iiSBE News for January 2010

Conferences and workshop in Tel Aviv, 4-8 January

During the week of 04 January, iiSBE Israel sponsored a series of three events, with the support of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Israel Institute of Standards, the Israel GBC, and the Contractor’s Association.

The first event, on 04 January, was a seminar that focused on the development of a roadmap to accelerate market transformation in Israel. Foreign speakers included Rob Watson, known as “the father of LEED”, Nils Larsson, Executive Director of iiSBE International, and Lindsay Bevege, an Australian-based consultant who provides advice to WGBC and the Australian GBC. Israeli speakers included Zvi Springer, iiSBE Israel Management Committee, Yehuda Olander, founder and President of iiSBE Israel and leader of development of the Israeli green building code, as well as other speakers from IIS, the architectural, development and manufacturing sectors.
The following day, iiSBE Israel and IIS organized a workshop on rating tools, which attracted some 50 attendees. Rob Watson provided an in-depth presentation of management issues faced by USGBC in the development of its very successful LEED system. Lindsay Bevege provided a similar management-oriented overview of the Australian GBC and its GreenStar system. Dr. Nizan Ayal of IIS provided a description of the SI-5281 Green Building Standard, which is currently undergoing further development. Finally, Nils Larsson of iiSBE provided an overview of rating and certification systems, and followed up with a detailed presentation of recent work on the SB Method and SBTool systems.

The final event was a large conference, the latest in an annual series. Sponsors included iiSBE Israel, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Israel Institute of Standards, the Israel GBC, and the Contractor’s Association. This event attracted several hundred delegates and was oriented towards green building issues specific to Israel. Main speakers included the Minister of Environmental Protection, Frank Hovorka (Manager of new commercial building development in Germany and France for ICADE), Rob Watson, Lindsay Bevege, Zvi Springer, Yehuda Olander and several other prominent Israeli professionals. This was an impressive series of events and augers well for the momentum of the green and sustainable building movement in Israel.

Trip to India, 18-23 January

During the week of 18 January, Nils Larsson visited colleagues at the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in Delhi. TERI is an important agency in India, with about 700 staff working in the energy and resources sector, ranging from R&D to policy development and demonstrations. Those at the meeting included Priyanka Kochhar, a researcher who has been involved also with UNEP, Siva Kishan who is CEO of a new secretariat to implement the GRIHA rating system, and Pooja Shukla, a research associate.

Although LEED has been established in India by the India GBC (with help of $1.6 million in funds from USAID), TERI developed the GRIHA system to better reflect Indian needs and priorities. It has already been adopted as the official national rating system, and is now required for all government buildings, at a 3-star level. We had a lengthy discussion about issues related to the introduction of rating systems, in particular the importance of providing separations between system design, promotion and certification. TERI appears to be interested in participating in several of our activities, including the work on urban neighborhood indicators, tall buildings research and, possibly, our training activities. They were also interested to hear about the use of flyash as a cement supplementing material, since there is apparently a substantial surplus of the material in the country.

Meeting in Prague about international Masters, 28-29 January

The iiSBE Education Committee met in Prague on 29 January to begin the development of a proposal to the European Commission program called Erasmus Mundus. The program provides financial support to students at the Masters level from within and outside of Europe, who wish to follow one of the supported programs. The proposals are put together by consortia of European universities and are competitive. iiSBE is facilitating the development of a proposal by the Czech Technical University in Prague, Zuyd University in Netherlands, the University of Minho in Portugal, and the Madrid Polytecnic. Trondheim NTNU will also be invited to join the group and the University of Torino wil be associated with the project. The coordinator of this work is Luis Braganca, Professor at University of Minho, at braganca@civil.uminho.pt.