Skip to main content
Search for Articles:
Civil and Sustainable Urban Engineering

Open Access Review

Sustainable Urban Development in Malaysia: Enhancing Green Roofs with Integrated Technologies

by Yien Yu Tang 1 , Youcef Slimani 2 , Mukhtar Ali Al-Ghazal 3 , Gaurav Talukdar 4 , Amit Kumar Maharjan 5
1 Environmental Engineering Program, Curtin University, CDT 250, Miri, Malaysia
2 University of Boumerdès Faculty of Technology Frantz fanon City-Boumerdes, Algeria
3 College of Engineering, Al-Mergib University, Al-Mina Street - Al-Khoms, Libya
4 Kansas Geological Survey, University of Kansas Lawrence, Kansas, 66045, USA
5 Organization for Public Health and Environment Management, Lalitpur Metropolitan City – 10, Nepal

SUBMITTED: 22 October 2023; ACCEPTED: 01 December 2023; PUBLISHED: 4 December 2023

Submission to final decision takes 40 days.

Get rights and content
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License



Urbanization and population density surges globally have triggered environmental challenges, with the construction sector notably contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and high energy consumption. Urban expansion has exacerbated issues, converting green spaces into impermeable structures and heightening flood risks. Green roofs have emerged as an eco-friendly solution, excelling in stormwater management, mitigating the urban heat island effect, enhancing air quality, reducing noise transmission, preserving biodiversity, extending roof lifespan, and augmenting aesthetics. They absorb rainwater, decreasing stormwater runoff, yet entail higher installation and maintenance costs and potential fire hazards compared to conventional roofs. In Malaysia, government policies and incentives drive green roof adoption, particularly in residential, commercial, and institutional buildings, predominantly of the intensive green roof type. Buildings undergo green rating tool evaluations for green certification. Despite progress, challenges persist, including expertise shortages, lack of design guidelines, limited research, low public awareness, and green roof component disposal issues. Addressing these demands significant government efforts, including robust policy development, increased support for local companies, expanded research initiatives, heightened public awareness, and optimized synergy with other technologies. Integrating green roofs with solar panels and utilizing greywater for irrigation can reduce energy and water consumption concurrently, showcasing potential for comprehensive and sustainable urban development.

Next article

Keywords: Green roof, Malaysia, pros and cons, challenges

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License
© 2023 Yien Yu Tang, Youcef Slimani, Mukhtar Ali Al-Ghazal, Gaurav Talukdar, Amit Kumar Maharja. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Share and Cite

ACS Styles
APA Styles
Tang, Y. Y., Slimani, Y. ., Al-Ghazal, M. A. ., Talukdar, G. ., & Maharjan, A. K. (2023). Sustainable Urban Development in Malaysia: Enhancing Green Roofs with Integrated Technologies . Civil and Sustainable Urban Engineering, 3(2), 148‒162.
MLA Styles
Find Other Styles

Cascone, S. (2019). Green Roof Design: State of the Art on Technology and Materials. Sustainability, 11, 3020.

Chow, M.F.; Bakar, M.F.A. (2016). A Review on the Development and Challenges of Green Roof Systems in Malaysia. International Journal of Architectural and Environmental Engineering, 10, 16–20.

Shafique, M.; Kim, R.; Rafiq, M. (2018). Green roof benefits, opportunities and challenges – A review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 90, 757–773.

Halkos, G.; Gkampoura, E.C. (2021). Where do we stand on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals? An overview on progress. Economic Analysis and Policy, 70, 94–122.

Mostafavi, F.; Tahsildoost, M.; Zomorodian, Z.S. (2021). Energy efficiency and carbon emission in high-rise buildings: A review (2005-2020). Building and Environment, 206, 108329.

Abass, F.; Ismail, L.H.; Wahab, I.A.; Elgadi, A.A. (2020). A Review of Green Roof: Definition, History, Evolution and Functions. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 713, 012048.

Shafique, M.; Kim, R.; Kyung-Ho, K. (2018). Green Roof for Stormwater Management in a Highly Urbanised Area: The Case of Seoul, Korea. Sustainability, 10, 584.

Knaus, M.; Haase, D. (2020). Green roof effects on daytime heat in a prefabricated residential neighbourhood in Berlin, Germany. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 53, 126738.

