Pictured above: Prof. Isaac Meir (second from right) with the members of the Israeli Green Building Council's executive committee on Tuesday night at the opening of their annual conference. (Photo Credit: Israeli Green Building Council)
The Israeli Green Building Council (ILGBC) bestowed its 2016 Green Building Leadership Award on BGU's Prof. Isaac (Sakis) Meir on Tuesday evening at the opening of its annual exhibition and conference. It is the largest cross-sector and interdisciplinary forum in the country focusing on green planning and construction in Israel.
The award committee cited Prof. Meir’s academic and consulting work over the last 30 years to innovate in and promote the field of green building.
The prize committee bestowed the award on Meir for “the unique mix of initiatives you lead both in academia and in the practical world.”
One such is a new project in Beer-Sheva. Meir was the designer of the first master plan that is based upon Israel’s green building standard from the start rather than a separate green building recommendation added as annex to the plan. The new plan is for a 1,000 house new section of the Ramot neighborhood in Beer-Sheva. Meir is also the climate and green building consultant on the new master plan for Beit Shean in the Jordan Valley and for Kasif, a new city of 100,000 to be built next to Arad in the Negev.
Meir is also involved in a European research project to design net zero energy communities, where the energy input and output balance out. While the concept has begun to be implemented in buildings, his colleagues and he are laying the groundwork for applying it to whole communities.
“Planning and architecture that is not based on systematic scientific research is destined to repeat the same mistakes over and over; while scientific research that does not educate to develop new tools for correct practices is destined to become irrelevant. Wise and talented alumni are exactly the essential, critical combination that is needed,” says Meir.
The committee cited the more than 20 courses taught over the years, dozens of academic articles and guides such as one on bioclimatic construction and another on energy aspects of design in arid zones. They also praised his innovative projects based on green building practices and technologies.
The committee commended Meir’s active participation in Knesset committees and international committees as well. In addition, he serves as an advisor to the Construction and Housing Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the Israel Land Authority, the Energy and Water Ministry and the Standards Institute of Israel.
Meir is a member of the Bona Terra Department of Man in the Desert of The Swiss Institute for Dryland Environmental & Energy Research, at The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research in BGU's Sede Boqer campus.