From Energy-Conscious Buildings to Climate-Sensitive Urban Design

January 30, 2008 - 12:00pm
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The consideration of solar rights in urban design is essential in order to allow passive heating of buildings in winter and to improve the comfort conditions of people in the street, sidewalks and open spaces. A new energy code for residential buildings in Israel defines a required level of solar insolation of the buildings according to different city areas, orientations and climatic zones. These requirements were used to define objective criteria for solar rights regulations. Following, we define a method and a simple design tool that allows achieving the required solar insolation. Three methods were suggested; two are based on performance approach while the third is a prescriptive/descriptive one. For all three methods we differentiate between central urban areas where it should be allowed to build with higher density than in peripheral urban areas that may be built with less dense while maintaining improved climatic conditions. The prescriptive/descriptive method is demonstrated by a case study that shows that a high building density may be achieved while ensuring solar rights.

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