A Green Education
As a place for environmental education, The Porter School of Environmental Studies at Tel Aviv University truly embodies what is taught and researched both within and outside of its walls. Designed and constructed by Geotectura, Axelrod Grobman Architects, NCA, and Assa Aharoni Consulting Engineers, the 4,000 square-meter building is the first of its kind in Israel, achieving both LEED Platinum certification (92 points) and 5 stars in the Israeli Green Code 5281. Each aspect of the building includes an “eco-conscious” design and each side serves a purpose as well. The north brings in natural light; the west is shaped like a funnel to increase air flow to the main atrium; and the east blocks heat during the winter and noise from the highway.
The south side’s Eco-Wall—an iconic portion of the building—absorbs the hot southern sun with thermo solar fields heated by glass-evacuated tubes, producing the energy source for the mechanical ventilation and air conditioning of the building. As a result, this saves 60 percent of the energy and reduces carbon emissions. The mechanical room on the building’s roof contains one 60-ton refrigeration absorption chiller (operating from the thermo solar fields) and one 70-ton refrigeration aircooled chiller operating with electricity. In total, a cooling capacity of 130-ton refrigeration was installed, compared to a standard building where 170 tons would be required. Additionally, the building chiller produces 25-30 tons of water cooling after four hours of work.
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