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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tanah Sutera sells green concept to house buyers

Shum (left) and senior sales manager Daniel Tan with a model of the three-storey Garden and Duplex Suites of The Seed @ Sutera Utama.

Buying a property at The Seed @ Sutera Utama in Johor Baru is similar to taking an oath of allegiance to take care of the environment for the present and future generations.

The first question that the developer will ask its prospective buyers is whether they are willing and ready to be part of the community by contributing their efforts and time to protect the environment.

“If the answer is yes, they proceed to the signing of the sales and purchase agreement, if not they (buyers) can look for other properties,’’ Tanah Sutera Development Sdn Bhd general manager Steven Shum says in an interview with StarBizWeek.

He says the company is not being “selective or arrogant” but is committed to a clean and green neighbourhood and wants to offer more than just houses to its buyers.

Shum says the company is probably the first in Johor or even Malaysia to ask such question to its potential buyers. He also claims many of the buyers do not feel offended and those who bought the properties are looking forward to be part of the “green community” when the project fully developed in 2015.

The project with a gross development value of RM700mil is located within a gated 19.02ha encompassing 1,230 units of residential properties ranging from penthouses to garden suites namely the three-storey Garden and Duplex Suites, six-storey Boutique Suites and nine-storey Boutique Suites with floor area ranging from 1,240 sq ft to 2,390sq ft and priced between RM558,000 and RM1.1mil.

Tanah Sutera Development Sdn Bhd is a consortium of Malaysian and Singapore-based companies namely Permodalan Nasional Bhd, Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera, CapitaLand, Keppel Land and Lee Rubber Co (Pte) Ltd.

“We don’t only preach on green-related issues to our buyers but we also practice the green building initiatives in the construction of the houses,’’ Shum says.

The green initiatives include using pre-mixed reinforced concrete with the effective micro-organisms (EM) glass panels to allow sunlight in and harvesting rainwater to water and clean the gardens.

Shum says it is proven in Japan that by mixing concrete with the EM, the concrete become water-repellent and thus prevents sick-building syndrome which is common in Malaysia.

Similarly, he says each household is expected to play their part as the “green community” by separating rubbish such as plastic, glass, paper into their respective bins.

Shum adds each family will be provided with a container for them to discard their food waste to make compost and the compost will be used as fertiliser for the communal gardens within the projects.

“We want to bring back the communal living or the kampong spirit in the good old days where everyone basically knows his neighbours,’’ he says.

Shum says this can be achieved via activities organised such as get-together parties for residents in celebrating festivals, birthdays or weddings.

He says as for the communal garden, each block will have its own piece of land where residents can set-up a garden committee to plant vegetables or fruit trees on the plot.

Shum says residents have their own freedom in managing their communal gardens but must adhere to organic farming by not using chemical ferlitisers and use rainwater to water the plants.

He says residents can harvest and share the vegetables or fruits among themselves or exchange them with residents of other blocks or may be, they can set ad-hoc make shift stalls to sell the produce.

“Living in a gated and guarded community does not mean that ones have to mind their own business for the sake of privacy; our objective is promote esprit de corps,’’ says Shum.

By The Star

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