Public Works Department Headquarters Tower (KKR2) © Arup; Public Works Department Headquarters Tower (KKR2) © Arup;

Public Works Department Headquarters Tower KKR2, Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia’s first high-rise office to achieve GBI Platinum rating

Previously scattered around Kuala Lumpur, the Public Works Department offices are now in centralised headquarters to meet the Ministry of Works’ growing workforce.

The 175m tall government-owned building received the prestigious Malaysian Construction Industry Excellence Award (MCIEA) 2017 for Best Project (Major Buildings) as well as the Green Building Index (GBI) Platinum certification.

We delivered multidisciplinary engineering services. The tower is distinguished by its inclined and twisting perimeter columns. Being built on a hill slope meant the basement and podium had to be engineered to suit the sloping terrain and such that its construction did not adversely affect adjacent buildings.

Project Summary


175m tall GBI Platinum-rated office building

37storeys with inclined and twisting perimeter columns

Diamond in the crown

Strategically located at Jalan Sultan Salahuddin, the tower comprises a 37-storey office building, a two-storey basement and a seven-storey podium. The building’s diamond-like façade is meant to reflect the Ministry of Works’ position as the diamond in the crown of the construction industry and KL city.


Working in hilly terrain

The site is underlain by Kenny Hill formation with hard stratum present at approximately 10m below ground. Part of the structure was built on cut ground of up to 21m deep excavation on two sides of the structure. Due to space constraints and very close proximity to the existing buildings above (about 5m to 15m away), we designed the excavation to be supported by a series of contiguous bored piles of 1.2m to 1.8m in diameter, forming the basement wall with multiple layers of multi-strand temporary ground anchors. As a permanent solution, earth pressure on the wall was designed to be supported by the structure and its foundations. The presence of adjacent structures required excavation works be carefully thought out with extensive geotechnical monitoring.

Public Works Department Headquarters Tower (KKR2) © Arup Public Works Department Headquarters Tower (KKR2) © Arup

Our innovative design approach realized client’s vision of a sophisticated, energy efficient and space-optimized tower with minimum impact to existing slope terrain. ”

Ng Say Gim Ng Say Gim

Distinguished by inclined and twisting perimeter columns

To achieve the building curves, the tower floor plate sizes vary throughout the height of the building. The original design had vertical tower perimeter columns set in from the floor edges. But this resulted in very inefficient floor space planning with varying large cantilevers along the perimeter. The twisting perimeter columns solved those problems. Each of the 20 such columns incline and twist following the external building profile. Our innovation optimised floor space utilisation for the client.


Saving time and reducing energy footprint

We adopted single bored piles to support individual columns, thus expediting substructure works. All the reinforced concrete columns at basement level (approximately 9.5m below ground level) were vertical. Half-cast precast slabs with structural in-situ topping further reduced construction time cycles and the need for on-site works. This, in turn, helped to reduce the building’s energy footprint.

Our M&E team executed other energy and resource saving features that helped realize the client’s brief of achieving a GBI Platinum-rated building. These features include solar panels and a rainwater harvesting system for landscape irrigation. Further energy efficiency was achieved by adopting lux and motion sensors into lighting control systems to automate room brightness.


In 2017, the Public Works Department Headquarters Tower was awarded the Malaysian Construction Industry Excellence Award (MCIEA) 2017 - Best Project Award (Major Buildings) and the Malaysian Construction Industry Excellence Award (MCIEA) 2017- Green Construction Award.