IEN Consultants


on 31 Aug, 17:10

Recycling System in Malaysia: Easy, Effective & Cheap. Please replicate yourself

Recycling System in Malaysia: Easy, Effective & Cheap. Please replicate yourself

Are you also living in a condominium or apartment? And does it frustrate you that there’s no recycling system in place? Well, that’s exactly how I used to feel – until I did something about it.

In only 2 weeks – and in collaboration with the Management Office and the Cleaners – we managed to install a recycling system on each of the 23 floors of the condo  – and at a cost of less than RM8 (US$2.50) per apartment. Since 2009, the system has been operating successfully and has more than doubled the recycling rate.

The survey that I conducted after 1 year of operation, showed that more than 90% of the residents find the recycling system easy to use and think that the system enhances the attractiveness of the condo. This was true for both Malaysian and non-Malaysian residents.

As such, the recycling system has been a win-win-win-win solution, because:

  • The residents win, because they want to recycle and it has been made easy for them
  • The building management and owners win, because the recycling system enhances the attractiveness of the condominium at a cost of less than RM8 (US$2.50) per apartment
  • The cleaners win, because they earn extra pocket-money from selling the recyclables, which are now sorted at source. NB. Previously, they would sieve through the general trash and take out the recyclables, which is a common and unhygienic practice in Malaysia.
  • The environment wins, as the recycling rate has more than doubled

It has been as really positive experience to facilitate the implementation of this recycling system. I hope that you – the reader – will replicate the system where you live. In my experience, the key parameters for a successful implementation of a condo/apartment recycling system are:

  1. Its driven by an enthusiastic resident, who facilitates the project in collaboration with the Building Management and the Cleaners
  2. Design the system according to the wishes of the Cleaners and let them keep all the pocket money from selling the recyclables. The monetary incentive of the Cleaners is the key to a successful operation of the system.
  3. Design the system, so it is easy for the residents to recycle
  4. Avoid involving the Resident Committee, as this committee often has a few members that have too much time at their hand and who have nothing better to do than complain and make things complicated.

Please also refer to uploaded material below. When you approach the Management Office and the Cleaners, I would suggest that you bring along the presentation + the survey results (both inserted below), as this documentation will help to instill confidence that it is ‘mission possible’ and that the residents wants it.

Kind regards – and please keep us updated on your progress by posting on this page!

Gregers Reimann & Matthias Gelber


Condo Recycling, by Gregers Reimann, Malaysia

Installed in the existing trash room on each floor of the condo to make it easy for the users.


Download (PDF, 1.26MB)

Download (PDF, 76KB)


1-minute video of the recycling system with explanations by Matthias Gelber:

[jwplayer mediaid=”14337″]


16-minute interview on ‘Hello On Two’ (Malaysian TV) about the recycling system:

[jwplayer mediaid=”14339″]

on 24 Jul, 08:16

The Free Green Purchasing Guide for Malaysians

The Free Green Purchasing Guide for Malaysians

The benefits of green buildings is not merely just about going green by saving the environment by ensuring a low carbon footprint development, but also the social and economical benefits of how such practice can provide. There are a lot of guidelines in ensuring a green building project would achieve it’s intended carbon footprint index, this is done by generating renewable energy on site, ensuring the usage of energy efficient product, conserving water and also capturing rainwater, reuse and recycle materials, and just to name a few.  However, the determining factor would be the end users.

A successful green building is one where it is being understood and maintained well by the end users or occupants in the long run. We recognize that the end users is the main component to drive the performance of green building effectively. Without such exposure or education towards green building, one could not understand on the operations of the building and might deteriorate the performance of the green building should be delivering.

The good news is, If you are a greenie in your daily living, you don’t necessary need to have a green building to ensuring your low carbon footprint. There are dozens of methods to ensure your daily carbon footprint stays low, here we would like to share with you our environmental friendly appliances purchase guide. This includes a comprehensive list of aspects where you can start doing something today from your home! From the lighting fixture, to the electrical appliances, to the water fittings, to the interior fitting you use, and the way you commutes each day. So start doing something today for a greener living!

Download (PDF, 3.18MB)

on 17 Jul, 13:19

ST Diamond Building – A Green Building Landmark in South East Asia

ST Diamond Building – A Green Building Landmark in South East Asia

If anyone is to wander around Putrajaya and wondering what is the diamond like shaped building about, it is actually one of the  lowest energy consumption building in South East Asia. The Headquarters of Energy Commission of Malaysia plays a vital role in the green building industry that reflects a highly sustainable scheme that makes use of passive design, energy efficiency and renewable energy. It is the first building to obtain the highest of both green building certifications, namely Malaysia’s very own GreenBuildingIndex and Singapore’s Green Mark, both Platinum rated. Also this building has won several awards such as Asean Energy Awards (AEA) 2012 and ASHRAE technology award 2013 (2nd place).


