Establishment of Solel Boneh
“Solel Boneh – The Hebrew Workers’ Cooperative Company for Public Works, Construction and Industry” was established by the General Union of Hebrew Workers in the Land of Israel (the “Histadrut”), on the foundations of the “Construction and Public Works Office”. The Company was meant to become the construction and public works executive arm of the Histadrut in the Land of Israel and a mechanism for immigrant absorption and professional training of workers.
Photo: Gil Reichman Collection
The First Quarry in Migdal Tzedek
Solel Boneh’s first quarry was built in Migdal Tzedek (between Rosh Haayin and Elad, near Kibbutz Nachshonim). The first group of workers consisted of 11 men and women who had immigrated to Israel during the “3rd Aliya”. In 1929, an additional quarry was built at the same location and the “Migdal Tzedek Lime and Gravel Factories Ltd.” company was established along with “Stone & Lime Industries, Ltd” (a subsidiary of Solel Boneh).
The Hydroelectric Power Station in Naharayim
The hydroelectric power station in Naharayim was built by Pinchas Rotenberg in order to utilize the waters of the Jordan and Yarmuk Rivers to supply electricity in Pre-State Israel and Transjordan.
When referring to his choice of Solel Boneh to carry out the project, Rotenberg said: “Where else can you find workers who are willing to strike if no one explains to them what they are building?”
Photo: Pinchas Klainman Collection
The Construction of the Tel Aviv Port
The dream of a Hebrew port in the Land of Israel was born almost simultaneously with the birth of the city of Tel Aviv, when Jaffa port was the country’s main maritime gateway. Following the outbreak of the Great Arab Revolt in April 1936 and the Arab general strike that resulted in the closure of Jaffa port, there was growing public pressure on the British Mandate to end Tel Aviv’s economic dependency on Jaffa. On May 15, 1936, the British Mandate allowed food cargo to be unloaded onto the beaches of Tel Aviv. Within 24 hours, a road, a customs shed and a short wooden pier were built. On May 19 the Tel Aviv port was born when the first ship, the “Chaterty”, anchored off the coast opposite the wooden pier.
Involvement in the "Tower and Stockade" Operation
A series of operations during the 1936-1939 riots and shortly thereafter, to build fortified Jewish agricultural settlements which were meant to create facts on the ground, to expand the Jewish settlements’ boundaries and to increase the area of the future state. The operation “Tower and Stockade” (“Choma Umigdal”) was initiated by the Hagana organization, and the main Jewish settlement institutions participated in the project.
(Archive photography: Zoltan Kluger, The Government Press Office).
Establishment of a Royal Engineering Company
The 745 Artisan Works Coy RE was named the “Solel Boneh Company” since at the core of the company was a group of volunteers from among Solel Boneh’s employees. The commander, Major Haimovitch, was one of the SB’s senior work managers. The “SB Company” engaged in constructing camps, restoring bridges, building air fields, and installing water lines, and was also trained in combat engineering missions. After the victory of the allied forces, 745 Artisan Works Coy RE was returned to the Middle East and was thereafter decommissioned and demobilized. Photo: S&B Collection
Veteran Construction Workers Defined as “Stable”
The company’s permanent employees were organized in the “Solel Boneh Stables” organization, which achieved better terms of employment than those prevalent in the construction industry and which provided its members with advanced cultural and welfare services.
Photo: S&B Collection
Beginning of Work on the National Water Carrier
The National Water Carrier is the main artery of Israel’s water grid and integrates most of the water plants in the country. The National Water Carrier begins in the Sea of Galilee and runs for approximately 130 kilometers. The initial plans to build the National Water Carrier were prepared prior to the establishment of the State, but it only became possible to design specific plans following 1948. In 1956, actual work on the Carrier began, and continued until the Carrier was inaugurated on June 10, 1964. Photo: Amram Gershoni Collection
Beginning of the Construction of the Knesset
Solel Boneh was the prime contractor in the construction of the Knesset (the Israel Parliament Building), which included Knesset Plaza, the Plenary Hall, the Lounges, the Knesset Committees’ Conference Rooms, the Library, the Archives, the Synagogue, the cafeteria, and the Knesset Members’ chambers. The building was built in accordance with the design of Architect Joseph Klarwein and was funded by a donation from the Baron James de Rothschild.
