Green living in Kfar Saba

A "green" building is one that doesn't harm the environment and may use recyclable building materials.

Kfar Saba 88 224 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Kfar Saba 88 224
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Kfar Saba is located in the heart of the Sharon region. It is a very old urban entity named after the ancient Capharsaba, an important settlement in the southern Sharon during the Second Temple period. Capharsaba is mentioned first in Antiquities of the Jews by Flavius Josephus. Regarding King Alexander Janneus's attempt to stop an invasion from the North, "He [Antiochus, who was called Dionysius] also came immediately and made expedition against Judea, with 8,000 armed footmen and 800 horsemen. So Alexander, out of fear of his coming, dug a deep trench, starting at Chabarzaba, which is now called Antipatris, to the sea of Joppa." That was more than 2,000 years ago. Today, Kfar Saba has close to 100,000 residents, and is trying to distance itself from the perception of being a satellite, or dormitory, of the Tel Aviv Metropolitan area. It is also at the forefront of what is termed "green living," which means building in a way that won't harm the environment. In the northwestern corner of the municipal boundaries of Kfar Saba, opposite the northeastern part of Ra'anana, the Kfar Saba Municipality has earmarked an area of some 560 dunams as a "green neighborhood" that will be built in accordance with Environmental Protection Ministry guidelines. According to the ministry, a "green" building is one that is not harmful to the environment. It might use building materials that are recycled. It is designed to consume the least energy possible in both heating and cooling; solar energy is used not only to heat water, but to provide electric power for the lighting. It is building equipped with filters to "clean" fumes from the kitchen and water catchments, and makes use of rainwater for irrigating gardens. A green neighborhood also has a lot of green spaces; a garbage collection system that separates garbage according to recycling usages; a low noise level that ensures a high quality of life. Such extras do not come cheap. Alon Dayan, manager of Re/max ONE Kfar Saba, told The Jerusalem Post building costs for a green building can cost as much as 15 percent more than the cost of a conventional building. But this does not seem to worry developers who have already bought up most of the available land. According to Eyal Gilad, general manager of Gilad and Enat Engineering and Development: "It is true that building green is much more expensive, but that did not deter us because we believe... most of the building in Israel will be green. Israel is a small country, a densely populated country, and we must protect the environment." Gilad said his firm was building 164 residential units in five buildings from seven to nine stories. Africa Israel, Shikun Ovdim and Minrab are some of the other companies building there. Activity in the green neighborhood is brisk. When completed it is expected to have nearly 5,000 apartments and some 18,000 residents. Kfar Saba Mayor Yehuda Ben-Hamo is very supportive of ecological developments in Kfar Saba. "The 'green neighborhood' is part of our strategy of creating a green ecological city," he says. "It is our policy to make Kfar Saba Israel's greenest city - the most ecologically friendly urban entity in this country. I believe the new green neighborhood, the first of its kind in Israel, will be a model for the whole country."