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February 18, 1994 - Image 87

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-02-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


vironmentally-friendly eyesores
has come about in the past five
years from architects, city en-
gineers, and local zoning coun-
cils, rather than the Ministry of
the Environment. In fact, no-
one there is dealing with this is-
sue for fear that regulating
asthetics will discourage the use
of solar energy. "The Ministry
views positively any moves to
integrate solar water heaters
into building architecture, but
hasn't taken any steps to coerce
people to do so," stresses Vallery
Brachia, head of the ministry's
Regional Planning Section.
Neither has any positive ac-
tion been taken to encourage
architects to find solutions, ad-
mits Ms. Brachia ruefully.
"Some architects wishing to
preserve the beauty of their cre-
ations, have added clauses in
their building license requests
that would prevent the instal-
lation of solar heaters on the
roof," she says. "We have op-
posed such clauses. We believe
a way must be found too make
the solar heaters more attrac-
tive rather than forbidding their
"What has been missing,"
says Mr. Graber, "is fore-
thought. If solar water heaters
and panels were planned as
part of the structure, they
would also be more functional,
accessible for maintenance, and
possibly cost less than conven-
tional installation."
Some city engineers and lo-
cal building and zoning coun-
cils have been less hesitant to
take affirmative action. In
Ashkelon, for example, the mu-
nicipality now requires that all
new buildings integrate the so-
lar heaters into the structure.
In the case of villas that has
meant leaving the storage tanks
off the roof and installing the
solar panels flush with the roof
tiles. "To have the blueprints
approved, apartment houses
must come equipped with the
solar panels integrated into the
structure prior to occupancy,"
says Ashkelon's city engineer,
Eli Yahalom.
Unfortunately, no one seems
to have a fair or economically
feasible solution for old apart-
ment buildings, where the ubiq-
uitous and universally ugly
storage drums on stilts contin-
ue to stand mutely, like a
washed-out flock of stranded
storks. Li

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