The Exchange TRX focuses on climate change, construction on track for 2022

This article first appeared in City & Country, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on March 22, 2021 - March 28, 2021.
The Exchange TRX forms part of the freehold 70-acre master plan of TRX, which has an estimated GDV of RM40 billion and will comprise a total of 30 buildings (Photo by Lendlease)

The Exchange TRX forms part of the freehold 70-acre master plan of TRX, which has an estimated GDV of RM40 billion and will comprise a total of 30 buildings (Photo by Lendlease)

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The Exchange TRX at the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX), the upcoming financial district on Jalan Barat in Pudu, Kuala Lumpur, will focus on its climate change and sustainability efforts. Developed by master developer TRX City Sdn Bhd and Australia-based Lendlease, The Exchange TRX forms part of the freehold 70-acre master plan of TRX, which has an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM40 billion and will comprise a total of 30 buildings.

In a media sharing session on March 11, Lendlease Malaysia managing director and head of country Stuart Mendel and CEO of Asia Tony Lombardo tell City & Country that the construction of the development is on track for completion in 2023, and its latest launch at The Exchange TRX has been receiving positive response, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mendel says, “Despite the Movement Control Order (MCO), we have been on track in the construction of The Exchange TRX. The towers have started to be built above the ground, with the retail segment to be completed in 2022 and TRX Residences in 2023. We continue to make positive sales for our latest launch Tower B at TRX Residences of The Exchange TRX [since the launch last September], and we expect for this positivity to grow. We are still focusing on our current launches.” 

Taking up 17 acres of the 70-acre TRX master plan, The Exchange TRX will comprise TRX Residences (with six residential towers), a low-rise office, a retail mall with a net lettable area (NLA) of 1.3 million sq ft and Kimpton Hotel. The development will also offer a 10-acre TRX Park.

The Exchange TRX’s first plot will comprise the 53-storey, 443-unit Tower A and the 57-storey, 453-unit Tower B, both launched last September. Prices of the units start from RM970,000, with built-up from 474 to 3,854 sq ft and 1- to 3-bedroom layouts as well as 3- and 4-bedroom duplex layouts. So far, the non-bumiputera units of its first tower, Tower A, have been taken up.

“The retail part of the development is scheduled for completion next year and is currently more than 50% leased and/or under negotiation, which is heading in the right direction for this stage of the development,” says Mendel. The brands include Japanese department store Seibu,

an upscale supermarket brand by Dairy Farm Group of Hong Kong, and a new concept in cinema and entertainment by Golden Screen Cinemas. 

On the subject of climate change and sustainability, CEO of Asia Lombardo says, “If you look at every country, [climate change efforts] are different because of different climatic zones. So, it is important to access and approach the design of buildings according to this factor.

“[For example,] owing to the tropical climate and heat in Malaysia, the use of energy has a lot to do with air-conditioning. The government has an ambitious target to reduce carbon emissions by 45% by 2030, and our agenda is pretty much aligned with that.”

Lendlease recently launched the Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Plan (CCAR), which presents the methodology and findings of climate risk analysis and highlights the key strategies and features of The Exchange TRX that will help reduce its vulnerability to climate change impact and increase the adaptive capacity and resilience of its community.

The Exchange TRX will comprise TRX Residences (pictured), a low-rise office, a retail mall with a net lettable area of 1.3 million sq ft and Kimpton Hotel (Photo by Lendlease)

“We have been dealing with competent parties and talents here in Malaysia in supporting our vision and strategy [in climate change], and it is very comparable [to Australia]. It is important for us to show people what we have invested for the sustainability efforts and how to use the buildings appropriately,” Lombardo says.

He adds that Lendlease has established five key steps to decarbonisation: (1) Create a decarbonisation investment strategy for both net zero and absolute zero targets that are guided by Lendlease’s targets, business strategy and development pipeline; (2) phase out diesel and gas in operations and focus on fuel switching and electrification in assets and developments; (3) transition to renewable electricity by 2030 through a combination of onsite renewable technologies, and the purchase of renewable electricity and renewable energy certificates; (4) collaborate with supply chain partners to drive transformation innovation and create digitally enabled supply chains to drive circular economy outcomes; and (5) focus on collaboration and partnerships with tenants and residents to transition to renewable energy. 

The developer aims to become a 1.5°C aligned company to achieve net-zero carbon by 2025 and absolute zero carbon by 2040. It adds that it plans to create A$250 million (RM796 million) in social value by 2025 to measure the environmental, social and economic impact on society as a result of its collective mitigation efforts.

“[In terms of climate change,] the sentiment is that Malaysia has shifted over the last few years, and it has grown to become a more talked-about topic. Our obligation as Lendlease, or more broadly as a community, is to seize this opportunity and start making the changes and adopting the efforts,” says Mendel.

Apart from the built environment and community in the precinct, some of the group’s sustainability efforts lie in the passive designs and material selection of the buildings such as the awning structures, green roofs, low-emissivity glass (to reduce heat and noise transmission), energy-efficient appliances and mechanical ventilation for improved consumption and air circulation. The developer has also achieved provisional Green Building Index Gold and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified status for TRX Residences.

Lendlease has key urban regeneration projects in major cities worldwide, including the Petronas Twin Towers and Suria KLCC in Malaysia; Paya Lebar Quarter in Singapore; Barangaroo South and Darling Harbour in Australia; and Elephant Park in London.