According to Malay Mail, construction of Penang’s first transit centre for the homeless will complete by October, with operations to begin by early 2022. The building will be 100% solar powered, and has 88 beds in total with an urban farm on the third floor of the building.
The first floor will include a free clinic, a disabled-friendly room, a bakery and a dining area.
Penang Island City Council (MBPP) Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said the building is also the first of its kind in the state to achieve triple net-zero energy, water and waste. A triple net-zero building means that all energy sources are fully renewable, water comes from a rainwater-harvesting system and zero waste is generated.
“The building will be 100 per cent solar powered so it will be using renewable energy,” he said when visiting the construction site of the RM4.4 million project.
He said the aim is for the building to achieve the platinum status of the Green Building Index (GBI), making it a truly environmentally-friendly structure with a low carbon footprint.
“The Mutiara Food Bank will also be located on the ground floor of the centre to hand out food to the less fortunate,” he said.
As for the dormitories, there will two sections segregated by gender with a total of 88 beds, which will predominately be on the second floor. As for the third floor of the building, there will be an urban farm.
Discussions are now underway for the transit centre to be operated by the Buddhist Tzu-Chi Merits Society. Yew said the international charitable organisation will manage and run the centre once operations commence.
The construction of the centre, located along Jalan CY Choy and built on a land area of about 1,370 square metres, is currently about 45% done and is on course to meet its targeted completion date of 6 Oct.
Yew noted that the project will give the homeless a roof over their heads and get them off the streets.