The works continued through 1966. Photo: Michael Maor
Building the First Neighborhoods of the Development Town of Arad
Design of the Arad region, with the city of Arad at its core, started at the beginning of the 1960’s. The purpose of the town’s location was to populate the empty area in the north east part of the Negev and to establish a focal point for a new settlement region. In 1962, Arad received its first inhabitants, most of whom were directed there by the Government.
The Construction of Military Bases and Airfields in Sinai
The works continued through 1972. Upon the completion of the paving of the runway at the Ofir Airfield, General Mordechai Hod, the commander of the Air Force at the time, wrote to the manager of the Public Works and Construction company, which was founded by Solel Boneh, as follows: “We are very pleased that the workers were 'infected' by the Air Force’s renowned pace and with their dedication and faithfulness were able to complete work of the utmost importance within a very short period of time.”
Beginning of the Construction of the Teheran Hilton Hotel
Solel Boneh’s international activity, which began in the 1950’s, developed significantly during the 1970’s. During these years, Solel Boneh operated in developing countries in Asia, Africa and South America, where it built hundreds of projects, while employing and training tens of thousands of local employees who were managed by Israeli teams
Photograph: Safdie Architects.
Restoration of the Border Settlements following the Yom Kippur War
During the war and thereafter, profitable projects in urban areas were suspended and Solel Boneh employees were sent all along the borders to build security rooms and fortifications. When the fighting ended, the Company was engaged in rehabilitating border settlements.
In the photo: Building new residential homes at Kibbutz Merom Golan (Photographer: Nissim Gabai, 1974)
Winning the Kaplan Award for Building an Innovative Cement Factory in Togo, Africa
In a remote area in Togo that suffers from supply and communications difficulties, a Solel Boneh team succeeded in building an innovative cement factory, while training the local population to work with advanced technologies. The Company received international acclaim for constructing the factory in a successful, high-quality and precise manner.
Photographer: Ami Arav
Paving of a Road to the Egyptian Terminal on the New Israel-Egypt Border
Between 1967 and 1982 Israel controlled most of the Sinai Peninsula. Following the signing of the Peace Treaty with Egypt in 1979, a new border was set between the countries. This border served as a ceasefire line between Israel and Egypt between 1949 and 1967, except for the Gaza Strip, which was then controlled by Egypt.
Photography: Tal Or Benny, The Government Press Office
Construction of the Marganit Building and Winning of the Kaplan Award
The Marganit Tower in General Military Headquarters (the “Kirya”) is an office building and communication tower at the Rabin Base in the Kirya in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. When built, it was the second tallest building in Israel. The Marganit Tower quickly became one of the symbols of Tel Aviv. Part of the building has the form of a concrete finger that has several balconies, on which various types of antennae are stationed.
Photographer: Sami Gal
Establishment of Shikun & Binui Holdings Ltd.
Following the economic crisis in Israel in the mid-1980’s, “Shikun & Binui Holdings Ltd.” was established as part of the recovery plan for the “Workers Company”. “Shikun & Binui Holdings Ltd.” concentrated the company’s construction and infrastructure activity which had been carried out by Solel Boneh and “Shikun Ovdim” (eventually becoming “Shikun & Binui Real Estate”).
Construction of the Chimney at the IEC’s Power Plant in Hadera
Beginning of the Construction of the Chimney at the Israel Electric Company’s Power Plant in Hadera.
The works continued through 1994.
Arison Group acquires control of S&B, together with Solel Boneh employees
In 1989 the Shikun & Binui Group acquired control of “Solel Boneh”. In 1996 the Group was bought by the Group’s employees, and was held jointly with “Arison Investments”.
During the decade that followed, the Group became active in the field of BOT Mega Projects, and combined its financial and entrepreneurship capabilities with its construction capabilities.
During this period of time the Group’s international activity also expanded extensively.
Beginning of the Paving of Road 6
Road 6 - the Cross Israel Highway - is the first road in Israel that was paved as a BOT project and is also the longest highway and the first toll road in Israel. To date, the road is 138 km long, has 12 interchanges, two tunnels (500m) and 100 bridges, and is expected, over the coming years, to reach a total length of 247 km. The central segments were opened to the public between 2002 and 2004. In July 2009, the company completed the 18th segment of the Cross Israel Highway.
Photo: Albatross Aerial Photography
Building a New Congress and Exhibition Center in TA
A new congress and exhibition center with an impressive, large multi-purpose hall without pillars that accommodates the largest and most important events and congresses, was built in the heart of the Exhibition Grounds. The hall was built with combined concrete-steel construction and includes a special spatial roof on an underground parking lot. The facility includes a main plenary hall, secondary halls, a lobby and offices. The works ended in 2005.
