The Energy Commission Diamond Building


The Diamond Building, which is the Energy Commission’s headquarters is located at Precinct 2, Putrajaya, adjacent to Taman Pancarona, a public landscape garden.

Background of Diamond Building

The Diamond Building was designed and built on a concept of sustainable building, with consideration to the following aspects:
1.    Reduction in fossil fuels usage
2.    Water conservation
3.    Sustainable building materials
4.    Waste minimisation and avoidance
5.    Indoor environmental quality
6.    Traffic and transport management
7.    Construction and demolition management plan

This building is projected to have an energy index of 85 kWh/m2/year, in contrast with the standard index of 135 kWh/m2/year (MS1525).

Design Strategy

The diamond design was selected for its philosophical and practical values and to conceptualise an iconic office building. The diamond symbolises transparency, value and durability; characteristics that represent the Energy Commission’s role and mission as a regulatory body. The unique shape represents an optimum design approach to achieve energy efficiency.

During the design stage, extensive computer simulation of the diamond form was conducted to ensure that the expected daylight and energy performance are met. In order to maintain the occupants’ visual comfort, various daylight simulation exercises were conducted to ensure adequate and well distributed daylight. These exercises also provided useful information on the appropriate measures that can be adopted in reducing energy consumption without compromising the occupants’ comfort level.

The building energy index (BEI) is a measurement on the total annual energy used in a building in kilowatt hours (kWh) divided by the floor area in square meters(m2). The BEI of a typical office building in Malaysia is 210kWh/m2 per year. The Diamond Building is designed with a BEI of 85kWh/m2 per year at 2,800 hours usage - a 65% reduction in energy consumption. At present, the building’s average BEI is at 65kWh/m2 per year.

The Diamond Building’s design strategy is encapsulated through four main aspects, namely Energy Efficiency, Water Efficiency, Indoor Environmental Quality and Outdoor Environmental Quality.

Energy Efficiency

•    Tilting Facade
The tilting facade (face of the building) allows self-shading for the lower floors, protection from direct sun rays into the building and a smaller building footprint, resulting in a larger area for landscaping.

•    Sunken Garden Area
The sunken garden located at the basement serves as a void space which provides natural ventilation to the parking area at the basement level

•    Building Orientation
The construction of the building has also taken into account on the rising and setting of the sun, to minimise the areas impacted by direct sunlight

•    Photovoltaics
The building is installed with thin film telluride module type photovoltaic (PV) panels, with a total installed capacity of 71.4 kWp, fed indirectly to the national grid. This total capacity produced is estimated to cover approximately 10% of the building’s energy needs.

In general, the expected electricity generated is 102,000 kWh per year which is equivalent to RM40,000 cost savings annually or an avoidance of 63,000 kg annual carbon dioxide (CO₂) emission.

•    Daylighting – Natural and Artificial
The Diamond Building is designed to obtain 50% of its daylight needs from natural lighting. The crown of the building is a ‘diamond dome’ skylight made from laminated tempered glass. Located within the dome space are fixed blinds that filter and diffuse the daylight to provide even and glare-free daylight for the offices around the atrium.

For the atrium, the window size is larger deeper into the atrium to cater for lower daylight levels. The atrium is also optimised for daylight utilisation with Tannenbaum reflector panels.

The glass façade is installed with low-emissivity glass (low-e glass) that is reflective on the outside, allowing daylight into the building and minimising heat from the sun.

A split window design for all exterior facades together with an internal light shelf helps to redirect natural light into the depths of the working space.

Energy-efficient lighting such as T5 fluorescent tubes are used throughout the building instead of the conventional T8 fluorescent tubes. Integration with daylight sensors enable the artificial lighting to be switched off when daylight is adequate, resulting in energy savings.

A roof light trough is incorporated to bring in sufficient daylight to illuminate the lounge area at the seventh floor.

•    Insulated Concrete Roof
To reduce heat absorption in the building, the roof top area is insulated using boards with a thickness of 100mm. The concrete roof is tightly insulated both horizontally and vertically.

Water Efficiency

  • Rainwater Harvesting
  • Efficient Water Fittings
  • Greywater Recycling for Wetland
Rainwater harvested is used for toilet flushing, combined with efficient water fittings such as dual flush toilets, waterless urinals and water taps equipped with aerators. This reduces potable water usage by more than 65%. To further optimise the water efficiency of the building, greywater collected from the wash basins is also recycled to irrigate the wetland at the ground floor.

Indoor Environmental Quality

•    Thermal Comfort via Radiant Cooling
Cooling system in the Diamond Building is provided via radiant cooling slabs that have chilled water pipes embedded in the concrete slab itself. This is complemented with the conventional cold air supply system.

As the highest capacity of the building is rested in the concrete mass, direct cooling of the concrete slabs with embedded water pipes is the most efficient means to cool the building mass.

•    Noise Control
The advantage of the above cooling system is that the air ventilation rate is reduced significantly. The noise from the ducts is also reduced significantly, improving the acoustic comfort.

•    Use of Sustainable Materials
The building design is also aimed to provide the occupants with a healthy and productive working environment. Resource use is reduced via doing away with suspended ceilings, except for small areas to conceal the ducts. This reduces the material used as compared to conventional buildings.

Green labelled plasterboards are used for the ceiling and the internal partitions. The plasterboards have low volatile organic compound (VOC) emission and has 30% recycled content.

The floor carpeting is also green labelled for low VOC emission and has at least 10% recycled content.

The interior paint used in the building is also of low VOC content.

The workstations contain material that protects against ultra violet (UV) rays.

Outdoor Environmental Quality

Extensive landscaping and a sunken outdoor garden ensure not only a green space but also provide a cool and shaded environment for the occupants. This, coupled with a green roof helps to further reduce urban heat and effect whereby the hardscape areas are reduced and replaced with soft green landscape.

Buildings near or surrounded by greenery have lower ambient temperature (surrounding temperature) than the ones away from the greenery and it is seen as an effective way to lower the ambient temperature.

Environmental Protection

•    Recycled Content Material
Usage of recycled content as defined in accordance with the ISO 14021 in the building was established during the design phase. The recycle content of the materials used in the building makes up at least 30% of the total value of the project.

•    Storage and Collection of Recyclables
Recycle bins are provided to each occupant’s workstation and every printer’s rooms. These are then collected daily by the cleaners and store at the allocated recycle bins for collection on a weekly basis by the recycling company appointed by the local authority.

•    Priority Green Vehicle Parking
Reserved parking lots are provided for green vehicles, thereby encouraging the use of such vehicles and carpools. Bicycle racks and showers are also provided in the building to encourage occupants who stay within the vicinity to cycle rather than to drive to work.