1 Lasam was conceptualized more than eight years ago by the owner Dato Lim when the GBI rating tool was new and there were still no other green buildings in Perak. The amicable and ambitious client wanted to build the first-ever GBI Platinum building in the state, to resonate with the group’s motto of being a pioneer in many of the businesses they have ventured in since decades ago.
A central courtyard was carved in the center, to allow more daylight into the office spaces.
Nako windows were installed at high levels of all office spaces for natural cross and stack ventilation through the central courtyard so that during a cool day no air conditioning would be required. Measuring about 30,000sf of office space, the 5-story office block comes with majority of workspaces with ancillary spaces e.g.
conference room, gallery space, etc. The design team explored the concept of floating boxes which further developed into box-in-box geometry. The higher floors were lifted up supported by a bold V-shape column, to allow for vehicle circulation on the street level. With the neighboring army camp, many restrictions on building design were imposed.
The west-facing double-layered wall installed with dense louvers not only eliminated the direct view of the camp but also blocked the heat and sunlight to the office spaces in the evening. With this gesture, the Architect managed to kill two birds with one stone.Eight categories for United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals were achieved.
The complying categories included Responsible Consumption and Production, as a relatively high percentage of construction material was used and many construction wastes were recycled. Clean Water and Sanitisation also played an important role in the design of the building. While both rainwater harvesting and greywater recycling led to a high reduction in potable water, stormwater control was also catered for, with bioswales constructed on-site for effective water drainage.
Other green features included maximizing electricity generation from the solar panels, tinted glass, grasscrete for lowering the heat island effect, etc. Materials were selected carefully to reflect the client’s intention to keep the building as “raw” as possible. Exposed bare concrete, red bricks applied with waterproofing solution, simple aluminium framed tinted glass, exposed ceiling throughout, and to many’s surprises, not a single drip of paint was used in the entire building.
To resonate further with the V-shape land and V-shape column, V-shape balustrades were designed to emphasize the strong alphabet presence of the client’s mother company name “BVH”.1 Lasam was perhaps one of the boldest new additions to Ipoh’s low-profile skyline. Its head-turning architecture has attracted interest from professionals and the public in general since its completion.
With Dato’s intention to allow public access on the ground floor for green building education, we believe this building will contribute positively to the local sustainable architecture scene in many years to come..
1 Lasam Gallery