Photo: Dagan advanced visual solutions Ltd.
Relocation of Five Templer Houses in Sarona, TA
The Relocation of Five “Templer” Houses in the Sarona Neighborhood in Tel Aviv, within the framework of the Expansion of Kaplan Street.
The five structures were built in 1868 by Templers (members of a Temple organization, a protestant religious movement that was established in the middle of the 19th century.) These historic building were relocated in a manner that conformed with environmental and conservation values. The Dutch company Mammoet was involved in the works. The works ended in 2006. Photo: Dagan advanced visual solutions Ltd.
Laying a Natural Gas Conveyor Pipeline to Israel (Stages 1 and 2)
A Joint Project with the Italian Ghizzoni S.p.a Company. A 24-inch diameter 80-atmosphere pressure steel gas pipeline, valve stations and PRMS stations. Stage 1: 92 km through the Nesher – Sorek – Ashdod segments and the Sorek – Ashdod – Ashkelon segments. Stage 2: 135 km at the Kiryat Gat – Sedom segment. The project was carried out with diligent concern for the natural environment. The works ended in 2009.
Beginning of the construction of “Chalomot Karkur”
“Chalomot Karkur” (Karkur Dreams) neighborhood is the first green residential neighborhood in Israel. The neighborhood includes partially terraced buildings with approximately 480 residential units. A green park, with facilities for children and shaded sitting areas, was built in the center of the neighborhood. Among the project’s “green” elements: water saving faucets, energy efficient PL bulbs, a central switch for turning lighting and air conditioning on and off, a “Tamhil” system for proper treatment of limestone, a bicycle room and a bottle recycling facility. Photo: Hedva Shfaram
Arison Investments becomes the holder of control in S&B
Following the 1996 acquisition of the Group by the Group’s employees together with “Arison Investments”, in 2007 “Arison Investments” purchased the majority of the employees’ shares and became the holder of control, and the Group began undergoing a process of renewal and adaptation to the business world of the future, in accordance with the spirit of the Group and the vision of Ms. Shari Arison, the owner of the Arison Group.
Beginning of Works on the Carmel Tunnels Project
The first urban toll road system of its kind in Israel that integrates a complex set-up of infrastructures with advanced technology, and in which approximately NIS 1,500,000,000 were invested. The concession for the project was awarded to the Carmelton company, which was established as an equal partnership between Shikun & Binui and the Ashtrom group. Environmental concerns received significant consideration in the construction of the tunnels. The works continued until 2010.
Photo: Albatross Aerial Photography
Beginning the construction of the Desalination Facility in Hadera
The facility was established by Shikun & Binui adjacent to the “Orot Rabin” power plant in Hadera. H2ID, a consortium of IDE technologies, and Shikun & Binui, which financed, built and operates the desalination facility, won the BOT project. The facility has a production capacity of approximately 127 million cubic meters of high quality potable water per year, using the reverse osmosis technology. The works were completed in 2010. Photo: Sivan Farag
Student Dormitory Complex, TA University
An Agreement between TA University and S&B Real Estate was signed, pursuant to which the Shikun & Binui group is responsible for renovating and upgrading the “Einstein” student dormitory complex, for building an additional new dormitory complex in the “Broshim” complex, and for operating both of the complexes. The planning of the renovated dormitory complex took global trends of trash recycling and green environment into consideration.
Launching the 7th Ave. project in Be’er Sheva
The construction of “7th Ave.” took the climate and environmental planning of the region into consideration and it was designed in accordance with the concept of an open air shopping boulevard. Green elements integrated into the construction of the boulevard include controlled design of winds and heat, unique flora, including deciduous trees, that allow for natural ventilation (during the warm season), and exposure to passive heating (during the cold season), air conditioning produced by water evaporation cooling towers, recycling of materials to reduce waste, etc. Photo: PR
Relocation of the Group headquarters to Airport City
The group’s headquarters moved to the new location at Airport City, which was designed to comply with the internationally recognized American LEED rating system for ‘green buildings’. The S&B building is the third building in Israel to be awarded the Gold certification and the first in Israel to be awarded the LEED certification for the design and construction of the building’s interior.
