Living Green in Israel

The construction industry accounts for a significant part of adverse environmental effects over the past century. According to estimates by the United Nations (United Nations 2010 - Buildings and constructions as tools for promoting more sustainable patterns for consumption and production), approximately 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions is due to buildings. Other estimates have suggested that in developed countries, the construction industry accounted for no less than 25 to 40 percent of energy consumption from 33 to 50 percent of the consumption of raw materials. In addition, the construction industry produces 10-40 percent of the world's waste (Environmentally Sustainable buildings, challenges and polices, OCED - OECD 2003).

Construction quality is also known to have a considerable impact on the health of people who stay in the building. The use of green building, which is expressed through compliance with strict standards and investment in building or renovating and upgrading existing structures through use of environmentally friendly materials technologies, can significantly reduce the environmental damage caused by the construction industry.

Since Israel adds more than eight million square feet of new construction every year, any improvement in the field will be significant, including in the residential construction sector, which constitutes 73 percent of total construction. One of the toughest obstacles for implementing green building in the Israeli industry is cost. Given the demand for solutions in affordable housing, green building that suits the budget of the general public is of particular importance.