In an attempt to spread a green building trend across Israel, the Environmental Protection Ministry granted NIS 10 million worth of support for such construction in both the public and private sectors.

The money has been allocated to different local councils as well as private companies and will lead to the construction of environmentally friendly schools, kindergartens, residences, offices and other buildings, the ministry said in an statement on Tuesday evening.

Green construction generally involves creating buildings that are energy efficient, water conservative and produce minimal amounts of waste, during both the construction process and after the building is occupied.

In addition to providing funds for a wide range of projects, the ministry will also finance a study to examine the environmental and economic costs and benefits of green building.

“Such a project and additional construction according to the green building standard will encourage authorities and will prove to them that it is possible and worthwhile to build green for our children,” Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan said.

“Green building will not only protect the environment and save the authorities money, but it will also maintain the health of our children and improve their achievements.”

Providing funds for green building is the latest project within the government’s overarching decision to formulate a national plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Israel, according to the Environmental Protection Ministry.

Among the local authorities to win financial support for green building are the Upper Galilee Regional Council, Kiryat Bialik, Tel Aviv, Givatayim, Rishon Lezion, Modi’in, Yavne, Ashdod and the Eilat-Eilot Regional Council.

Hanco Construction, Hanan Mor Group and Shikun & Binui of the Arison Group – three private developers building homes in Yokne’am, Netanya, Tzur Yitzhak, Ariel, Rosh Ha’ayin and Yavne – will also be receiving support.

In public buildings, the ministry said it expects green construction to save about 40 percent of water consumption and about 25% of electricity consumption. In residential buildings, the ministry expects green building to save about 10% of water use in an average apartment and about 30% in electricity use.

In addition to funding green construction directly, the ministry recently launched a campaign to encourage members of the public to purchase green apartments. The campaign will also help reduce the number of contractors able to mislead the public by selling apartments disguised as “green” that do not meet official green standards, according to the ministry.

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