Israel adopted new Green Construction regulations on Wednesday with the goal of encouraging healthier, energy-saving buildings across the country.The Green Building Standard SI 5281 was first adopted by Forum 15, The Israeli Forum of Self-Government Cities. It was created in a joint effort by the Standards Institute of Israel, the Environmental Protection Ministry and the Israeli Green Building Council (ILGBC). The new regulations, signed by Interior Minister Arye Deri and Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel mean that the standard will be enforced across the country, not only these 15 cities. Deri noted that adoption of the regulations on a national scale will reduce “gaps between the cities in the center of the country and the periphery.”He noted that the quality of construction will go up and that the “regulations will greatly contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” which will raise the general quality of life.Speaking of an “environmental revolution,” Gamliel noted that the regulations will have an effect for “years to come.”“Economical and efficient buildings are already being built in Tel Aviv and Ra’anana,” she said. “From today, the same is true for Tirat HaCarmel, Ma’alot, and Sakhnin.”How will it work? For each green innovation, such as building a solar panel on the roof, the contractor gets one point.Builders must collect 55 points for demonstrating adherence to several eco-oriented construction principles to earn one star, which will be mandatory to complete any project in the country. The system allows for up to five stars for green-oriented developers.Created in 2005 and changed to suit technological progress, the standard gives points in nine fields. They are Energy, Land, Water, Waste, Health, Environmental Management, Transportation, Materials and Innovation.As for costs, ILGBC CEO Yael Biegun-Chen told The Jerusalem Post that building in compliance with the new guidelines “is not a significant expense – and some in the field claim it may not cost anything extra at all.”She lauded the move and said she is “looking forward to more work to come,” including investing in alternatives to car-focused transportation, renewable energy and urban sustainability.Once in effect, the regulations will save up to 30% of the energy consumption in each new building, Planning Administration director-general Dalit Zilber claimed.She said her administration is also working on further steps in light of climate change.