Success Story: KL Sports City – A model project to emulate


KUALA LUMPUR: Redevelopment works undertaken by construction giant MRCB at the Bukit Jalil Sport Complex – now officially known as Kuala Lumpur Sports City (KLSC) – is a fine example of transforming Malaysia’s national construction into a responsible and developed industry.

Its high quality construction, adhering to primary prerequisites of quality, safety and professionalism, makes it a model project to emulate.

Originally opened in 1998 for the Commonwealth Games, the upgrade and transformation provided exciting, world-class venues for sporting excellence, built in time for the 2017 KL Sea Games.

The multi-million project spearheaded by Malaysian Resources Corp. Berhad (MRCB) and international architectural firm Populous centred on the state of the art National Stadium, apart from the refurbished National Aquatic Centre, the Axiata Arena, the National Hockey Stadium and a sprawling plaza.

Populous specialises in the design of sports facilities, arenas and convention centres.

Cited as a “one of its kind” stadium complex, KLSC has garnered CIDB 5-star award and an ISO award from Hong Kong. It was also shortlisted for World Architecture Festival 2017 in Berlin.

Recently CIDB website spoke to MRCB General Manager Datuk S Nalgunalingam on KLSC redevelopment project which had received high praises from everyone, including from the various stakeholders in the construction industry.

He started by saying that KL Sports City was designed to create a co-ordinated and liveable sports city by adapting, updating and linking the existing facilities, effectively placing sport and recreation at the centre of family life, giving the community a sustainable sporting precinct year-round.

“Building Information Modeling (BIM) was used from day one of design, project planning and modeling,” he said.

“We went on a benchmarking tour together with Populous to see stadiums around Europe and neighbouring Asian countries.

“We talked to stadium operators on challenges and improvements that can be made,” he added, revealing that the KLSC project saw some major technology transfers.

One in particular involved the stadium seats.

Nalgunalingam said that Camatic Australia was awarded the project to design the seats. They had then sent the mould to Malaysia where all 85,000 seats were manufactured in partnership with a local Rawang-based company. The seats were also installed within a three-month time frame. Pixelated seats have also been installed at the stadium to give the illusion of a crowd even in the absence of a decent capacity.

MRCB ensured that quality control was continuously checked to meet world-class standards.

Apart from the seats, the main stadium’s façade is also a novelty. It is made up of three-dimensional LED facade that can flash digitally based animations, advertisements and branding. Twisted blades on the facade provide protection from the sun and also allow for natural ventilation.

The main stadium also features high-definition big screens, scoreboard and state-of-the-art lights and sounds.

To encourage community participation, new cycling and running tracks made of the same material for the track used inside the main stadium have been installed outside the stadium. New shower rooms are also available for people who would like to take advantage of the facilities offered.

Safety is also heightened with 800 security cameras and better lightings installed for public safety.

The refurbishment efforts have turned KLSC into an entertainment centre as well. Axiata Arena is now equipped with the latest technology and world class facilities. It seats 15,000 people and can accommodate more with standing room. It is fitted with advanced fire protection system that comply with global safety standards.

International concerts like those of Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Jacky Cheung have been held here. Axiata Arena is currently fully booked till November 2018.

KLSC National Hockey Stadium’s newly laid turf meanwhile has been awarded with a Global Elite certification by international hockey federation FIH which is the highest certification. KLSC National Hockey Stadium is the only stadium with this certification right now. The warm-up pool at the National Aquatic Centre has a movable floor that can go all the way up and serve as a multi-functional space.

As part of its green measure, MRCB also ensured the KLSC has ample green space with plenty of trees and shrubs all over the complex. And to make the place to be more people-friendly, pedestrian-centred layouts have been placed, aimed at encouraging public transport use and activity within the precinct even when there is not a major event on. There are also many food and beverage kiosks around all three stadiums.

Another major feather in the cap for the KLSC project is its zero fatality rating – which means there were no fatalities during the construction stage of this project, which was also completed ahead of schedule in 15 months and on a tight budget.

“Safety has always been our topmost priority.

“We do not compromise on safety. Everybody has to go home safe,” said Nalgunalingam.

[December 8, 2017]

This article is part of  CIDB Success Story series.