While the information of this green development is abundant on the internet, here we try to share some key facts of this green development. There are videos, power point slides, and articles below to guide you through as well. Among the key green features of ST Diamond Building are:

  • Annual Energy Consumption: 65kWh/m2/year (excludes PV Solar Energy). Typical office building in Malaysia is around 210kWh/m2/year.
  • Passive Design: The facade is tilted 25 degrees is sculpted after the solar path in Malaysia for the building to be self-shading. The diamond shape helps to minimise air filtration by preventing breezes from passing through the building. The tilted facade also guides the breeze to flow below to help to ventilate the car park area at the basement.
  • Daylight Design: Natural Daylight is captured abundantly, both from facade and atrium. For the highest floor, a light trough (‘light well’) is used to bring in daylight into the deepest floor space area.
  • Lighting Design: Light sensors are incorporated, Occupants are encouraged to use LED task lights. Efficient lighting such as T5 is used.
  • Floor Slab Cooling: The second project in Malaysia to incorporate such technology. Water pipes embedded in concrete floor slabs cools the building at night and gives off radiant cooling passively in the daytime. This allows the maximum cooling demand for the building to be reduced by about 50%.
  • Renewable Energy: Thin Films Solar Panels are integrated in the roof with an installed capacity of 71.4 kWp and reduce the buildings energy consumption by 10%. The thin film solar technology is suitable for the tropical climate, as this type of solar cells is better at capturing diffuse light and conventional solar panels – and thin film solar cells also experience less of a drop in energy efficiency when baking under the hot sun. Their measured efficiency is 1400 kWh/kWp, which significantly higher than conventional solar PV (1150 kWh/kWp).
  • Water Reduction: 35% of potable water consumption is saved as rainwater is harvested for toilet and irrigation; grey water harvesting for irrigation, and using water efficient fixtures such as waterless urinals. Hence, reducing the overall water consumption by 65%.
  • Material Usage: The suspended ceilings are taken away, which also helps the natural daylight penetration deeper into the office space, recycled content and Low VOC materials are used for carpets and plasterboards.

Download (PDF, 776KB)

A guide through Video is available here:

This building has been operating for 3 years and we are still monitoring the energy performance and even fine tuning it. We acknowledge the maintenance team of this building has been maintaining it well and also educating the staffs more about the building they are working in. It is vital that the users could adapt to such green building environment and understand how it works in order for the building to achieve its purpose which is using lesser energy.

Download (PDF, 1.91MB)

And here we hope that everyone will do their little part to save energy and water in their daily routine, regardless of which building they are in, because ultimately the factor that determines a green building is the users themselves! So do something today at your home or at your office 😉 Use that magic finger to switch off unnecessary lights and roll up the blinds, invite in natural daylight. And i am sure you know many other things you could do and all you need is that effort!

For further information on IEN’s input to ST Diamond Building, please do not hesitate to drop us a message Here!

on 10 Jun, 03:13

Folding Bicycle in Kuala Lumpur – a real time saver!

Folding Bicycle in Kuala Lumpur – a real time saver!

I’ve put together a video from running a few errands in down town Kuala Lumpur on my folding bicycle. There is no faster way to run these errands – and it is good for the environment and your own health, too!

I’m using a Brompton bicycle that folds really well and compact and it only weighs 10 kg. There is no need to carry the bicycle around, however, as it can be pushed around on small wheels once folded. In fact, it folds into a stroller – or shopping cart – once the bicycle basket is added. As you will see from the video, I’m using the foldable bicycle for grocery shopping in the super market.

Traffic can come to a grid-lock in Kuala Lumpur, but this is not problem for the Brompton bicycle, which easily squeezes between cars with its narrow handle bar (only 53 cm width) and therefore does not add to the traffic congestion. Wasting time and money on parking is of course also not a problem with a folding bike. The environmental benefits of the bicycle are substantial – particularly as bicycles do not add to noise or air pollution – the latter killing more that 1 million people annually in the cities around the world.

Lastly, bicycling is healthy exercise. International studies have found that if one bicycles daily, one will add 5 years to one’s life. And who wouldn’t want to do that?

Please watch the video below. The first 5 minutes already give a good impression how it is to ride the bicycle in traffic:

[jwplayer mediaid=”13173″]

Gallery of images

Welcome to MESYM!
Connecting the green dots is a crowd-sourced platform and a living database for environmental movements in Malaysia. There are many good actions being done out there. Our goal is to bring them together. We connect the green dots.