Think of Israel and hi-tech, and the first word that pops into most minds is...
Since setting up shop in the country in 1974, Intel Israel has
been responsible for developing the Pentium and Centrino chips which power most
PCs around the world.
But in the future, if you put together Intel and
Israel, the first word that will probably spring to mind is...
That’s because recently in Haifa, Intel Israel dedicated the
country’s most environmentally-friendly office building. Dubbed IDC9, the
11-story, $110 million facility has a double distinction. It is Israel’s first
LEEDcertified green building and it has been awarded Gold – the second-highest
rating in the LEED certification system.
Standing for Leadership in
Energy and Environmental Design, the American LEED is a voluntary,
consensus-based standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings.
The US Green Building Council initiated the LEED standard to encourage
ecologically sound construction in that country. There are barely a handful of
LEED-certified buildings in Israel.
However, with the IDC9 Intel made a
strategic decision to go full throttle in Israel after years of evaluating
“green” design standards and steadily incorporating green building concepts and
practices into the construction of its buildings.
Industry, Trade and
Labor Minister Binyamin Ben- Eliezer praised the move at a gala dedication
ceremony held at the site earlier this summer, which was also attended by
Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan.
Ben-Eliezer stressed the
“natural and necessary connection between business and environmental
protection,” that Intel Israel was displaying in its investment in the building,
which also conforms to the Standards Institution of Israel standard 5281 for
“Outstanding Green Building,” which addresses four main areas: energy, water
savings, land, and various ecological issues.
The 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 facility incorporates a slew of green
elements, beginning at the construction level. Construction waste was separated
at source into its component parts and recycled. About 13 percent of the
construction materials came from recycled sources. The structure was constructed
on a previous parking site to prevent damage to natural assets. These measures
are expected to result in a reduction of 17% in total energy
In addition, an energy-saving technique has been used in the
facility’s server room. Spread over 700 square meters, the space will house up
to 15,000 computers.
The heat generated from these computers will be
recycled for hot water and winter heating. The room uses energy-efficient
lighting and is equipped with motion detectors that turn off the lights when
it's not in use. The building's data center has also been designed to save
energy. It features Intel Xeon processors, which reduce power
The building boasts wide and double-glazed windows, patios
and reflective shelves, which allow natural light to filter inside. More than
75% of its high-use areas are exposed to natural light with the help of
automatic control systems that regulate the flow.
control the levels of artificial lighting according to the natural light, and
employees can control lighting and temperatures in their offices via their
personal computers. Fresh air is monitored by CO2 sensors that track the number
of people on each floor.
The roof of the facility is covered with
vegetation and heat-reflecting materials to lower interior
The roof garden provides enough thermal insulation to lower
the heat load by 17 cooling tons. A special control system installed in the
facility reduces water consumption for gardening needs by 55%, compared with
average summer consumption. Water condensed by air conditioners is collected and
used for gardening. The facility has also installed standard water-saving
sanitary systems such as faucets, showers, toilets and urinals to achieve 30%
reduction in water usage.
According to Intel’s principal engineer, Ted
Reichelt, it was a long process to convince everyone at the company to invest in
the LEED certification, especially since in an environment where construction
costs are increasing and every dollar is carefully scrutinized, spending money
on “certification” can easily plummet to the bottom of the construction priority
“Our construction managers started hearing more about other
projects being LEED-certified, and this created greater internal acceptance of
the idea; additionally, the costs associated with the LEED certification started
to fall,” says Reichelt. Intel hopes that the experience with the Haifa building
will lead to other office buildings being LEED-certified and eventually to
Intel’s first LEED certified fabrication plant.
“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
that continued, “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.”
According to Maxine
Fassberg, vice president of Intel Corporation and general manager of Intel
Israel, the company was working “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
The city of Haifa is also enthralled with the new Intel facility,
with Mayor Yona Yahav stating, “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.”
Apart from the Haifa development center, Intel
Israel has centers in Yakum, Jerusalem and Petah Tikva, and two production
plants (in Kiryat Gat and Jerusalem).
Life has turned greener for the
more than 6,000 workers, as well as several thousand additional external
employees, who earn their living at Intel Israel.