Odli, Z.S.M.; Zakarya, I.A.; Mohd, F.N.; Izhar, T.N.T.; Ibrahim, N.M.; Mohamad, N. (2016). Green Roof Technology- Mitigate Urban Heat Island (UHI) Effect. MATEC Web of Conferences, 78, 01100.

Luo, H.; Wang, N.; Chen, J.; Ye, X.; Sun, Y.F. (2015). Study on the Thermal Effects and Air Quality Improvement of Green Roof. Sustainability 7, 2804–2817.

Van Renterghem, T. (2018). Green Roofs for Acoustic Insulation and Noise Reduction. Nature Based Strategies for Urban and Building Sustainability, 167–179.

Wooster, E.I.F.; Fleck, R.; Torpy, F.; Ramp, D.; Irga, P.J. (2022). Urban green roofs promote metropolitan biodiversity: A comparative case study. Building and Environment, 207, 108458.

Sailor, D.J. (2008). A green roof model for building energy simulation programs. Energy and Buildings, 40, 1466–1478.

Sutton, R.K. (2015). Introduction to Green Roof Ecosystems. In Green RoofEcosystems; Sutton R.K., Ed.; Springer International Publishing, pp. 1–25.

Azis, S.S.A.; Zulkifli, N.A.A. (2021). Green roof for sustainable urban flash flood control via cost benefit approach for local authority. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 57, 126876.

Getter, K.L.; Rowe, D.B. (2006). The Role of Extensive Green Roofs in Sustainable Development. HortScience, 41, 1276–1285.

Kosareo, L.; Ries, R. (2007). Comparative environmental life cycle assessment of green roofs. Building and Environment, 42, 2606–2613.

Czemiel Berndtsson, J. (2010). Green roof performance towards management of runoff water quantity and quality: A review. Ecological Engineering, 36, 351–360.

Vacek, P.; Struhala, K.; Matějka, L. (2017). Life-cycle study on semi intensive green roofs. Journal of Cleaner Production, 154, 203–213.

Chow, M.F.; Bakar, M.F.A. (2019). Environmental benefits of green roof to the sustainable urban development: A review. Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering, 9, 1525–1541.

Kok, K.H.; Mohd Sidek, L.; Chow, M.F.; Zainal Abidin, M.R.; Basri, H.; Hayder, G. (2015). Evaluation of green roof performances for urban stormwater quantity and quality controls. International Journal of River Basin Management, 14, 1–7.

Zhang, Q.; Miao, L.; Wang, X.; Liu, D.; Zhu, L.; Zhou, B.; Sun, J.; Liu, J. (2015). The capacity of greening roof to reduce stormwater runoff and pollution. Landscape and Urban Planning, 144, 142–150.

Alfredo, K.; Montalto, F.; Asce, M.; Goldstein, A. (2009). Observed and Modeled Performances of Prototype Green Roof Test Plots Subjected to Simulated Low- and High-Intensity Precipitations in a Laboratory Experiment. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 15, 444–457.

Lehmann, S. (2014). Low carbon districts: Mitigating the urban heat island with green roof infrastructure. City, Culture and Society, 5, 1–8.

Manso, M.; Teotónio, I.; Silva, C.M.; Cruz, C.O. (2021). Green roof and green wall benefits and costs: A review of the quantitative evidence. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 135, 110111.

Smith, K.R.; Roebber, P.J. (2011). Green Roof Mitigation Potential for a Proxy Future Climate Scenario in Chicago, Illinois. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 50, 507–522.

Razzaghmanesh, M.; Beecham, S.; Salemi, T. (2016). The role of green roofs in mitigating Urban Heat Island effects in the metropolitan area of Adelaide, South Australia. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 15, 89–102.

Van Renterghem, T.; Botteldooren, D. (2009). Reducing the acoustical façade load from road traffic with green roofs. Building and Environment, 44, 1081–1087.

Yang, H.S.; Kang, J.; Choi, M.S. (2012). Acoustic effects of green roof systems on a low-profiled structure at street level. Building and Environment, 50, 44–55.

Rowe, D.B. (2011). Green roofs as a means of pollution abatement. Environmental Pollution, 59, 2100–2110.

] Yang, J.; Yu, Q.; Gong, P. (2008). Quantifying air pollution removal by green roofs in Chicago. Atmospheric Environment, 42, 7266–7273.

