Delve by Sidewalk Labs

Case Study | Bangkok, Thailand

Cityscape in Bangkok, Thailand Photo Credit: Doraemonz32 | Shutterstock

"Delve helped MQDC weigh options on an adjacent parcel acquisition by surfacing actionable design outputs under time constraints."

Onza Janyaprasert.

The Engagement

Magnolia Quality Development Corporation (MQDC) is working with Lotus, a mixed-use real estate development company headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand. Lotus is currently in the early stages of building a mixed-use development around Lotus Tesco, an existing, fully operational retail space.

To move forward with phase one in the multi-phase project, the MQDC team needed to quickly understand and make decisions about which building types and priority outcomes would create the most efficient construction timeline, cost estimations, parcel acquisition strategy, and ideal program mix.

The Solutions

MQDC engaged Delve by Sidewalk Labs to evaluate the massing, feasibility, and financial viability to best structure their multi-phase development site around Lotus Tesco. With Delve, MQDC found:

  • An additional 125 viable design variants, all within the development’s projected budget
  • An additional 60K square meters of GFA that could be used for future expansion
  • A building strategy that increased the area’s walkability by 20 percent

Read on to learn more about how we achieved this, working closely with MQDC’s in-house design leads in Q2 2021.

Uncovering Unexplored Designs

The super block development site currently encompasses seven acres across 270,000 buildable square meters (2.9M square feet). The total project cost for this super block was estimated to be ฿5.2B Baht. However, by testing the different scenarios, Delve found an additional 125 (out of 421) variants, with a total project cost of ฿5.3B, putting it in an acceptable budget range for the client.

Creating Additional GFA

MQDC allocated $1.3B of its budget to conventional parking. An automated parking strategy increased the parking cost to ฿2.2B, yet the development gained an additional 60,000 square meters of GFA. The total cost of the project remained within an acceptable range, because the super block did not have to provide additional underground parking, which would elevate the overall costs. With the potential to expand to neighboring parcels, the site had potential to grow and include even more diverse product types over time.

Increasing Walkability

Based on the development constraints and desired priority outcomes, the parking strategy emerged as the largest driver of cost implications, requiring a premium construction cost that would meet the retail GFA requirements. A more efficient build, which could be completed in less time, was also uncovered, providing an additional 2,000 square meters for premium retail, an additional 4K square meters of total retail space, and 5,000 square meters of GFA for Lotus Tesco. The additional amenities and building strategy of a centralized podium increased the area's walkability by up to 20 percent.

How The Developer Incorporated Delve

MQDC initially needed three phase-specific scenarios to evaluate the parcelization and program mix, with prioritization decisions to be made at a later date. Using Delve, the MQDC in-house design team determined the optimal program mixes and best locations, identified premiums, and weighed the potential cost implications of buildings before bringing in their architectural consultants for the next phase.

MQDC was also able to weigh design and construction timelines based on their strategy of “One Podium” vs “Multiple Towers.” Delve’s robust and integrated financial model empowered the team to precisely weigh the costs and benefits of an automated parking facility to a more conventional parking podium, helping them decide whether the parking should be located below or above ground.

Under consideration were also priority outcomes, which included maximizing the premium retail GFA, the number of Grade B residences, and decreasing interior sunlight exposure for maximum shadow hours to ensure quality of life and energy efficiency. Public green spaces would create continuous open areas that could potentially expand to the roof terraces — all while ensuring that walkable areas were shady and cool, but also allowed the necessary sunlight to shine through onto plants and landscaping.

Finally, being able to view or comment easily on what worked or needed to be modified in a design directly in Delve enhanced external collaboration with MQDC's major stakeholder. Insights on what to build, when to build it, and the validity of acquiring additional parcels were able to be shared in real-time, and decisions were made at an accelerated pace.

About MQDC

Magnolia Quality Development Corporation (MQDC) operates on the principle “For All Well-Being,” which means the company strives to provide the best life not only for humankind, but for all living beings. Their residential and mixed-use developments are built with innovative, sustainable, and safe materials, with an excellent record that speaks to their standards of award-winning working and living experiences.