TAU Raises the Green Bar

Scroll-signing ceremony for new "EcoBuilding" paves the way for cornerstone laying

Architect's rendering of the new EcoBuilding at night

Dame Shirley Porter, who with her husband Sir Leslie Porter established the Porter School of Environmental Studies at Tel Aviv University in 2000, was joined by members of TAU's Board of Governors, donors and friends on May 16 for a celebratory scroll-signing ceremony preparing for the cornerstone-laying of a state-of-the-art "EcoBuilding." Designed to take advantage of the latest sustainable architecture technologies, it will become the school's new home. Held at the Marcelle Gordon University Club in the school's "Green House," the ceremony featured a large-scale model of the building, treating guests to a three-dimensional view of its unique design.

Dame Shirley and Prof. Pinchas Alpert, head of the Porter School, were joined on stage by Harvey Krueger, president of TAU's Board of Governors, and TAU president Prof. Joseph Klafter. Prof. Alpert lauded the broad approach of the university's interdisciplinary studies — a hallmark of the School. "Thanks to the efforts of the Porter School," he said, "Tel Aviv University has been accredited as a green campus."

Harvey Krueger, Dame Shirley Porter and Prof. Joseph Klafter
Harvey Krueger, Dame Shirley Porter and Prof. Joseph Klafter

Harvey Krueger expressed his appreciation for the beneficence of Dame Shirley Porter and her family toward the university, and Prof. Klafter noted that the gathering was not only a celebration of a new era of environmental study and practice, but also a recognition of the tenth anniversary of the school's establishment. "The EcoBuilding is introducing a new standard for sustainable architecture in Israel," he said, "and it is all due to the drive and energy of Dame Shirley Porter."

Dame Shirley thanked her supporters and added, "It is such a delight to work with Prof. Klafter. There's real team spirit here. Everyone at the Porter School, headed by Dr. [Arie] Nesher and Prof. Alpert, is totally dedicated. There's just a wonderful atmosphere at the school. It took ten long years, and now we're finally seeing the fruits."

Architect's rendering of the EcoBuilding's interior

A presentation about the building and its unique features was given by Yosi Kuri, representing the architectural team of Geotectura/NCArchitects/Axelrod Goldman responsible for the design and construction of the EcoBuilding. "There are no good architects, just good clients," he said. "We are fortunate in having the perfect client, a real partner in creating the world's most advanced building."

He highlighted the EcoBuilding's unique features, including minimal use of artificial ventilation and solar panels to produce electric power. The building's eco-wall will block noise levels from an adjoining highway, receive maximum light without glare, and offer a window into its own scientific laboratories. In addition, it will inform the public of environmental conditions such as ambient temperature and air pollution levels. The EcoBuilding complies with international LEED standards for sustainable architecture.

Dr. Nesher concluded the event, saying, "Hopefully we will meet again in two years' time to inaugurate the completed EcoBuilding."

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