Jim, C.Y.; Peng, L.L.H. (2012). Weather effect on thermal and energy performance of an extensive tropical green roof. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 11, 73–85.

Fernandez-Cañero, R.; Emilsson, T.; Fernandez-Barba, C.; Herrera Machuca, M.Á. (2013). Green roof systems: A study of public attitudes and preferences in southern Spain. Journal of Environmental Management, 128, 106–115.

Walters, S.A.; Midden, K.S. (2018). Sustainability of Urban Agriculture: Vegetable Production on Green Roofs. Agriculture 2018, 8, 168, 8, 168.

Li, W.C.; Yeung, K.K.A. (2014). A comprehensive study of green roof performance from environmental perspective. International Journal of Sustainable Built Environment, 3, 127–134.

Deng, H.; Jim, C.Y. (2017). Spontaneous plant colonisation and bird visits of tropical extensive green roof. Urban Ecosystems, 20, 337–352.

Gerzhova, N.; Blanchet, P.; Dagenais, C.; Côté, J.; Ménard, S. (2019). Heat Transfer Behavior of Green Roof Systems under Fire Condition: A Numerical Study. Buildings, 9, 206.

Gerzhova, N.; Blanchet, P.; Dagenais, C.; Ménard, S.; Côté, J. (2020). Flammability Characteristics of Green Roofs. Buildings, 10, 126.

Gerzhova, N.; Dagenais, C.; Ménard, S.; Blanchet, P.; Côté, J. (2022). A Parametric Study of Fire Risks of Green Roofs to Adjacent Buildings. Fire, 5, 93.

Ismail, W.Z.W.; Abdullah, M.N.; Hashim, H.; Rani, W.S.W. (2016). An overview of green roof development in Malaysia and a way forward. AIP Conference Proceedings, 2016, 020058.

Rahman, S.R.A.; Ahmad, H.; Rosley, M.S.F. (2013). Green Roof: Its Awareness Among Professionals and Potential in Malaysian Market. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 85, 443–453.

Sood, S.M.; Kok Hua, C.; Leong, Y.P. (2011). Sustainable Development in the BuildingSector: Green Building Framework in Malaysia. ST-8: Best Practices & SD in Construction, pp. 1-8.

Suhaida, M.S.; Tan, K.L.; Leong, Y.P. (2013). Green buildings in Malaysia towards greener environment: challenges for policy makers. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 16, 012121.

Chua, S.C.; Oh, T.H. (2011). Green progress and prospect in Malaysia. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 15, 2850–2861.

Mustaffa, N.K.; Kudus, S.A. (2022). Challenges and way forward towards best practices of energy efficient building in Malaysia. Energy, 259, 124839.

Mustaffa, N.K.; Mat Isa, C.M.; Che Ibrahim, C.K.I. (2021). Top-down bottom-up strategic green building development framework: Case studies in Malaysia. Building and Environment, 203, 108052.

Olubunmi, O.A.; Xia, P.B.; Skitmore, M. (2016). Green building incentives: A review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 59, 1611–1621.

Ismail, Z.; Aziz, H.A.; Nasir, N.M.; Taib, M.Z.M. (2012). Obstacles to adopt green roof in Malaysia. CHUSER 2012 - 2012 IEEE Colloquium on Humanities, Science and Engineering Research, 357–361.

Vijayaraghavan, K. (2016). Green roofs: A critical review on the role of components, benefits, limitations and trends. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 57, 740–752.

Fleck, R.; Gill, R.; Pettit, T.J.; Torpy, F.R.; Irga, P.J. (2022). Bio-solar green roofs increase solar energy output: The sunny side of integrating sustainable technologies. Building and Environment, 226, 109703.

Pradhan, S.; Al-Ghamdi, S.G.; Mackey, H.R. (2019). Greywater recycling in buildings using living walls and green roofs: A review of the applicability and challenges. Science of The Total Environment, 652, 330–344.

Ting, K.H. (2012). Tropical green building rating systems: A comparison between Green Building Index and BCA Green Mark. BEIAC 2012 - 2012 IEEE Business, Engineering and Industrial Applications Colloquium, 263–268.

Roh, S.; Tae, S.; Suk, S.J.; Ford, G.; Shin, S. (2016). Development of a building life cycle carbon emissions assessment program (BEGAS 2.0) for Korea׳s green building index certification system. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 53, 954–965.

Article Metrics

For more information on the journal statistics, click here.