When it comes to architecture, Israel must create its own solutions, according to Evyator Errell. The Ben Gurion University professor of desert architecture and urban planning said that playing by traditional building rules simply does not work in Israel’s unique environment.
“When you do something by the book,” he pointed out, “you often discover that the book was not written for Israel, and you need to write a different book.”
Architecture that thrives in metropolitan Europe and the United States is not optimized to the Israeli climate. “The difference between the climatic conditions in Israel for which the architect has to find solutions and those in New York, Paris or London is often significant,” he explained.
Even within Israel, adaptations must be made for climatic differences in the north and south.
“The conditions within Israel differ from place to place – such as in Tel Aviv, Eilat or Jerusalem,” he stressed, adding that each of these climates “need to be addressed differently from an architectural standpoint.”
Errell’s solution, an innovative climate-sensitive window system that adapts to climatic conditions, especially in the desert, allows the homeowners to reduce the energy needed to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.
“We live and work under conditions that are different from those outside,” Errell said. “When it’s hot, we turn on our air-conditioners; when it’s cold, we use our heaters. We want to be as comfortable as possible at all times.”
His window system works by providing a weather-tight seal and both a clear and tinted pane that can be used as the seasons demand, allowing in more light and warmth or blocking out the sun to make it cooler, as the temperatures and comfort level demands.
Yet, while his system makes it easier to conserve energy, Errell stressed that his innovation is just a tool and the people must learn to use to learn their windows efficiently.
“We have to be aware of how to conserve energy,” he said. “This means, for example, when we leave for work in the morning during the winter, we should open the blinds. The sun will heat the house. At night, we should shut them. In the summer, we should do the opposite: close them in the morning, and open them in the evening for ventilation.”