Building A Better Tomorrow: The Role of Architects, Landscape Architects, and Civil Engineers

Published by Afterschool.my on Mar 20, 2023, 03:21 pm

Malaysia's housing development landscape has undergone significant transformation in recent years. The country's rapid urbanisation has resulted in a growing demand for housing, particularly in the major cities. As a result, the government has implemented various policies and initiatives for various levels of income, with PR1MA, My First Home, Rumah Selangorku, and PPR to name a few. These schemes are created to increase the supply of affordable housing in this country, alongside the incorporation of designing housing solutions that are cost-effective and sustainable, to increase the quality of housing for families and individuals to live in.

Architecture and civil engineering play a crucial role in the development of housing in Malaysia. Architects are responsible for designing buildings that are aesthetically pleasing, functional, and sustainable, while civil engineers are involved in the planning, construction, and maintenance of the infrastructure that supports these buildings. Their expertise is essential in ensuring that housing developments are safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly, to improve the rakyat’s quality of life. 

As Malaysia strives toward becoming a high-income economy, the role of architects and civil engineers in the country's overall economic development becomes increasingly important. In this article, we will discuss the significance of their roles and why students who are interested in enrolling in these courses should consider their potential impact on Malaysia's housing development and economic growth.

Prefer to watch instead? Watch the video below for the summary of the article! 

Architect’s role in Malaysia’s affordable housing

After graduating, the majority of young Malaysians view purchasing or renting their own house as a significant life milestone that signifies the start of "adulting". However, these days it can seem out of reach for most people as there's a huge disparity between salary and housing affordability. 

Figure above shows the gap between the yearly median household income and median house prices has nearly tripled over the years.

In light of that, Malaysia launched the National Affordable Housing Policy, intending to provide 1 million affordable homes by 2028. Architects are critical to achieving this target by use of cost-effective materials, sustainable building methods, and energy-efficient technologies to create homes that are affordable and environmentally friendly for low-income families and individuals. 

One material that is gaining popularity is bamboo. The great thing about bamboo is that it's abundant, fast-growing, and a renewable resource that can be used to create sustainable and affordable homes. Architects are using bamboo to design modular housing units that can be easily assembled and disassembled, making them ideal for low-income families who may need to relocate frequently.

Another approach to sustainable and affordable housing is the use of passive design principles. Passive design involves designing buildings to maximize natural light and ventilation, reduce energy consumption, and improve indoor air quality. Architects in Malaysia are incorporating passive design features such as solar shading, natural ventilation, and green roofs to create homes that are comfortable, energy-efficient, and sustainable.

The Rumah Selangorku project is an excellent example of how these principles can be applied in real-world housing projects. Rumah Selangorku is a government initiative that provides affordable housing to low-income families in Selangor. The project aims to provide housing that is not only affordable but also environmentally friendly and sustainable. Architects have designed the homes to incorporate passive design features such as natural ventilation and solar shading. The homes also feature rainwater harvesting systems, energy-efficient lighting, and low-flow water fixtures to reduce water consumption.

Malaysia is also home to several sustainable building projects, including the Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery, which is designed to be energy-efficient and incorporates eco-friendly features like rainwater harvesting and a green roof.

Through these examples, we can see how Architects play a crucial role in achieving affordable and sustainable development goals by designing eco-friendly buildings and infrastructure that reduce the carbon footprint and address environmental concerns, while also ensuring that the building designs are aesthetically pleasing and dated.

How Landscape Architects are creating a greener future

Landscape architects are the key players in crafting sustainable and livable outdoor environments like parks, recreational areas, and public spaces.  In Malaysia,  rapid urbanisation causes us to lose out green spaces, leading to environmental degradation, increased temperatures, and decreased air quality. This is where the 'guardians of our environment' come in to the rescue through their expertise to combat the negative effects of urbanisation. By designing and implementing green infrastructure projects, Landscape Architects can promote biodiversity, reduce urban heat islands, and improve air quality. 

Malaysia has several award-winning landscape architecture projects, including the Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park, which is designed to be an urban oasis in the heart of the city, providing green space and recreational opportunities for citizens.

Our local landscape architects’ efforts can be seen through some of the areas you may have visited. For example, The Taman Tugu project in Kuala Lumpur that transforms 66 acres of degraded land into a public park features a diverse range of native plant species and serves as a model of sustainable urban design. Another exciting project is the River of Life project in Kuala Lumpur which involves revitalising the Klang and Gombak rivers by creating a series of parks and public spaces along their banks. Landscape architects are responsible for designing these spaces, which will not only improve the aesthetics of the city but also provide numerous ecological benefits.

