle living for the 21st century.

By The Star

Buy property stocks, says RHB

Investors should buy Malaysian developer stocks such as IJM Land Bhd, Sunway City Bhd and Mah Sing Group Bhd because of rebounding demand and improved margins, according to RHB Research Institute Sdn Bhd.

Property sales have seen “continuous strong take-up” despite last month’s rise in interest rates, RHB analyst Joshua Ng said in a report today. “This confirms our bullish view on the sector,” he said.

Malaysia’s central bank raised interest rates for the first time in almost four years on March 4 after Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy emerged from its first recession in a decade in the last quarter. The country may expand by between 4.5 per cent and 5.5 per cent this year after shrinking 1.7 per cent in 2009, Bank Negara Malaysia said in its annual report on March 24.

IJM Land, Malaysia’s second-biggest property group by sales, rose 2.1 per cent to RM2.44 at 11:11 a.m. local time, set for its highest close since Oct 23. Mah Sing added 2.6 per cent to RM1.98, while Sunway was unchanged at RM3.33.

SP Setia Bhd, Malaysia’s largest property developer, raised its 2010 financial year sales target by 25 per cent to RM2 billion on March 3 to reflect higher demand for its properties.

The company is “on track” to achieve this, it said in a statement on March 31. Sales reached RM900 million as of March 22, less than five months into its current financial year ending October 31, it said. SP Setia rose 1 per cent to RM4.17 at 11:11 a.m.

“As the economy is back on the recovery path, developers’ confidence is getting stronger,” Ng said in the report. “This can be seen in their aggressive launching and land acquisition plans.”

By Bloomberg

New York property market bouncing back

The New York housing market seems to have a new spring in its step after months of crisis with sales doubling in the first three months of 2010 compared to this time last year, data showed Friday.

In the first quarter of the year the number of apartments sold in the city rose by 99.5 percent, according to figures from the Prudential Elliman real estate agency.

But despite the rising numbers of sales, prices remain relatively low compared with the boom years before the US housing market collapsed, according to two other agencies Corcoran and Halstead.

The "Big Apple" has some of highest real estate prices in the world.Currently an average Manhattan apartment costs around 820,000 dollars, or about 10,000 dollars per square meter, about 10 percent less than a year ago.

Even if the United States seems to be climbing out of the economic crisis which has paralyzed the property market since 2008, experts remained wary.

"The market is definitely recovering, with stabilized prices and a spring sales boom, but this is not yet the big turn. I am cautious," Douglas Elliman, executive vice president of Ariel Cohen, told AFP.

"We have a lot of foreign buyers, including Asian and European, because of the strong euro.

"The property market is also being bouyed by recent rises on Wall Street and the current low interest rates on mortgage loans offered by banks.