Photo: Sivan Farag
Construction of a demo facility of clean electricity generation technology
The first facility of its kind in Israel is located in the Ardom Industrial Zone (near Kibbutz Yotvata). The facility, which extends over an area of approx. 20 dunams, operates using a technology that was developed by S&B Renewable Energy. The technology demonstrated in the project is based on the parabolic trough method. The main project using the new technology is the “Shneor” project on the lands of Kibbutz Tze’elim. Photo: Rami Zarenger
Beginning of the construction of the “Chalomot Tzukei Hashmura” Project
The sea-front project, facing the Iris Nature Reserve in Netanya, is designed in perfect harmony with nature. The project includes three towers that face the sea and the nature Reserve - while also experiencing a warm sense of community among the three buildings. At this stage, the project’s design has led to its certification as a green project. Simulation: Arcreative
Completion of the "Shikma" and "Bohu" Railway Bridges Project
At the beginning of 2013, S&B Solel Boneh Infrastructures Ltd. completed the construction, for the Israel Railways, of the "Shikma" and "Bohu" railroad bridges project, along the Ashkelon-Netivot railroad track.
The projects were awarded first place in the "Infrastructure Systems Engineering Project" category of the Association of Israel's Builders’ 2014 Excellence in Construction and Infrastructures Competition.
Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility Report
Shikun & Binui's first Sustainability and CSR Report outlining the group's activities in 2013 specifically regarding sustainability issues. This report complies with the accepted international standards of sustainability (GRI: GR3.1), class B. The sources for stats and metrics included the group's organizational information systems and additional sources, such as governance documentation, operational protocols and written working producers, organizational data and information, professional estimations, and the findings exposed by internal monitoring and ongoing control mechanisms.
Launching of the Sde Boker Photovoltaic Solar Field
In July 2014, a photovoltaic solar park was launched in open land of Sde Boker. It is one of several such facilities built by the group in Israel's south, to create solar power using photovoltaic technology. Shikun & Binui also launched a thermo-solar power plant, running on technology it developed independently.
The park was built by S&B Renewable Energy, and it connected to the national grid on February 17, 2014, with the capacity for supplying electricity that powers 1,650 homes in Israel
Photo: Eagle Aerial Photography
Launch of Gilboa pumped-storage project
The facility, spanning across more than 50 hectares includes a power plant that produces electricity through hydropower means, with a potential energy storage of up to 300 MW. This enables the utilization of affordable and surplus electricity during the night, to raise water levels from a lower reservoir onto a higher one, exploiting the potential energy for operating electricity-producing turbines in periods of peak demand.
Photo: Albatross Aerial Photography
Celebrating 90 Years of Building the Future
In 2014, Shikun & Binui celebrated 90 years of activity, which begun with the founding of Solel Boneh (1924). In the framework of its 90th anniversary celebrations, the group ventured on several unique projects: A special advertising campaign showcasing the employees' joint efforts and achievements; Exclusive archiving of original items and materials collected from diverse sources; Opening of the Journey Through Time Visitors Center; Sponsorship of Israel's pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale; and more. In September 2014, the group hosted a festive gala event at its headquarters, with special performances and a photo exhibition. Photo: Eddie Israel / Rami Zranger
Inauguration of the National Police Academy in Beit Shemesh
The academy is a BOT project that spreads over 230 dunam and includes 38 different buildings with a total constructed area of approximately 62,000 square meters. The planning and design of the facility took sustainability aspects into consideration, including environmentally friendly planning in compliance with the Green Building Standard 5281.
Photo: Dagan advanced visual solutions Ltd.
Beginning of Construction: Ashalim Thermal Solar Power Plant
A BOT concessions project for a 121 megawatts CSP-based power plant, spanning across more than 960 acres (3,900 Dunams) near Ashalim in Southern Israel. With over 16,000 parabolic troughs, it produces 440 GWh of electricity annually, enough to power 60,000 households. Construction is now underway, to be operated in compliance with advanced international standards.
Photo: Gilad Kavalerchik
Construction begins on SH288 project in Houston, Texas
In October 2016, construction works commenced on the P3 project for the design, finance, construction, operation and maintenance of toll lanes and associated facilities on State Highway 288 in Harris County (Houston, Texas). The project scope includes construction of four new toll lanes in the median of the existing highway, direct connectors to the Texas Medical Center and eight direct connecters between SH288 and Beltway 8, as well as the installation of advanced ITS and tolling systems.