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Rainforest at the mall

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					        Rainforest at the mall                                                                        outside is at its coolest and
                                                                  on the rooftop of a major
        1 Utama s latest exhibit takes gardening to new heights   shopping mall                       the coolest possible fresh air
        RIZAL SOLOMON writes                                        Another reason is the             comes in That s among the
                                                                  innovative soil mix based           things we do to keep the place
                                                                  on granulated horticultural         environmentally friendly and
                                                                  carbon developed by Ng              healthy he added
                                                                    The carbon was a key                Meanwhile the jovial
                                                                  component to enabling a             instantly likable Ng is a
                                                                  massive rooftop garden to be        former deputy director
                                                                  created                             general of the Forest Research
                                                                               The carbon soil        Institute of Malaysia FRIM
                                                                             mix also deters pests    and something of a legend in
                                                                             so less pesticides are   Malaysian botanical circles
                                                                             used                     thanks to his vast knowledge
                                                                               The Rainforest is        He was recently awarded
                                                                             hard to ignore With      the prestigious David Fairchild
                                                                             its massive trees        Medal 2009 for Plant
                                                                             and an equally large     Exploration
                                                                             aquarium with a           To date he is the only
                                                                             plethora of fish it is   Malaysian to have ever been
                                                                             a show stopper           awarded that medal His
                                                                                The fish is           passion for the country s rich
                                                                             surprisingly easier      biodiversity is undeniable
        THE first time you enter                                             to maintain than the
          the 1 Utama Shopping                                               plants   said Teo
          Centre s rooftop                                                      Once we got the         rizalsol@nsLcom my
        Secret Garden is a surreal
        experience                                                water balance right and the      The Secret Garden is open
           In that one location yon can                           filter working properly the    to visitors from 10am to 6pm
        find everything from desert                               fish were happy Its population every Saturday and Sunday
        plants thriving out in the open                           has now tripled in size      he       Admission is free but the
        to tropical and temperate                                 added
                                                                                                      number of visitors at any one
        plants                                                      Most people probably don t        time is limited to maintain the
          One walk can take you                                   realise how environmentally         garden s serenity
        through cacti to lychee to                                friendly the shopping centre is       Tickets to the garden can
        spices and even paddy                                       While it has all the
                                                                                                      be obtained at the Customer
          The unveiling of the project                            grandeur of a mega shopping         Service Centre on the ground
        which took more than half a                               mall the philosophy behind          floor HighstreeL You can also
        decade has made its creators                              it is that the mall should
                                                                                                      pick up a map of the garden at
Teo        — 1 Utama director Datuk                               fit into its environment            the customer service
        Chlang Kok and botanist Dr                                This is emphasized by the
happy   Francis Ng   — very                                       management which views                 Log on to www nstcom my
          For them it was a labour                                the mall s impact on the            to see a video walkthrough of 1
        of love                                                   environment very seriously          Utama s Secret Garden
          They started work on the                                  The garden is among
        project after finishing work on                           numerous environmental
        the Rainforest exhibit in the                             initiatives undertaken by the
        mall s new wing                                           mall in the last few years
           We got the idea in 2002 It                               It is also a major component
        took about five years for the                             of an ever evolving plan to
        plants to mature said Teo                                 ensure that 1 Utama cares for
           The Rainforest came                                    the environment it sits in
        about because the new whig                                  Then there are the other
        was facing Central Park                                   environmental initiatives that
        We thought about how we                                   work hand in hand with more
        could bring the park into the                             exhibits
        building                                                     We also built this big
           After the rainforest came                              tank to collect rainwater The
        into being we wanted to                                   rainwater has a few functions
        create something different                                One we use it to cool our air
        We therefore thought about                                conditioning plant Two we
        starting a temperate garden                               use it to flush all our toilets
        said Teo                                                  Three we use it to do all our
          Because it was so                                       landscaping and watering
                                                                     We worked out that we had
        experimental an idea a
        sizeable chunk of time                                    saved 40 per cent of estimated
        was spent on research and                                 water usage over the last five
        development That alone took                               years said Teo
        about two years                                              Every week at 3am we
          The rooftop garden is a                                 pump out all the stale air
        landmark for a variety of                                 in the shopping centre This
        reasons
                                                                  is the time when the air
          The first and most obvious
        of course is the creation of
        a garden with such variety

				
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posted:5/28/2010
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