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Interview with FM: Is Green Building Operation Easy/Difficult, Cheap/Expensive?

Do green high-performance buildings live up to the design intent during the operational phase? And are green buildings easy or difficult to maintain? And what about the maintenance cost? In this interview, we get an answer to all these questions from Pn. Hamidah, who has been the Head of Facilities Management of the ST Diamond building for the last twelve years since it opened in 2010. She and her team have successfully managed to maintain a highly energy efficient operation of the building, which has an energy consumption of only 70 kWh/m2/year, or 63 kWh/m2/year with solar PV contribution. This energy consumption is only 1/3 of a typical office building. In the video below, Pn. Hamidah shares with us her experiences of maintaining a Platinum rated green building:

Interestingly, in this interview Pn. Hamidah dispels the notion that green buildings are difficult and expensive to maintain. On the contrary, she has found it to be easier and cheaper than ordinary buildings, spending as little at RM20,000 per year for maintenance of this 14,000m2 office building. For example, the self-shading facade means that external window polishing only has to be done every three years (instead of every year) and thanks to the better building equipment quality the maintenance / replacement rate is lower. An example includes the very low light bulb replacement rate, due to high daylight autonomy (the bulbs rarely need to be switched on) and good quality bulbs. Moreover, the building management system and energy management system have been useful tools for Ph. Hamidah and her team to operate the building and to perform preventive maintenance.


Pn. Hamidah Abdul Rashid has spent the last 18 years as the Head of Administration & Facilities Management for the Energy Commission of Malaysia, ST Diamond Building. She and her FM team has had overall responsibility for operating and maintaining the ST Diamond Building. In addition, she has taken a keen interest in raising awareness about the green building features of the building to staff and visitors alike, which is evident from the many information boards / signboards / displays found throughout the building.

The ST Diamond Building is one of the early lighthouse projects for sustainability in Malaysia / the region. It was the first office building to be awarded GBI Platinum, and the first office building outside of Singapore to be awarded Green Mark Platinum. It won the inaugural malaysiaGBC Sustainability Award, it won the regional ASEAN Energy Award (2012) and was the Runner up for the prestigious ASHRAE Technology Award (2013). Located in Precint 2, Putrajaya Malaysia, the building underwent a genuine integrated design process with climatic design playing a key role in giving shape to the building.


Interview participants:

  • Pn. Hamidah Abdul Rashid (Head of Energy Commission Admin & Facilities Management)

  • Gregers Reimann (green building design consultant for the ST Diamond building)

Moderated by: Gregers Reimann (managing director, IEN Consultants)

Interview date: 9 June 2022

Audio & Video editing: Suwan Bonma (IEN Consultants)

More information about the ST Diamond building:


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