Gamuda Land stepping up to the plate
Joseph Wong 

Preserving nature in its property development projects will continue to be a strong focus for Gamuda Land Sdn Bhd. In fact, it is going the extra mile by retaining greenery beyond the minimum requirement for a development.

Gamuda Land’s latest RM20 bil project, Gamuda Cove in southern Klang Valley, is said to be different from the other projects it has embarked on to date.

One-sixth of the 619ha mixed development township, or 101ha, will be a nature conservation area that preserves the flora and fauna of the wetlands. The bulk of the development consists of residential, commercial, office, healthcare, and educational components.

It is the first time that the developer is engaged in a project of this magnitude, and transforming this huge parcel of leasehold land into what will be a “thriving and happening township” with more than 23,000 residential units.

Gamuda Land project director Aw Sei Cheh says the 101ha will remain as green spaces and water bodies although the developer is required to keep 10% of it green.

“Gamuda Cove is designed as a sustainable smart city amidst nature, with meticulous integration of residential and commercial developments, green spaces and water bodies, facilities and amenities, green transportation and other infrastructure such as 5G connection, and smart vehicle charging stations,” he says.


20-year project

The mammoth project will take 20 years to complete. It will begin with three phases to be launched within a year of the unveiling.

“Three phases of the residential units will be launched within this financial year (ending July 31, 2019). The first phase of landed residential units will be launched in about two months’ time,” says Aw.

The first phase will comprise 490 linked homes, incorporating a Scandinavian design, and is expected to be completed by 2021.

There are four variants of the double-storey homes, with sizes of 20ft by 70ft (1,824 sq ft), 22ft by 75ft (2,214 sq ft), 22ft by 75ft (2,271 sq ft) with a dual frontage design, and 28ft by 65ft (2,620 sq ft). The indicative prices are from RM680,000, RM800,000, RM1 mil and RM1.1 mil respectively.

Each home comprises of four bedrooms and four bathrooms, with the exception of the 20ft by 70ft version, which comes with four bedrooms and three bathrooms.

The second phase will involve 972 units of serviced apartments as well as the Adventure Park, adjacent to the apartments.

The third phase will comprise higher-end landed property – a total of 525 houses.

The indicative price for the serviced apartments is from RM350,000, estimated at about RM530 per sq ft.

According to Aw, the project has received some 10,000 online registrations of interest over the past few months.


Using IBS expertise

Gamuda Land, the property arm of listed Gamuda Bhd, will be maximising its industrialised building system (IBS) expertise for this development, says Aw.

“Some 90% of the buildings will be constructed with prefabricated components from our plant (Gamuda IBS, the nation’s first digital IBS factory). The remaining 10% is mostly concrete and other components that connect the prefab together,” he says.

The IBS construction will ensure a faster delivery and better quality homes as the products are fully tested and SIRIM-certified, he says.

“Most of the components for the development will be produced in the factory which will allow for better consistency and not be exposed to the outside environment which may undermine the condition of the components,” he adds.

IBS products are also structurally stronger, have better resistance to fire and rot, and improved sound and heat insulation, he says.

All this is part and parcel of the development’s achievement of a provisional Malaysia Green Building Index (GBI) Gold Rating Business District Planning Assessment, Aw says.

“Gamuda Cove is located in a strategic location next to the Elite Highway. It will be a comprehensive township where people can work, live and play all in one place,” he says.

The first three phases have a gross dvelopment value of RM1.5 bil, says Aw. “The 60-acre (24.3ha) Central Park will also be developed alongside phase one, so by next year, you will already be able to see the park.”

“The lake is an existing one but we are enlarging it and enhancing the natural environment surrounding it,” Gamuda Land general manager Wong Yik Fong tells FocusM.

“We are using the plants in the vicinity so we know the vegetation will continue to thrive in the park areas. The township is surrounded by Paya Indah Wetlands and the Kuala Langat Forest Reserve, making this area very lush and green. We want the development to be as natural as possible so children growing up in Gamuda Cove will be able to experience what many of us have experienced in our childhood,” he adds.

Aw points out that the Central Park is just one of the green areas in the development. “We decided on creating beautiful lakes full of native flora and fauna so that Gamuda Cove will be sustainable and liveable.

“We are also adding Adventure Park and Discovery Park to both entertain and be of educational value to the residents and visitors,” he says.

The immediate plans are to build a Hangout Village and Sports Park but future developments will also include a wellness oasis, a knowledge and information corridor, an arts and tourism village and the southern precinct of landed homes with private piers for residents to dock their yachts.

To ensure walkability, a 5km walking/jogging/cycling path with an integrated children’s playground is in the works. There will also be exercise apparatus to encourage outdoor exercise and a weaver bridge as well as 3D facades for residents and visitors to take Instagram-type photographs.


Internal tram circle line

There is going to be a tram circle line that will run around the central business district of the project to lessen the traffic flow and ease parking needs, says Aw.

“For the moment, the line will not be running on tracks. That is in the later stage of the plan when the tram is integrated into the development. We need to study where to place the charging stations to ensure that the tram runs efficiently,” he adds.

For residents of the first three phases, the electric-powered tram will run from the condominium units and the adjacent Adventure Park over a 4km path to the Southern Precinct, linking all the recreational zones, including the Discovery Park, Sports Park and Hangout Village.

A shuttle bus connecting Gamuda Cove to surrounding amenities such as the KL International Airport (KLIA), KLIA2 and Putrajaya Sentral Station will also be provided.

Gamuda Land is also constructing a RM50 mil dedicated interchange linking the North-South Expressway Central Link (Elite) to allow for a smoother flow of traffic into the development.

Connectivity is an important aspect of the township’s masterplan, says Aw, adding that the interchange is expected to be completed by mid-next year.

The township is also easily accessible through other highways like the Putrajaya-Cyberjaya Expressway, South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE), Maju Expressway (MEX), North-South Expressway (NSE) and the upcoming West Coast Expressway (WCE).

Future flyovers and direct linkages to Putrajaya, Cyberjaya and Dengkil are in the plans, says Aw.

“Residents can also opt for public transportation through the Express Rail Link (ERL) or the MRT (mass rapid transit) Line 2,” he says.


Keeping it green

Staying true to key development principles in sustainability, Gamuda Land is taking an inventory of the mature trees it has in all its projects.

As with its other project Gamuda Gardens in Sungai Buloh, Selangor, a scientific audit is being carried out by NGOs and professionals for six months to ensure native flora and fauna surrounding and within the development continue to flourish.

“We are identifying the mature trees that can be transplanted to various locations in the park areas of Gamuda Cove. This is a costly exercise as it will inadvertently cost more than just planting a new one,” Wong says.

Nevertheless, the advantage is that the park will have instant mature tress lining its walkways, rest areas or by the water features.

It will be as if the park has always been there rather than waiting for the trees to grow, which could take years, he explains.

“Our team has been identifying [hundreds of] trees that can be transplanted, if not to Gamuda Cove, [then] to our other properties. This is one of our ways of preserving the environment,” he adds.

“[We listen] to what the land has to tell us, we can create a more conducive environment that is better than it was before development.

“Before we craft each town, we look at its natural surroundings which include studying the natural landscape, the direction of flowing waterways as well as the flora and fauna that exist there.

“Working alongside nature, we try to maintain the goodness of the land while enhancing the existing environment by fusing nature into our towns and neighbourhoods,” says Aw. FocusM

This article first appeared in Focus Malaysia Issue 300.