Natural Solutions: Are They Suitable Property Solutions For Climate Change?

·6-min read

The natural world is full of wonder. In all seriousness, orangutans deserve to be celebrated just on their own!

Malaysia’s natural riches are incredibly diverse, and we're one of a limited number of ‘megadiverse’ countries in the world. This natural wealth actually provides a very valuable opportunity for our property sector.

When we think of property, we often think of tonnes of concrete poured into the ground, and towering glass skyscrapers reaching up into the air.

But plants, trees, and the wonders of the natural world offer some remarkable natural solutions for green design and green architecture, which can significantly improve the quality of our built-up areas.

Nature-Based Solutions For Green Design

Modern developments often put natural beauty at the heart of their marketing efforts. They shout about the peaceful joy of the iconic 'eco-thing' they’ve added to their development, or the green spaces for rest and relaxation.

There are still many more practical considerations to use of nature within developments, providing remarkably powerful solutions to climate change, and the weather-related problems it can cause.

natural solutions, green design, Nature-based solutions, green architecture, Solutions for climate change
natural solutions, green design, Nature-based solutions, green architecture, Solutions for climate change

One of the most important uses of natural solutions is for heat mitigation. Trees and vegetation can lower surface temperature by a sweat-reducing 11-25°C when comparing shaded versus non-shaded surfaces. That’s a huge blessing in a tropical country like Malaysia!

When placed strategically across a development, this shade can vastly improve the useability of elements like parking sites, play areas, and shared spaces.

These solutions can also help reduce the overall heating of a building by the sun, reducing cooling needs within the building. These natural solutions can offer a range of benefits:

1) Reduce energy needs

We all know about the need to keep cool in Malaysia! We use a huge amount of energy to achieve this in our buildings.

Using natural solutions to shade buildings and reduce temperatures can have a big impact on our demand for air conditioning, and thus the energy we use.

2) Better water management

The threat of flooding is another major issue that’s been amplified by climate change in Malaysia. Trees and vegetation act as natural water breaks that drink up rainwater.

At the same time, they also break up the natural runoff that would otherwise just pour over hard concrete. A single tree can absorb and transpire hundreds of litres of water every day!

3) Reduced wear and tear

natural solutions, green design, Nature-based solutions, green architecture, Solutions for climate change
natural solutions, green design, Nature-based solutions, green architecture, Solutions for climate change

Have you ever seen what happens to materials that heat up and cool down repeatedly? They stretch, warp, and crack.

That means areas which are exposed to the sun are more likely to experience significant wear and tear, compared to those that are shaded.

While Malaysia’s property industry is experienced at using materials that suit the climate, climate change is increasing those pressures and making natural solutions more important.

4) Improved living environment

Nature is just, kinda reallyyy nice! Having trees and vegetation really is a nature-based solution for happiness, and a boost to our mental health.

It provides a welcoming environment for everyone to enjoy, not just making it more practical to spend time in, but equally creating a more pleasant location to be.

5) Benefits for climate

This all feeds into an overarching solution to help tackle the impact of climate change. Reduced energy use means less use of electricity, which in terms means less polluting fossil fuels being burnt. That’s why sustainability is so important for the property industry!

Three Green Design Developments Using Natural Solutions

This is all great in theory, but how do nature-based solutions look like on the ground in Malaysia’s property market? Here are three examples of developments that show those benefits.

1) O2 Residence @ Puchong South

natural solutions, green design, Nature-based solutions, green architecture, Solutions for climate change
natural solutions, green design, Nature-based solutions, green architecture, Solutions for climate change

O2 Residence is billed as the ‘most breathable city in Seri Kembangan’. Even its name is based on the idea of natural solutions and clean air (O2 is the chemical term for oxygen)!

This is a great example of a development where nature-based solutions are a huge part of the appeal.

The grounds are covered by the shade from trees throughout, reducing the heat impact of the sun and making for a more pleasant natural environment to share.

O2 Residence even has vegetation and trees on the roof terraces of its six towers, providing some of that natural cooling with a twist of green beauty on top too. There’s also the usual luxury joy of swimming pools, gyms, spa, and jogging track,

The development is home to 508 units, ranging from sizes of 1,000 sq ft to 2,600 sq ft. Prices today range from RM267,700 for a 1,281 sq ft one-bedroom one-bathroom space, up to RM650,000 for a 2,034 sq ft three-bedroom three-bathroom unit.

2) Twentyfive.7 @ Kota Kemuning

natural solutions, green design, Nature-based solutions, green architecture, Solutions for climate change
natural solutions, green design, Nature-based solutions, green architecture, Solutions for climate change

Twentyfive.7 @ Kota Kemuning really goes a bit further to deliver on its promise of a natural environment – quite literally.

The developers, Gamuda Land, promote this development as being in an area more distant from the city than some other such developments in the Klang Valley, giving plenty of space for residents to enjoy the green setting.

This huge development will eventually house 1,222 units across 257 acres, surrounded by landscaped parks and gardens.

The focus on green outdoor areas means issues such as flooding will be far less likely to occur compared to a uniform concrete built-up area.

The natural solutions even go so far as to include an urban farm within the develop to showcase what future sustainability might look like.

As a major integrated development, Twentyfive.7 offers a wide range of amenities and features, with commercial and leisure facilities on site.

Prices for units for sale on PropertyGuru today range from RM505,800 for a two-bedroom one-bathroom residence, up to RM2,680,000 for a decadent seven-bedroom six-bathroom 3,701 sq ft space.

3) Eco Spring

natural solutions, green design, Nature-based solutions, green architecture, Solutions for climate change
natural solutions, green design, Nature-based solutions, green architecture, Solutions for climate change

Eco Spring at Taman Ekoflora, Johor, is another great development that uses natural solutions as a unique selling point of its property.

This green design incorporates unique Tudor-style bungalows, alongside detached flats, providing luxury homes in a natural setting.

Each house boasts a private garden, offering some personal green space for residents to enjoy. The overall development is designed around this green element also, with neighbourhoods linked by lush tree-lined walkways and connections.

The development boasts 460 residential units in total, with a number of configurations. Alongside the natural allure, residents can also enjoy some luxurious amenities such as swimming pools, squash court, tennis court, sheltered playground, clubhouse, and so much more!

Properties for sale on PropertyGuru today range from RM720,000 for a four-bedroom four-bathroom 1,600 sq ft terraced house to RM3,960,000 for a sprawling 8,060 sq ft 10-bedroom 8-bathroom bungalow. Natural solutions don’t come without their benefits, it seems!

Related Guides: