About the EcoBuilding

The EcoBuilding
Photo: Shai Epstein

The EcoBuilding – the home of the Department of Environmental Studies at the Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, was designed to be Israel's first LEED Platinum certified building. Incorporating advanced environmental technologies for energy and water efficiency, it will be the first green building on the Tel Aviv University campus. Named after the prominent feature of its southern façade, the Building is situated on the eastern end of the campus, just south of the Zoological Garden, and close to the major university entrance from the Ayalon Highway.


The site chosen for the biolding was a parking lot and a construction materials dump site. This was an opportunity to restore this area and to show how a dump can be transformed into a thriving urban location. Construction works began early in 2012, and completed by mid 2014. The waste building materials from the location were reused in the construction works. Following its completion, the building was accredited with LEED Platinum certification at a very high score of 92/ 


The Building incorporates classrooms; research laboratories; an innovation acceleration hub; offices; an atrium offering open space for exhibitions; an auditorium that was built on the natural slope of the hill; a garden with constructed biological wetlands to treat and recycle greywater and a green roof. The pleasant, inviting internal spaces will function as meeting places for students and researchers, as well as government officials, industry representatives and members of environmental organizations, involved in the department activities.


In addition to its academic functions as home of the Porter School, the Building is accessible to the public and offer a broad educational platform, addressing varied aspects of green building and environmental research. Visitors are introduced to the operation of the environmental systems installed in the Building, including solar and thermal energy based air conditioning, advanced bioclimatic ('passive planning') technologies, and measurement & control systems. Environmental displays along the Science Promenade, stretching between the building and the university train station, serve as a prelude to the tour of the building itself.


The complexity and innovation of this groundbreaking project required extensive knowledge, advanced tools and close teamwork from the earliest planning stages. The leading architectural team encompassed three leading firms, specializing in various aspects of green building: Axelrod Grobman Architects (Irit Axelrod & Yasha Grobman), Geotectura (Dr. Joseph Cory) and Chen Architects (Nili & Nir Chen). They were joined by several other project partners: Braudo-Maoz Landscape Architecture Ltd., Assa Aharoni Consulting Engineering Ltd., Avivi Axelrod Engineers Ltd. and the Baran Engineering Group, which manages the construction.


The team was further assisted by a number of consultants and experts, both Israeli and foreign, including Guy Battle – a UK construction & environmental engineer, founder of dcarbon8 Ltd. and lead partner at Deloitte UK, who specializes in integrated planning of low energy, environmental buildings. The vast intensive collaborative effort generated a process of environmental planning, which significantly improved capabilities and raised the bar for green building standards in Israel – even before the building itself emerged in the Tel Aviv skyline.


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