Simple device to deflect birds

Teh (white shirt) and Ang (with tie) observing visitors using the automatic glass doors that stops the ingress of external air and heat into Komtar.

ALL tall buildings suffer from invasions of birds in search of a place to roost, and the tallest monolith in Komtar has been dealing with it since it was erected.

Pigeon droppings — a health hazard that spreads parasites, bacteria and mites — have been gathering by the hundreds of kilogrammes atop the retail lots where people movement are highest, but a recent spark of creativity has ended the problem without much ado.

Long, broad strips bristling with spikes was all it took to dissuade the pigeons from roosting on the shelter ledges and pooping down into hard to reach places.

PDC Setia Urus chief executive officer Datuk Ang Choo Hong said for 35 years, Komtar suffered from the mess of bird droppings, considered a health hazard.

But it turns out that the solution was a cinch.

“The base of the strips is plastic and the spikes are stainless steel.”

After a successful trial run at a ledge using 45 metres of the strips, Ang said it was a good deterrent and the solution would be done in stages, adding that the cost was about RM100 per metre.

Despite being one of Penang island’s older modern structures, Ang said efforts are made to keep the iconic building in good shape to continually serve Penangites.

Komtar was also awarded a low-carbon building certificate by Sustainable Energy Development Authority (Seda) Malaysia last year.

Ang said the award was issued on Dec 14 based on a reduction of its electricity bill by about RM2mil annually.

“Our energy bill was RM8.9mil last year from RM10.9mil in 2016 and RM10.1mil in 2017.

“That equals a drop in carbon dioxide emission of 5.60% which is equivalent to 712.43 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

“That’s about the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by 33,000 trees of at least 10 years old,” he told a press conference recently.

Also present were Komtar assemblyman Teh Lai Heng, PDC Setia Urus electrical chairman Wong Khee Cheong and electrical executive M. Mohanraja.

Ang added that Komtar was awarded a low carbon building with a one diamond rating and efforts to reduce energy use would carry on.

“In 2016 and 2017, a number of constant speed motorised air handling units (AHU) were replaced with new AHUs of variable speed drives.

“Several electrical equipment were upgraded to provide a more efficient power supply and to reduce power loss.

“Komtar has also stopped the ingress of external heat into the building by fixing automatic glass doors. This brought about a saving of 18.59% (compared with 2016) and 12.1% (2017),” he added.

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