This Israeli mall, Ir Yamim includes a round tank in foreground for rain or AC runoff water
Mid East Green building projects like those in Abu Dhabi’s much publicized Masdar City, green building construction plans for Saudi Arabia, and a newly completed green building in Amman Jordan are indications that a number of countries in this region are interested in making commercial and residential buildings more environmental friendly. This also holds true for Israel with an “eco tower” now being built in Tel Aviv, and what is being touted as the country’s first green shopping mall now under construction in the coastal city of Netanya.
Ir Yamim Mall skylights
The Netanya mall, known as the Ir Yamim (Sea City) Shopping Mall is nearing completion in the city’s new upscale Ir Yamim residential neighborhood.
The 80,000 sq meter building, scheduled to open its mid March, 2012, is being built with special glass “sky lights” in the upper floors to let it utilize natural lighting during the daytime.
The AC system will be more energy saving and the water from condensation from its cooling coils will be used for irrigating the lawns and gardens that will surround the mall. Rain water during the winter rainy season will also be collected in special pools for use in watering the greenery around the building as well.
Mall food court area: LED and special florescent lighting
Under construction since early 2009, the mall will have more than 100 stores and food vendors and will include special areas for people to park bicycles and other green vehicles like electric powered carts and scooters.
In addition to the natural light sky-lighting in its two upper floors the building will feature energy saving LED and florescent lighting that have not been previously used in shopping malls in Israel due to either not being available or their high costs.
“We thought about using solar panels to provide electricity, but came to the conclusion that presently solar panels are not advanced enough yet” says Liora Renat-Engle, who, along with Gabi Gal are the two project architects with the Moore Yasky Sivan (MYS) architectural company that is involved in designing the mall’s unique features, including landscaping around the mall.
MYS’s Rinat-Engel also noted the special water saving landscaping around the mall:
“We are landscaping this mall with 25 dunam of special greenery that does not require large amounts of water. This includes planting trees like palm, carob, tamarask and sycamore. These trees need less water than other species. In other words, our aim is to provide ample greenery for the mall and use less water.”
MYS and Liora Rinat-Engel are involved in other green building projects as well, including a 75,000 sq meter shopping mall, Neot HaMidbar (Desert Oasis), that will be constructed in Israel’s largest desert city. Says Rinat-Engel:
“We have learned a lot from other shopping mall building projects regarding the need to build more ecological friendly buildings. This idea is also being taken into account when designing other projects, especially ones the Neot Midbar mall being built in water scarce locations like the Negev desert city of Beersheva”.
Read more on Middle East green building projects and ideas: