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Passive and Low Energy Architecture, May 8

Current environmental assessment methods commonly use a simple ‘point hunting’ approach. As a result, developers and design teams try to obtain “cheap and easy points”. Consequently, they avoid choosing “Energy points”. Additionally, “Energy points” are mainly achieved by improving the mechanical, electrical and hot water systems, since they are easier points to handle than designing low energy buildings, especially at the advanced design stages. This is in contrast with the fact that buildings are designed to last 50 to 100 years and the mechanical systems only 15 to 20 years, at most.

The new Israeli “Sustainable Building (Green Building) Standard SI5281” attempts to overcome the deficiencies presented above by dividing the energy chapter into two parts; “Building energy performance” and “Building services systems”. Moreover, it tries to make the “Building performance points” easier to handle at the early design stages by using simple CAD tools for the performance based method, as well as providing simple design guidelines for the prescriptive-based method.

The lecture presents the criteria and rules that the Israeli Green Building standard applied in order to guarantee that green buildings will save energy and in order to avoid the faults of present situation that the minimum required points for energy saving may be achieved with no need to design the building as a low energy one.

The talk is devoted to the presentation and discussions of the evaluation methods as well as presenting the design guidelines and tools proposed for the early design stages.