M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentTur Ruimi Hilla
SubjectThe Influence of Design Parameters on the Thermal
Performance of Residential Buildings in the Hot
Climate in Israel
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisor PROFESSOR EMERITUS Edna Shaviv


The primary function of a building is to provide an optimal solution to the residents needs, the most important being comfort. This study deals with the thermal comfort obtained in residential buildings situated in the hot and dry climate of Israel.

In the Israeli standard (I.S. 1045), four climatic zones are defined, labeled A, B, C and D. The first part of the study examines this climatic zones definitions and subject them to climatic criteria. The first conclusion is that heat stress and degree days are the main factors in defining climatic zones. The second conclusion is that Israel should be divided into six climatic zones in contrast to the four traditional ones, i.e. zones C, D should each be divided into two sub-zones.

The study carried out in this work attempts to complete previous works by laying down design guidelines for zone D, to be used in all design phases. The guidelines' aim was to obtain thermal comfort conditions in residential buildings in Israel while saving non renewable energy resources.

The second part of the study focuses on the two hot and dry climatic sub-zones Dl and D2, represented by Tirat-Tsvi and Eilat respectively. In this part, a standard apartment (100 sqm) in a multi-story residential building located in zones Dl and D2, was analyzed. The study was carried out by using an hourly simulation model. The analysis evaluated the influence of various design parameters on the thermal performance of the building. The results show that air infiltration and night ventilation are the primary design parameters in summer. Proportions, wall shading and wall color have a negligible effects if the wall is insulated as required. The test case performed differently in Tirat-Tsvi's climatic zone and in Eilat's climatic zone. This is as expected from the work carried out in the first part of this study. Through the analysis, guidelines were defined for zones Dl and D2, thus completing a comprehensive guidelines for the entire country.

The third part of the study summarizes the design guidelines and a comparison between the different zones' guidelines in performed. Three main conclusions are raised: a) In all climatic zones building orientation, air infiltration and night ventilation are the primary design parameters. b) In all climatic zones except for zone D2 (Eilat), a solar building is the preferred solution with extra insulation for flats with a large envelope area. c) The Israeli standard (I.S. 1045) deals only with insulation and air infiltration. This is not enough according to the study done here. Therefore the Israeli standard should be changed to include building orientation, night ventilation and the area of south glazing. Additional insulation to the Israeli standard recommendations, as a function of flat location in the building, is to be considered as well.