The Porter School of Environmental Studies highlights sustainable building in Israel


July 2, 2013

Tel Aviv University's new building, featuring its EcoWall (Image: Axelrod-Grobman Architects)

Tel Aviv University's new building, featuring its EcoWall (Image: Axelrod-Grobman Architects)

Image Gallery (16 images)

A new building at Tel Aviv University features a standalone EcoWall that aims to provide vertical garden space and research facilities for its faculty. The university's Porter School of Environmental Studies (PSES) hopes that its new green building design will not only join the small number of LEED certified buildings in the country, but will also highlight sustainable methodologies for future buildings in Israel.

Located on a hill overlooking Tel Aviv, the building was designed by Axelrod-Grobman Architects in collaboration with Geotectura Studio and Chen Architects. After extensive analysis of the site, the design team used data about the prevailing wind direction, sun exposure and acoustics to determine the most sustainable orientation of the building plan. As a result, the EcoWall will act as a sound barrier to city noise through its position and use of plants on the balconies. The balconies can also accommodate plug-in study pods that create extra rooms for the school.

The glass facade that links the EcoWall to the main building permits a flood of daylight into the public atrium space between the two structures. To counteract any greenhouse type warming from all this glass, the design features a passive ventilation scheme that draws hot air up and discharges it through chimneys incorporated into the building's skin.

The 3,700 sq m (39,826 sq ft) building will also use a cost-effective chilled beam cooling system, that works by circulating interior and outdoor air through mounted chilled water coils and then redistributing it back into the space to regulate the temperature.

The EcoWall and green roof of the building will become a sustainable architecture research lab, and both will play a central role in ongoing energy, water, soil, vegetation and materials studies at the university. Additional sustainable features include 50kw solar panels, biological pools and grey water harvesting that will prove vital in this drought-prone region. Environmental data gathered by the school will be displayed on the egg-shaped capsule meeting room that extrudes in both directions from the EcoWall.

Founded by Dame Shirley Porter, a former Lord Mayor of Westminster in London, the school is the only multidisciplinary graduate research and teaching institution of environmental studies in Israel. With only three other LEED-certified buildings in the country, PSES hopes to achieve LEED platinum status upon completion later this year.

Source: Axelrod-Grobman Architects via ArchDaily

About the Author
Donna Taylor After years of working in software delivery, Donna seized the opportunity to head back to university and this time study a lifelong passion: Architecture. Originally from the U.K. and after living in many countries, Donna and her family are now settled in Western Australia. When not writing Donna can be found at the University of Western Australia's Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts Department. All articles by Donna Taylor

Cool building – thanks for sharing, Donna Taylor! It’s great that Israel is focusing on green building methodologies, and achieving LEED certification is a great start. These “checklist” programs can often miss the bigger picture when it comes to building performance and sustainability. A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) looks at the full life cycle of each and all the products used and can therefore provide a better view of a building’s environmental overall impact. Furthermore, building performance and how much energy a building can save over time are not criteria measured by LEED. These can often define sustainability.

For more on green building solutions & Life Cycle Assessment, visit: &

Rob Krebs, Market Innovations, American Chemistry Council

Rob Krebs

Its an amazing Building. Dame shirley porter , former Leader of Westminster was the founder. apparently she made lot's of changes in Tel aviv Found few links, if its interesting for you Rob

Post a Comment

Login with your Gizmag account:

Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our articles