The first-ever refurbished green office space in a Malaysian university was launched today at the University of Malaya by its Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato’ Dr. Mohd Amin Jalaludin.

The main objec>ve of the Green Office is to minimise, or completely avoid nega>ve impacts of ‘regular’ built environments on staff health and the environment. At this site, this was done by ensuring that cri>cal resources are used efficiently and installing equipment that protects occupant health, which in turn improves produc>vity. A posi>ve side-effect is that waste, pollu>on and environmental degrada>on are reduced and the resultant office space is safe, comfortable, healthy and liveable.

Led by Pn. A> Rosemary Bin> Mohd Ariffin (Lecturer from the Faculty of Built Environment, UM) and assisted by Pn. Sharifah Noor Nazim Syed Yahya (Architect in the Department of Development & Estate Maintaince UM), the green office refurbishment is a collabora>on between the University of Malaya and Panasonic Malaysia Sdn Bhd. UMCares mooted this pioneering ini>a>ve as part of its efforts in engagement for sustainability and its drive towards sustainable campus status.

“The University of Malaya hopes to roll out this Green Office concept to the rest of the campus in due >me. Serious effort by the university is underway to move UM to sustainable campus status through myriad ground-up ini>a>ves, coupled with top-down funding and policy changes. The future of UM can only be greener,” said Prof. Dato’ Mohd Amin Jalaludin.

The total renova>on cost amounted to about RM170,000.00 and the process of refurbishing an exis>ng office space within a regular (non-green) building through regular government procurement systems took two years. Panasonic’s sponsorship of about RM90,000.00 included the dona>on of a photovoltaic (solar HIT) panels with balance of system (BOS), an energy recovery ven>lator (ERV) system, nanoe air purifiers, LED bulbs, flat screen TV and furniture made from recycled material and electrical appliances.

"In collabora>on with Malaysian customers and local partners, such as with University Malaya for today’s symbolic event, we will develop a sustainable future for society by crea>ng solu>ons and technologies to solve social and environmental problems and thus enhance the quality of life throughout the na>on,"said Mr Yosuke Matsunaga, Managing Director of Panasonic Malaysia.

Panasonic Malaysia will also con>nue to provide support, advice and guidance on future green office innova>ons, and have also commiied to future collabora>on and research with UMCares and the university as a whole. Already on the drawing board is research based on this Green Office, with its occupants (UMCares’ staff) as experimental subjects in a living lab; not unlike a reality show – where the staff will report their office use, levels of comfort and problems (if any) by daily video confessionals.

During the launch, a Memorandum of Intent (MoI) was signed between the University of Malaya and Panasonic Malaysia, Mr. Yosuke Matsunaga Managing Director of Panasonic Malaysia and Professor Dato’ Dr. Mohd Amin Jalaludin, Vice-Chancellor. The MoI is one of the many Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes by Panasonic Malaysia Sdn Bhd which seeks among others, to establish a Green Office Model based on refurbishment of an exis>ng office space that was not originally built according to the Green Principles.

To showcase UMCares’ community engagement scope of work, undocumented Chow Kit youth from KL Krash Pad (Yayasan Chow Kit) were invited to take part in a mural drawing compe>>on.The winner’s crea>on will be replicated on the outside wall of the office; the youth was presented and awarded during the Green Office Launch. 

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