A green shopping mall is not green if its AC sounds like a jet liner taking off
When previous articles of making shopping malls more sustainable and green, such as Amman Jordan’s new Mega Mall, were posted, it appeared that these large enclosed shopping centers are on the right track to becoming more environmentally friendly. The use of energy saving LEED lighting in super glitzy malls such as those in Dubai may also be showing ways to provide adequate lighting at considerably less environmental risks.
Israel’s soon to be opened Ir Yamim (Sea City) shopping Mall, hailed as being the country’s first “green” shopping mall, was also given a considerable amount of kudos by me. But now it may be that this so-called “green shopping mall” may not be as green after all.
This mall is scheduled to open its doors to the public in mid to late March, and has been said to also be featuring energy saving LED lighting, as well as being architecturally designed to keep the sun’s heat from taxing the mall’s air conditioning systems during peak mid day and afternoon summer temperatures.
A principle environmental issue now effecting this mall is its air conditioning systems, which appear to be driving nearby residents batty due to high amounts of noise being emitted from these systems. One resident, who lives just south of the mall, told Green Prophet that the sound from the mall’s AC systems, now being tested prior to the mall’s opening, have had a sound similar to “a commercial jetliner sitting on the airport runway tarmac with it’s taxing engines going full blast prior to takeoff.”
“I’m very disappointed with this project, and regret moving here,” this person said, adding that people living close to the mall like he does have filed a complaint with the Netanya municipality.
One of the municipality’s commercial building engineers, who asked to remain anonymous, says that “if the mall’s project management doesn’t so something to reduce the noise being emitted by the mall’s AC system, the municipality will not allow the mall to open on it’s mid March target date. From an environmental standpoint, issues of noise pollution are no less serious than those of air or water pollution. Although the noise from the AC systems has been reduced a bit the past few days, it still is reported to sound like “noise from living next to a busy motorway.”
And the increased traffic flow into and out from the mall when it opens is still an unknown factor in an area where traffic has already increased due to new people moving into the new Ir Yamin residential neighborhood, just south of the mall.
A good explanation for the noise from the air conditioning system is that its only temporary since the AC system is now operating at full blast to test its strength as well as rid the inside of the building of large amounts of dust caused by work crews doing finishing work there. That explanation doesn’t appear to be enough to satisfy the irate people living nearby, and they will be the ones who will suffer the most when the mall opens.
To satisfy the project management’s claim of this shopping mall being more sustainable and “green” more efforts need to be made to satisfy area residents who now feel that both they and their families will suffer by not being able to open their windows or sit on their balconies due to the high noise levels. After all, noise pollution is still pollution.
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