An important step in a real estate revolution that can ultimately bring savings and cut pollution across the country. All educational institutions and classrooms to be built in the northern city of Harish will be constructed in accordance with green building standards. The government voted today, Dec. 20th, to approve a NIS 1 billion budget for the expedited development of Harish.
Ensuring that its new builds are "green" will mean a reduction in property taxes for residents, since electricity and water bills will be lower, as well as a reduction in morbidity, since air pollution will decrease. The decision to that new buildings in Harish will be "green" comes in the wake of the Paris Climate Conference, where Israel committed to reduce greenhouse gases by 25% below the 2005 emissions level.
Green Building Revolution
The Ministries of Environmental Protection (MoEP) and Construction and Housing have agreed to invest NIS 9 million in construction of healthier and more economical schools in Harish, as this will improve quality of life for residents there.
The MoEP will supervise the construction to ensure that builders keep to Israel’s Green Building Standard 5281. Tens of thousands of residential apartments will also likely be built to these standards.
MoEP Director General Yisrael Dancziger notes that this is only the first step in what will eventually mean savings and cleaner air for all Israelis: "We are on the path to a ‘green Harish’ throughout the country, and are working toward a revolution: a healthy, economical, and efficient real estate market. Together with the Ministry of Construction and Housing, we are planning tens of thousands more apartments and hundreds of public buildings across Israel that will be built in such a manner that they will save Israelis money every month, will reduce the need for energy consumption, and will reduce pollution in the safest place for all of us – our homes."
Benefits of Green Building
Research has shown that the benefits of green building include:
- Reduction in energy and water consumption, and thus lower bills.
- Less pollution generated from electricity production, and thus reduced morbidity from pollution.
- Good ventilation / fresh air in schools has been linked to:
- Healthier students and teachers
- Fewer children suffering from asthma
- Better academic performance from students
- Lack of exposure to natural light in schools can inhibit the excretion of the hormone cortisol, which is vital to concentration. It can also contribute to poor sleep quality.