Tel Aviv’s first “green” office tower uses recycled, sustainable and domestic building materials and ecological maintenance procedures for a long-term low impact on nature.
Israel’s scarce water and energy resources were foremost in the minds of constructors Ronen and Alon Azouri when they designed Tel Aviv’s first green office tower. Using recycled sustainable and/or domestic building materials and ecological maintenance procedures, their goal was to create an office block with a long-term low impact on nature.
Now, as it nears the end of its first phase of construction, the $51.8 million project looks set to achieve that goal. The building, by Azouri Brothers Building and Development, will be the second green edifice in Israel after Intel’s latest Development Design Center in Haifa.
Forty-one-year-old Ronen Azouri says his enthusiasm for the forward-thinking project has been simmering for many years. “I’ve been reading Popular Science since I was 11,” he says with a laugh. When the project was given municipal and district planning approval in July, he realized he was on his way to fulfilling his dream. “I knew at that stage my dream could come true, with all the issues we want to integrate. Now I want to make it real,” he says.
Water efficiency is a key element of his dream. The eco-tower will feature clearly marked purple tubing carrying recycled, filtrated water to the toilets and to two garden areas, saving up to 13,000 liters a day. “It’s ridiculous to use drinking water for these things,” Azouri tells ISRAEL21c.
Adding other water-saving measures such as infrared restroom taps and humidity control, Azouri estimates that per day, the 20-story tower will consume at least 16,000 liters of water less than a conventional office building. “Our engineer’s report says 18,000, but I’m being conservative,” he volunteers. “Even at 16,000, if you multiply that by 300 days it will mean saving more than 4 million liters a year.”
Minimizing energy expenditure
Using insulated double silver sn62glass, which allows up to 62 percent natural light while keeping out at least 25 percent of the sun’s heat, will minimize energy expenditure. This Israeli-made material is forged partially of recycled glass.
Solar panels will be positioned on the roof to provide electricity – a $530,000 investment that should pay for itself within two years – and the possibility of wind turbines is being considered. A small solar water heater will provide hot water for two showers intended to encourage bicycle commuting.
With the help of Israeli architect Keren Yedvub and British green building consultant Guy Battle, the Azouri brothers designed their project with a continuous filtered fresh air system and online monitored climate control; a condensed recycled cardboard material from Germany for exterior coatings; and parquet floors of certified wood from sustainable forests.
The first seven floors of the new green office block are already sold out.
Ronen Azouri is writing a protocol for maintenance to facilitate compliance with his green goals. “Most of the garbage will be recycled; we are placing proper bins to separate cardboard, paper, and glass where they can be easily discarded and picked up. I want everyone here to participate and be proud as they follow the protocol, because a winning concept has to involve people in the right way. The idea is that the project is alive,” he says.
(Stories from The Green Prophet appear here by agreement with its editor, Karin Kloosterman. For more Green news from the Middle East, visit The Green Prophet at greenprophet.com. Contact the Green Prophet at firstname.lastname@example.org.)