Delve by Sidewalk Labs

Case Study | Bangkok, Thailand

Skyline of Bangkok from above

Cityscape in Bangkok, Thailand Photo Credit: Doraemonz32 | Shutterstock

“Delve helped MQDC compare options for parcel acquisition by surfacing actionable design outputs under time constraints.”

Onza Janyaprasert

The Engagement

In Fall 2021, Magnolia Quality Development Corporation (MQDC) engaged Delve by Sidewalk Labs to evaluate the massing, feasibility, and financial viability to best structure their multi-phase development site. MQDC is one of the largest real estate development firms in Thailand, and is developing a 270,000 square meters (~3M square feet) mixed-use redevelopment project in Bangkok for one of Thailand's leading retailers. MQDC will keep the existing retail space fully operational until new ground-level retail space is delivered in an adjacent mixed-use tower.

As part of the Phase One feasibility study, the MQDC team engaged Delve to optimize for density within multiple building typologies, which considered an optional adjacent parcel. Delve generated massing outputs that MQDC used to plan the most efficient construction timeline, factoring in cost estimates that informed the parcel acquisition strategy and ideal program mix.

The Solutions

Delve generated the following outputs after 10 weeks:

  • 125 customized design variants, all within the development’s projected budget
  • An additional 60K square meters of GFA to be considered for future expansion
  • Planning 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.

Screenshot of Delve's output

Delve identifies solutions that maximize the buildable GFA within the zoning envelope, testing centralized podium strategies vs. standalone buildings.

Uncovering Unexplored Designs

The super block development site currently encompasses seven acres across 270,000 buildable square meters (~3M square feet). By surfacing and testing the different scenarios, Delve found an additional 125 (out of 421) variants, meeting the development cost expectations, and putting it in a feasible budget range for MQDC.

Creating Additional GFA

MQDC allocated a significant portion of its budget to conventional parking. An automated parking strategy increased the parking cost, yet the costs were offset by gaining an additional 60,000 square meters of GFA. The total cost of the development remained within an acceptable range, because the super block did not have to provide additional underground parking, which would have elevated 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

The additional amenities and building strategy of a centralized podium increased the area's walkability by up to 20 percent. 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 11,000 square meters for retail space.

How The Developer Incorporated Delve

MQDC 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 rent premiums based on Delve’s daylight and view scores, and weighed the potential cost implications, and then brought 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 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 able to be 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.