Colmar Tropicale in Bukit Tinggi Malaysia


My first foray of working overseas was in Malaysia. I was hired by an international civil and structural consulting firm based in the US with a local office in Kuala Lumpur. My job description is to oversee the site development and eventually the construction of a resort hotel at the heart of a virgin forest 45 minutes from the city of Kuala Lumpur. The project followed the next phase of development where a golf course and clubhouse and residential development has already been in placed.  


The clearing and grubbing was already completed and the massive earthmoving was already taking place when I commenced. Then named Colmar Village and Castle will be built on  two mountain top close to each other and be connected by a road network. The Colmar Village is a group of buildings connected by a common podium that will resemble into a French village, and the other building is a castle-like building. Everyday I have to travel from Kuala Lumpur to the project site together with the project contractor. It was an agonizing few months because there was nothing to do aside from monitoring the ongoing work. Everyday I just have to be sitting at a mock up tent set up at a higher ground and oversee the movement of the equipment. In the mornings the monkey colonies were doing their rituals of noise barrage, after that it will only  be the noise of the equipment.  The earth disposal was at a ravine nearby and be compacted layer by layer then compaction tests followed. The boulders beneath the earth will be break into pieces by controlled blasting. 

It was during this phase that I was able to see in person the Prime Minister as he visited the site together with other government officials.  The second time was when we commenced substructure works. They hold cabinet meeting at the golf course clubhouse.  They made a tour  afterwards at the project site, and the other on-going developments within the whole resort. 

Immediately after the platform level has achieved, the substructure contractor moved in. Hundreds of concrete piles have to be bored in, size ranges from 750mm to 1500mm diameter and as deep as 30 meters below ground. It was a challenge as large amount of gravel, sand and cement has to be transported regularly to the project site on a dirt road. Movement and the construction was on a standstill when it rains.  During the entire months I am the only one supervising the job of the contractor. I act as the eyes and ears of the client at the same time doing my job as  site overseer.  Once a week a progress meeting were held at the project site, attended by the project team.

The excitement only started when the superstructure work commenced. The whole project team were all stationed on site, I being the  representative of my company the civil and structural consultants, the main contractor, the project architect team, the mechanical and electrical consultants, and the quantity surveyors team.

This is one project that I am proud of. Though I was not able to see its completion, which is always the case since my job deals with the structure only as the finishing stage is the job of the architects.  During the construction my job is to see to it the all the design plans has been followed on site and any discrepancies and conflicts on site be studied and referred back to office in case there will be any revision. It was not an easy job but it is quite fulfilling especially if turned out to be like these.

The intricate detailing of the buildings is quite amazing, knowing that transporting all these materials to the project site is a nightmare
I was surprised to see that this,  a space at the surrounding edge since during the construction, the buildings were already too closed to the edge.



There was no swimming pool in the original design

This bridge supposed to be a retractable one in the original design
Interior of a one bed suite, the concept of this village was supposed to be an apartment type not a hotel


The ground floor of the blocks were utilized as a commercial area. Restaurants, boutique shops and bars as occupants