Geotectura together with Axelrod-Grobman Architects and Chen Architects just broke ground on a futuristic new building for the Porter School of Environmental Studies that will be Israel’s first LEED Platinum project when it is complete. Situated on the campus of Tel Aviv University, PSES has big ambitions for green building in Israel. The EcoBuilding will feature a permeable facade that brings in plenty of natural light and ventilation while acting as a “cup” that captures one of the country’s most scarce commodities – water. The project also incorporates pages of sustainable design techniques including green roofs, constructed wetlands, and vertical gardens – read on for a look at the most exiting features!
Given that the PSES EcoBuilding is only Israel’s third LEED project, there were few precedents for Geotectura to follow, but the firm has taken a whole systems approach and is blazing a bright new green path for the country. First it was necessary to rehabilitate what was once a brownfield site and then orient the building in accordance with local acoustic, sun, and wind conditions. Their next step was to discourage the school from adding additional parking so that students and faculty will be encouraged to use public transportation and bicycles instead.
Energy may be sourced from a 50KW photovoltaic solar system while chilled beam cooling technology will regulate the building’s interior temperature and reduce energy consumption. A translucent curtain facade permits a flood of daylight and promotes circulation, but it seems extra attention has been paid to saving water. Water used for plumbing will be separated so that the greywater can be filtered using constructed wetlands and then recycled. What little rainwater the country receives will be collected in a tank. 50% of the roof will be green, and vertical gardens will enhance air quality. The first time for anything is always the hardest, so we are grateful to PSES for taking the lead!