School setting sustainability example for Israel
Photo courtesy of Inhabitat
Green architecture still may be somewhat of a niche in Israel, but the country is making a push toward weaving more eco-conscious building techniques into its urban fabric. Tel Aviv is home to one of less than 30 LEED platinum-certified buildings on the planet, reports the website Inhabitat.
The Porter School of Environmental Studies (PSES) at Tel Aviv University, an ecologically symbiotic facility that has been operating since 2014. Designed by a team of Israeli designers, the structure produces more energy than it consumes and features a conservation and solar power system, 100 percent passive cooling, a native plant green roof, an ecological pool and a floating eco-capsule that serves as a constant reminder for global sustainability.
Tel Aviv University’s Porter School of Environmental Studies (PSES) wasn’t interested in achieving the minimum LEED certification, according to Inhabitat. To be awarded LEED platinum certification, a building must earn at least 80 points, but PSES surpassed the standard with an impressive 92 points.
The state-of-the-art solar energy system includes solar PVs and tubes that line the facade of the building. Any energy the building doesn’t use is sent to other buildings at Tel Aviv University. Even in 90-degree temperatures, the building remains cool inside without any use of mechanical air conditioning.
Using computational dynamics simulations, architects were able to achieve 100 percent passive ventilation using natural airflow through the solar tubes, producing a low and high pressure Venturi effect that provides both heat during the winter and natural cooling in summer.
PSES currently offers an International MA program that is focused on Middle East water issues, climate change and several other environmental subjects. While Israel may be situated within the world’s most arid climate, one wouldn’t know it by experiencing its lush, verdant landscape. As a leader in conservation, the country reuses 70 percent of its water through water recycling initiatives.
The Porter School is a prime example of a dedication to water conservation, using a drip irrigation system generated entirely from wastewater recycling. Students also are constantly experimenting with new alternative energy systems that could potentially be used on the PSES building; they are currently testing algal power in a lab that is viewable to passersby.
An ecologically constructed wetland system purifies gray water for the landscape irrigation of a large native plant green roof and plentiful landscaping around the building’s facade. One of the prime goals of the project was to not destroy the original landscape for living creatures around the building.
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