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When it comes to property search, location and price are usually the top two criteria for most of us. But have you ever considered a Green Building Index (GBI)-certified home? 



Green Building Index:


  • The GBI is a Malaysian industry rating tool developed by Pertubuhan Arkitek Malaysia and the Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia.

  • The GBI guides property developers in incorporating sustainable elements in all aspects of their residential and commercial buildings.

  • The GBI has 6 criteria:  Energy efficient, indoor environment quality, sustainable site planning and management, materials and resources, water efficiency and innovation.

  • There are currently already GBI-certified buildings in the market, each certified to one of four levels of ‘green’: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.



Although GBI-certified properties, or green building, provide many benefits, we will focus on three major ways a GBI-certified property brings more value to you as a property purchaser.

Energy efficient 


GBI-certified buildings’ designs tend to optimise natural light as much as possible. In our tropical environment, these buildings are planned to reduce heat gain and to enhance cooling effects.


Some energy-efficient design aspects include strategic siting, envelope air sealing, window placement and innovating heat deflection design, and improved ventilation. Some property developers may also include the installation of renewable energy supply.


All this means good news for your wallet in the form of lower energy bills. Energy efficiency also helps to lower maintenance costs from the reduced energy required to power common and shared facilities. Green buildings incorporate water efficient fittings to save water and detect leaks.

More habitable indoor environment 


The careful selection of built materials such as low volatile organic compounds and non-formaldehyde components helps GBI-certified properties have lower chemical exposure compared to non-GBI-certified properties.


Chemical contaminants and poor air circulation are contributors to building-related illness, which cause adverse health effects such as chest tightness, discomfort, headache and nausea.


Better indoor environment is also achieved by controlling the temperature, air flow and humidity. Some buildings incorporate space-saving vertical gardens to keep indoor temperature cool and to provide fresh air to residence.


GBI-certified buildings also control noise pollution by placing partitions that filter sound. All these equals to a healthier and comfortable living for occupants of a green building.

Lower financing options

In a move to encourage the popularity and adoption of green buildings, some banks are starting their own initiatives in preferential financing for certified properties.


CIMB is one such bank, offering preferential rates for participating residential properties certified by GBI, GreenRe, LEED, or BCA Green Mark. It may be worthwhile to check if the property you’re eyeing is on the list, and if not, to consider one of these green property options where you would be entitled to enjoy the lower financing.


Buildings are responsible for 30% of global annual greenhouse gas emissions and roughly 40% of the world’s energy consumption. Even if this doesn’t strike at your conscience, green buildings save energy and water and are kinder to human health and wellbeing, all of which translates into potential savings and bring about quality of life.


This article is brought to you by CIMB as part of our ongoing efforts to raise the level of financial literacy among Malaysians. Financial knowledge and understanding are key to making well-informed and meaningful financial decisions towards positively improving welfare and well-being of communities. This is one of our many efforts to achieve CIMB’s purpose of advancing customers and society.



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