Intel Israel goes ‘green’ with new Haifa building

By EHUD ZION WALDOKS
June 16, 2010 05:01

Country’s first LEED-certified structure allows significant savings on energy.




THE BRAND new – and very green – IDC9 building in

Intel 311. (photo credit: Intel Israel)

The future of office buildings arrived here on Tuesday, as Intel Israel dedicated the country’s first LEED-certified green building in Haifa. The NIS 450 million structure was awarded the second-highest rating, Gold, in the American LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification system. It also conforms to the Standards Institution of Israel standard 5281 for green building.

The structure was inaugurated in a gala ceremony attended by Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan. In his remarks, Ben- Eliezer stressed the “natural and necessary connection between business and environmental protection.”

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Buildings represent a significant source of pollution and greenhouse gases – some 40 percent worldwide. Green building has emerged to reduce this impact as much as possible without compromising the hi-tech, state-of-the-art nature of buildings. While it is beginning to take hold abroad, there are barely a handful of green buildings in Israel.

The US Green Building Council initiated the LEED standard to encourage ecologically- sound construction in that country.

The highly regarded, yet complex, LEED system rates buildings according to their environmental properties, including water and energy consumption, interior conditions and more. It takes into account everything from construction materials, energy management and natural light to bike racks and showers.

The Haifa facility, called IDC9, is Intel’s first LEED Gold building in the world.

Israel’s standard 5281 for buildings with minimal environmental impact addresses four main areas: energy, water savings, land, and various ecological issues. The Intel building meets the Israeli standard at the “Outstanding Green Building” level.

The Israeli standard is slated to undergo major revisions, and Erdan said at the ceremony that he would be working closely with the Standards Institute of Israel to ensure that the standard conformed more closely to international levels.

Green building begins with the construction process itself, according to a short video describing the 11-story Intel building that was screened at the inauguration.

Construction waste was separated at the source into its component parts and recycled.

Thirteen percent of the construction materials themselves came from recycled sources as well. To prevent damage to natural assets, the structure went up on an area that had been used as a parking lot, rather than breaking new ground.

The building’s sustainable design will result in an anticipated reduction of 17% in total energy consumption. One example of the cutting-edge energy-saving techniques in use can be found in its server room. The 700-sq.m. space will eventually have as many as 15,000 computers, which will generate a lot of heat, said an employee who led a short tour of the room. That heat will be recycled for hot water and winter heating, he explained. The room itself, like the rest of the building, uses energyefficient lighting and is equipped with motion detectors that turn off the lights.

The building features wide, doubleglazed windows, patios and reflective shelves, which let in natural light with lower solar heat. More than 75% of its regularly populated areas are exposed to natural light with the help of automatic control systems, which regulate the flow, according to the company.

Automatic sensors also control the levels of artificial lighting according to the natural light. Employees can control lighting and temperatures in their offices through their personal computer. Fresh air is monitored by CO2 sensors that track the number of people on each floor. The amount of fresh air remains at an optimal level at all times to ensure ventilated areas and save energy.

The roof will be covered with vegetation and heat-reflecting materials to lower interior temperatures. The roof garden alone will provide enough thermal insulation to lower the heat load by 17 cooling tons.

On Tuesday, the building was air conditioned to keep out the summer heat, although it was comfortable rather than cold.

A special control system reduces water consumption for gardening needs by 55%, compared with average summer consumption.

In addition, water that’s condensed by air conditioners (20cu.m. per day) is collected and used for gardening. Water savings of 30% will be achieved by using standard water-saving sanitary systems (faucets, showers, toilets and urinals).

The building’s data center was designed to save energy as well. Among other features, it makes use of Intel Xeon processors, which significantly reduce power consumption.

The projected annual savings is NIS 750,000.

“Intel is committed to incorporating environmental protection principles in the construction of its new facilities, as well as making strategic enhancements in existing facilities so that they meet the highest standards,” David Perlmutter, executive vice president and general manager of Intel Architecture Group, said in a statement.

“We seek to assign equal importance to economic, social and environmental goals.

The IDC9 building in Haifa provides Intel with economic benefits with minimal environmental impact.”

Yosef Shenkler, manager of Intel Israel’s development centers, said during the ceremony that the green building represented the company’s commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

Maxine Fassberg, vice president of Intel Corporation and general manager of Intel Israel, said the that “as a technological company,” it worked “unrelentingly to find innovative solutions for reducing our environmental footprint.”

“The building provides our employees with a safe, green and healthy environment, which saves energy and natural resources for the benefit of the building occupants and the environment,” Fassberg said. “In addition, the building hosts the largest server farm in Israel, which is run with innovative ecological systems.”

Mayor Yona Yahav praised Intel for constructing the green building in his city, and called it a “great honor” for Haifa.

“The collaboration between Intel and the City of Haifa enabled a very short construction time without compromising the building’s quality or environmental contribution,” Yahav said. “Intel management’s confidence in the city’s ability to support the green building positions Haifa as Intel’s largest development center in the world.

We are proud to have helped Intel Israel achieve this status.”

Intel was established in Santa Clara, California, in 1968 by Gordon Moore and Robert Noyes. In 1971, it presented the first microprocessor, creating the computer revolution that changed the world. Its Pentium and Centrino chips were developed in Israel.

the company currently employs 80,000 people around the world and has been operating in Israel since 1974. Intel Israel has four development centers (in Haifa, Yakum, Jerusalem and Petah Tikva) and two production plants (in Kiryat Gat and Jerusalem), employing 6,340 people directly, as well as several thousand external employees.


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