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Setia SPICE Convention Centre honoured at ACEM Engineering Awards 2019

Jennifer Shand Jennifer Shand Australasia Press Office,Sydney
26 September 2019

Setia SPICE Convention Centre has been awarded the Gold Award of Special Merit in the prestigious Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia (ACEM) Engineering Awards 2019. It is the Association’s highest award.

Arup was the civil, structural and geotechnical engineer on the project, which is now an iconic facility for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, as well as a public outdoor recreational space

The Awards recognise consulting engineering achievements that demonstrate the highest degree of skill and ingenuity, and provide a significant benefit to the public welfare and the practice of engineering. The entries are judged on the significance of the project to the community; significance of engineering solution, environment and social consideration; originality, innovation and quality of engineering; consideration of maintainability and sustainability; meeting client's needs and budget; and value to the profession at large.

Arup Malyasia Team Arup Malyasia Team

Building the new venue meant repurposing an existing green park which was well used by the community. Arup contributed to a solution that went beyond the design brief by the Penang state government and delivered an innovative solution within the space constraints. The solution was to build the convention centre underground and use its roof for the new – and larger - green public space above it, called the Green Roof. 

“Our excellent engineering skills significantly contributed to this unique and iconic landmark in Penang, blending innovation with aesthetics, usability, constructability, maintainability and affordability,” said Wong Sik Kwang, Arup Penang Office Leader and Project Manager.

The 6,500 sq metre underground convention centre, with 40m column-free spans tucked under the 2.4 hectare roof garden, is both highly aesthetic and functional.  The grand ballroom can fit 400 round banquet tables or 8,000 seats in theatre style, and can be partitioned into four smaller halls for greater flexibility.  

We are honoured by this recognition from ACEM and would like to thank Arup for playing an important role in seeing the idea through to fruition. At SP Setia, we strive to constantly create ecological features and sustainable living environments that enrich the lives of the communities we build,” said Paul Soh, Divisional General Manager of S P Setia Berhad.

Arup’s innovative engineering solutions overcame the challenge of having a long span structure that needed to withstand heavy loading from soil and dynamic crowd loading on the Green Roof as well as potential water leakage into the convention centre.

Another significant feature of Setia SPICE is its dramatic porte cochere. This iconic roof has a flowing, three dimensionally curved, single layered, latticed grid of approximately 113m span supported on only four corners. The challenge was to design a thin roof structure without excessive deflection despite the long span.

SPICE © Eco Meridian Sdn Bhd SPICE © Eco Meridian Sdn Bhd

Setia SPICE Convention Centre is now a thriving hub for local and foreign event organisers, serving the vision of the Penang state government and the client to establish Penang as a premier destination for world-class conventions and events.

Since opening in 2017, SPICE has received numerous accolades including the Malaysia Property Award 2018 by Federation Internationale des Administrateurs de Bien-Conselis Immobiliers (FIABCI) Malaysia and the international FIABCI World Prix d’Excellence Awards 2019, both in the category of Purpose-Built development.

Its 4,000sq metre column-free, subterranean ballroom and 2.8 hectare rooftop park have earned it a place in the Malaysia Book of Records.