What Is GreenRE And How Is It Encouraging Property Developers To Go Green?

By: Fahri Ahmed
8th Apr 2022
Property News

Green Real Estate (GreenRE) is a top-rated green certification tool to uphold the standards of the growing green buildings of Malaysia. It was officially launched on 22 March 2013 by YB Tan Sri Peter Chin, the former Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA).

Certified by the Malaysian government, it was established to drive Malaysian real estate towards sustainable developments. Its assessment tools are performance-based to provide a framework to developers and building owners to meet green certification requirements.

What bodies recognise GreenRE?

GreenRE is a government-approved green-certified tool for real estate that is recognised by a number of bodies:

  • All relevant ministries and local authorities
  • Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation (MGTC)
  • Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA)
  • Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA)
  • Eligible for tax incentives by IRDA
  • Eligible for investment tax allowance (ITA) under MIDA.

GreenRE aims to uphold Malaysia’s real estate development in both the local and international arena. As such, its measurement yardsticks are in line with United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It also aims to achieve a net-zero future to align with World Green Building Council’s commitments towards achieving complete sustainability.

How does the GreenRE certification work?

GreenRE divides Malaysian properties into 10 different categories:

  • Residential Building – RES
  • Non‐Residential Building – NRB
  • Existing Non-Residential Building – ENRB
  • Townships – TS
  • Infrastructure – IS
  • Healthcare – HC
  • Office Interior – INT
  • Industrial Facilities – IND
  • Existing Industrial Facilities – EIND
  • New Data Centre – NDC

The level of certification awarded to buildings depends on:

  • Efficient use of energy, water and building materials.
  • Use of lower carbon footprint during construction.
  • Approaches of buildings to enhance the health and social well being of residents.
  • Lower operation cost followed by living expenses of residents.

Based on the above points, they are scored and divided into 4 types of rating:

Rating RES, NRB, ENRB Townships Infrastructure
Platinum 90 and above 100 and above 90 and above
Gold 85 to <90 90 to <100 80 to <90
Silver 75 to <85 75 to <90 70 to <80
Bronze 50 to <75 60 to <75 50 to <70

To apply for the GreenRE certification, developers or property owners have to follow this process:


Source: GreenRE.org

Why is GreenRE certification necessary for Malaysian real estate?

In a virtual interview, Ashwin Thurairajah , the chief operating officer (COO) of GreenRE emphasises the importance of green certification. He says Malaysians understand the importance of sustainable or green construction. But most often, the initiatives are not translated into implementation, which is a must in today’s era.

‘When we talk about a green home, it’s not just about the design of the building; it’s the operation, the maintenance — how the users and occupants of the building partake in activities that can further amplify the energy savings and improve environmental performance,’ he says.

Juanita Lourde, the sales and marketing manager of GreenRE agrees to Ashwin’s statement. She says adopting green and eco-friendly development is only a part of the job. To completely commit to sustainability, homeowners need to achieve management efficiency as well, all of which is ensured when a building is awarded a GreenRE certification.

Here are examples of three green buildings, with GreenRE certification, in different development stages

  1. Corporate Suite @ 19 in Kuala Lumpur

    Corporate Suite @ 19 is a pioneer penthouse workspace in Malaysia developed by Sunway Bhd. It is part of the group’s flagship five-star hotel, Sunway Resort in Kuala Lumpur worth RM251.2 million of transformation.

    The Grade A office is located on the highest floor of the hotel, which is launching in the first quarter of 2022. Occupying 3,000 square metres, the place is designed with green spaces so that the natural light and the view of the city can produce a conducive environment for business leaders and entrepreneurs.
    Their aim is to establish themselves not only as the perfect workspace but also as a sustainable place of work. Certified with a GreenRE rating, the developer equipped it with bright, eco-friendly and fully-connected facilities. They used energy-saving innovations such as LED lighting, advanced air conditioning systems and solar panels for rooftops to make the building sustainable.

  2. Edelweiss small office/flexible office (SOFO) & Serviced Residences in Tropicana Gardens

    Edelweiss small office/flexible office (SOFO) is another green building in the making. Developed by Tropicana Corporation Berhad, it is awarded the GreenRE Silver Provisional Certification for introducing several innovative green features in the building such as

    • Low volatile organic compounds (VOC) paint that has less odour and minimal impact on air quality.
    • Insulated reinforced concrete (RC) flat roof reduces heat transmission in the building.
    • Low-E glass facade that keeps the building cool.
    • Electric vehicle (EV) chargers for electric cars.

    Expected to be completed in 2024, the built-up size of Edelweiss SOFO is around 452-858 square feet per unit. For serviced apartments, the units are slightly larger, ranging from 556-1,111 square feet.

  3. Residensi Allevia in Mont’ Kiara

    Residensi Allevia is a condominium very close to the central business district of Mont Kiara. The development received a gold provisional certificate from GreenRE as it is built with sustainability in mind. UEM Sunrise Berhad made effective use of electricity and water resources as well as reduced carbon emissions while constructing the building. The building is designed for large families with bigger units ranging from 1,703 to 2,634 square feet. It is still under construction and expected to be completed by 2025.

Apart from GreenRE, there are other government-approved authorities who provide green certifications in Malaysia. Among them are the Green Building Index (GBI) and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Together, these organisations have offered green certification to hundreds of buildings in Malaysia and have a significant contribution in making the country more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

To know more about sustainability projects and green initiatives of property industry movers, stay tuned to the Guyub news portal.

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