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Pioneering Greener Solutions
Award-winning architect, Dr. Tan Loke Mun explores different interpretations of what sustainable features of green buildings that take huge bites out of carbon footprints.
Born and raised in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, Ar Dr Tan Loke Mun graduated from Deakin University, Australia and later received his doctorate from the University of Melbourne, Australia. In the ‘90s, he founded his own design firm, Archicentre Sdn Bhd and later DRTAN LM Architect and DTLM Design Group.
While building his business, he realised that his architectural plans were taking its toll on the environment. Fuelled by his drive and tenacity to ensure a better tomorrow, he and fellow industry experts developed the Green Building Index (GBI), the first green rating tool for Malaysia that is widely used by architects and engineers.
His move to green, sustainable architecture was expressed in the S11 House which is located in Petaling Jaya. The existing old house on the site was built in the early 1960’s and had become dilapidated over the years. Following the project’s specifications, a new green tropical house was planned for the site and the layout was conceptualised along the lines of five existing trees on the site comprising three frangipanis, a star-fruit and a coconut palm tree. The green design strategy involved constructing a large canopy roof to shade and cool the house. In addition, a plethora of innovative green and sustainable elements were incorporated that matched the local climate.
All these factors contributed to the S11 House being certified as the first Green Building Index Platinum rated house in Malaysia. The S11 House also received the coveted award as one of the Top 10 greenest buildings in the last decade from Malaysia Green Building Council (MGBC).
His influence in the field of sustainable architecture grew following the positive reception of the S11 House which won the Tropical Building Category of the Asean Energy Awards in 2013. Later, Ar Dr Tan also constructed the Clay Roof House in Section 11, Petaling Jaya. The existing lot was rebuilt into a new family home and the original Indian clay roof tiles which were still in good condition were retained and reused to provide relief by shielding the west-facing house’s façade from the afternoon sun.
In addition to his green architectural works which are widely published overseas, Ar Dr Tan has received Gold Awards at the REKA International Design Award 2018 (RIDA) and was recognised as one of the 100 Architects of the Year 2018 at the International Exhibition in Jeju, South Korea. These accolades have highlighted his diligence and passion for building greener and more sustainable communities.
Ar Dr Tan has stressed that, in future, he aspires to write, draw, build and plant more to encourage awareness of sustainability and sufficiency among the public. “I am currently involved in some large-scale masterplans for new green townships and also small-scale individual houses,” he said.
“Green is not a passing style. It’s the right thing to do.”
Dr Tan Loke Mun, Architect