So, if you've got a passion for design and love being outdoors, consider pursuing a career in Landscape Architecture as you can also help boost Malaysia's economy by making our cities more attractive and livable, which can attract tourists and investors.

We need more Engineers in Malaysia

According to the Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister (MOSTI), Chang Lih Kang, Malaysia needs more engineers to help the country achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) to build a sustainable future. 

There are approximately 187,900 formally registered engineers as of December 2022, according to the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) report. Of these, 172,900 are engineers with a bachelor's degree, 5,900 are professionals, and 9,100 have practice credentials.

Malaysia has a lesser engineer-to-population ratio than developed nations like Germany and France, where the ratio is 1:100, according to the most recent statistics for 2022. The acute shortage of engineers we have currently is concerning, as Malaysia needs to double the number of engineers it currently has to develop into a high-tech country by 2030.

Thus, MOSTI places a high priority on fostering the interest, skills, and confidence of young people in fields like artificial intelligence, robotics, quantum computing, coding, and more.

One of their efforts to create a skilled workforce in the 4IR is by organizing a range of programs such as Minggu Sains Negara, Techlympics, and MyHackathon.

If you’re thinking about tapping into the world of engineering, now is definitely the right time.  If you're a Civil Engineer, you have the power to design and build the essential infrastructure needed for development, while also impacting the lives of future generations as you stroll down the memory lane of your past projects around you. 

Malaysia’s housing development: Key areas where you can make a change

Malaysia's housing development landscape is rapidly evolving, and architects, landscape architects, and civil engineers have an essential role to play in its future growth. Here’s how you can play a part in Malaysia's housing development and shape the built environment of the future.

1) Affordable housing project initiatives for low-middle income in the city

The demand for affordable housing in Malaysia is growing rapidly, and architects, landscape architects, and civil engineers can contribute to this area in several ways. They can design innovative and sustainable housing solutions that are affordable for low to middle-income families and individuals. These solutions can include the use of cost-effective materials, sustainable building methods, and energy-efficient technologies that reduce utility bills for residents.

2) Smart cities, transportation accessibility, and building automation

As Malaysia continues to urbanise, architects, landscape architects, and civil engineers can contribute to the development of smart cities that are sustainable and livable. They can design and implement transportation systems that are accessible and efficient, reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality. Additionally, they can incorporate building automation technologies that increase energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, and enhance the overall quality of life for residents.

3) Urban regeneration and the revitalisation of older neighborhoods and districts

Malaysia has several older neighborhoods and districts that require revitalisation, in which architects, landscape architects, and civil engineers can contribute to this area by designing and implementing urban regeneration projects. These projects can include the restoration of heritage buildings, the revitalisation of public spaces, and the creation of mixed-use developments that are sustainable and livable.

4) Resilience to natural disasters

Since natural disasters such as floods and landslides are very prevalent nowadays in Malaysia, architects, landscape architects, and civil engineers can help build resilience against these disasters. They can design buildings and structures that are resistant to natural disasters and incorporate sustainable and resilient design features such as green roofs, rainwater harvesting systems, and energy-efficient technologies.

7) Financial assistance for Architect & Engineering students 

If you’ve made it all the way to this section of the article, it’s safe to assume that you might be more intrigued to enroll in either an architectural or a civil engineering course. Where to enroll, you might ask? 

There are many institutions in Malaysia that offer courses in architecture, landscape design, and civil engineering. But if you're considering enrolling in the best of the best, you ought to consider IUKL, the only infrastructure institution founded in Malaysia.

One of the perks of enrolling in IUKL is the financial support that the university provides exclusively to its students. Students may be entitled to one of their 2023 promotions, which sponsors them fully for selected foundation programmes, where they are only required to pay a registration fee of RM1000.

Apart from that, they also offer a RM6000 rebate in the form of RM1000 vouchers to be used every semester for 6 semesters, and a B40 Scheme that applies to most Diploma and Bachelor programmes.

Visit their website to find out more about IUKL's special promotions for new batch of 2023.

Interested to enrol in one of their programmes? You can contact our educational counselors at Afterschool.my for FREE to assist you in the enrolment, and even help you in choosing the right programme! With a team of experts, they can guide you towards finding the right programme for you that meets your needs and career goals. 

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