GBI International Series seeks out global best practices

Malaysia’s International Green Benchmark — the Green Building Index (GBI) has organised its International Series 2024 which was attended by over 200 participants from the building and associated industries. Held at the PAM Centre in Bangsar on 9 May 2024, the first GBI International Series for the year featured architect Seah Chee Huang, CEO of DP Architects from Singapore, as a key speaker.

Abu Zarim with the GBI International Series 2024 speakers, representatives from supporting organisations and sponsors (Image: GBI)

Carrying the theme Synthesis and synergy: Towards better-than-sustainable outcomes’, Seah’s presentation examined sustainability and green buildings in the larger context of urban ecosystems, focusing on the emerging model of the integrated community hub in Singapore as a potential vehicle to achieve better-than-sustainable outcomes, towards regenerative urban estates and refreshing neighbourhoods.

Through built case studies, Seah shared the way these nodal developments leverage their unique urban settings, multi-stakeholder framework and programmatic offerings to foster inclusive and sustainable communities through context-specific integration. From policy to participation, these urban prototypes also offer an investigation into the whole-of-society approach for a paradigm shift to achieve synergistic harmonisation of urban, social and natural systems.

GBI started the International Series in 2010, one year after its inception. Over the years, GBI has invited speakers from various parts of the world to share their research, experience and expertise in their respective areas of sustainable development. The International Series events have seen very encouraging response and are in line with GBI’s mission, embracing a green agenda of fortifying, forging and propagating.

The GBI International Series 2024 also coincided with GBI’s 15th anniversary this year. Earlier in his welcoming remarks, GBI board member Dr Tan Loke Mun, gave an account of GBI’s 15-year journey, from purpose to inception, establishment and acceptance by the country’s building industry as the leading green building rating tool recognised by the Malaysian Government and supported by the Malaysia Green Building Council (malaysiaGBC).

The event also featured an update by Chan Seong Aun, GBI Accreditation panel chairman, on GBI including on upgrades and development of several GBI rating tools. As of March 2024, GBI has certified 692 buildings throughout Malaysia covering 312 million square feet, contributing towards saving 1.8 million tonnes of carbon emission annually.

Speakers from the event’s two sponsoring organisations, Kaveta Chelliah, head of sustainability engineering, Opus Consultants of UEM Edgenta, and Roy Heong Beng Wai, head of strategic partnerships and innovation of Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad, shared their respective programmes, facilities and services available for green building industry practitioners and owners in pursuing their sustainability agenda.

The GBI International Series 2024 was supported by Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (Malaysian Institute of Architects), Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia, malaysiaGBC, Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation, and Malaysian Institute of Interior Designers. GBI board chairman Abu Zarim Bin Abu Bakar presented certificates of appreciation to representatives of the supporting organisations.