Selangor Journal

Universal Design Award 2016 winner hopes others will follow suit

BY: NAZLI IBRAHIM
PETALING JAYA, DEC 7: The Universal Design Award 2016 winner has called upon all parties to implement user-friendly features in their building designs, particularly features that benefit the people with disabilities and senior citizens, and not just focus merely on making profit.
Menara PKNS Petaling Jaya Building Manager Shahrudin Abu Bakar said implementing user-friendly elements in designs is also in line with the State Government’s Smart City idea.
“As what the mayor has said, although a city is built sophisticatedly but if the community living in it is not happy with what they are being offered, then it cannot be recognised as a smart city.
“Therefore, PKNS hopes that other developers can also implement disabled-friendly features in their designs for everyone’s comfort,” said Shahrudin when met by SelangorKini at the Universal Design Award 2016 Ceremony at the Encorp Strand Mall, Kota Damansara.
Encorp Berhad Finance General Manager William Seow Yoke Loong on the other and said that every developer should adopt user-friendly features as a trend, as in other developed countries.
“All our facilities plus our elevators are user-friendly for everyone, including people with disabilities and senior citizens.
“Same goes to all our projects, user-friendly element is a must-have in all our development project designs. Hopefully other developers can adopt the same designs as a trend in their own project,” said William.
Meanwhille, One Avenue Hotel Operations Manager Wesley Chin said that his company maintains good relationships with several nearby hospitals to get advice on ways make their facilities more comfortable for persons with disabilities and the elderly.
“We got feedback from hospitals such as Hospital Kumpulan Perubatan Johor (KPJ) on designs of rooms, bathrooms and other facilities to suit these groups of people although at that time we did not know about the Persons with Disabilities Act yet, after which we then built in accordance to the Act.
“As businessmen, we should not just take profits but we also need to be responsible in our jobs as a contribution towards society, as such I recommend other hotels to do the same.
“If you stay in our hotel, we can guarantee that you would not realise that we are a one-star hotel and not three-star as what people usually think, although our rates are one-star standard,” said Wesley.
Earlier, eight companies won awards in their respective categories in the Universal Design Award 2016 Ceremony.
In the inaugural competition, Encorp Strand Mall won the main award which is the Jury Award, Menara PKNS Petaling Jaya won in the ‘retrofitting for people with disabilities & elderly’ category while One Avenue Hotel won in the ‘good hospitality’ category.
All the awards were given by Petaling Jaya Mayor, Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain.

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