U.S. Spends $49,955 to Send 15 to Conference on 'Greener Design' in Israel

By Penny Starr | April 29, 2013 | 12:17 PM EDT

(AP Photo/Jen Chase)

(CNSNews.com) – Two months to the day after the across-the-board “sequester” budget cuts commenced, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $49,955 for 15 Americans to travel to Israel for a three-day workshop focused on “sustainable” and “green” buildings and infrastructure.

The award is entitled, “U.S.-Israel Workshop on Industrial Ecology in Multi-scale Design and Construction of Sustainable Cities and Infrastructure.”  In the award abstract, it states, “The design and construction of civil infrastructure that is more environmentally, socially, and economically responsible over its full life cycle from extraction of raw construction materials to end of life management is increasingly desirable worldwide.”

Calling those three responsibilities the “triple bottom line of sustainability, the workshop is meant to help global development use greener design goals.”

“As a critical set of systems that support our quality of life and enable global development and progress while consuming vast amounts of material resources and energy, it is essential that civil infrastructure, in particular cities, are designed according to these comprehensive, long term design goals for the benefit of our planet and the current and future generations of humans, animals, and plants that will call it home,” the abstract states.

Israeli motorists. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

The grant has a start date of May 1, 2013  and is slated to expire on April 30, 2014.

The grant announcement is described as organized by the Center for Innovative Materials Research of Lawrence Tech University, the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Stanford University, and Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, which is located in Haifa, Israel.

The “NSF will provide necessary support for travel expenses and workshop registration of the 15 members of the US delegate team,” reads the abstract.  “As efforts are currently being planned in the US toward developing sustainable buildings and building infrastructure within sustainable built environment systems, it is planned to have participation from Israeli researchers and practitioners working on sustainable urban environments and US researchers working towards similar goals in our built environments.”

“The bilateral exchange of ideas will be facilitated by the proposed workshop,” the abstract states. “The three-day workshop will bring together researchers to discuss topics on the methodology of industrial ecology for building and city design, multi-scale design of sustainable urban systems, and engineering of sustainable building materials.”

The abstract also states that the workshop will “bring together researchers and thinkers,” whose findings will “increase education and awareness of sustainable built environment issues both within and outside of academia.”

Those individuals will also produce a catalogue of best practices and tools that “is intended to facilitate the rapid adoption of new materials and technologies for green buildings, transportation systems, and urban environments that exhibit improved economic, social, and environmental performance,” the abstract states.