Under the umbrella of the larger Green Knesset project, the Knesset, in cooperation with Haifa University, will build a green research roof on top of the parliament building, Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein and University of Haifa President Amos Shapira announced Thursday during a meeting at Edelstein`s office.

“I am delighted and proud that the Knesset is becoming green not only in practical terms but also in research,” Edelstein said. “I have a feeling that the green research roof, which will be established in cooperation with the Kadas Green Roofs Ecology Center at the University of Haifa, will serve as a model for other parliaments around the world who want to promote environmental research.”

Knesset Director-General Ronen Plot said the ecological research roof will ”improve the energy efficiency of the parliament building, as well as that of the 4,650 square-meter photovoltaic system we are currently installing. In the event that the research confirms the assumption that green roofs improve the energy efficiency of photovoltaic systems, we will consider in the future adding a green roof next to the big photovoltaic system, and thereby streamline operations. The green roof will be beneficial for research, education and learning. We will also establish a special path for visitors who will be able to learn from the research that will soon be implemented at the Knesset.”

Shapira said the University of Haifa ”is proud to take part in the Green Knesset project and to harness our scientific knowledge for such an important environmental issue.”

Approximately 800 sq.m. of roof area will be allocated to the green research project, according to the partners. Next to the green roof will be a photovoltaic system, in order to check whether the combination of the two increases the efficiency of the photovoltaic cells and the biodiversity of the roof environment, the partners said.

University researchers have postulated that perhaps integrating these systems will improve the performance of both, they added.

Green roofs serve several purposes for a building, such as absorbing rainwater, providing insulation, creating a habitat for wildlife, increasing benevolence and decreasing stress of the people around the roof by providing a more aesthetically pleasing landscape, and helping to lower urban air temperatures and mitigate the heat island effect.

”The Israeli Knesset, together with our researchers, will be a light unto the nations in the field of sustainability, and specifically in green roof research. It is good for the country and it is good for the University of Haifa,” Shapira stated.

In 2014 the Israeli parliament launched the Green Knesset project, in the framework of which the Knesset is undergoing an environmental ”revolution,” which includes the installation of a 4,650 square-meter solar array on its roof. The photovoltaic system will be the largest of any parliament in the world.