Edna-ShavivEdna Shaviv started her academic career in 1967, researching computer-aided architectural design, and was the first to show that a form satisfying prerequisite stresses can be found in surface structures. This research work was the first-ever performance-based CAD tool to be developed.

As early as 1973 Shaviv realized the emerging importance of energy in building and turned her research effort to develop simulation-CAD tools to generate energy conscious designs. It is in this drive that she developed a series of models for energy conscious design, SUNSHADES (see the paper “A Method for the Design of Fixed External Sun-Shades” (Build International, 1975) and solar rights (“Design Tools for Solar Rights & Sun-Shades Determination“, ASES 1984). The main undercurrent was generating the optimal form that satisfy predetermined criteria. Since then the ideas and tools so developed became classical examples in performance-based CAD tool (see AESOP by R. McCluney & R. Sater, from FSEC that was presented in ASES 1984). The AESOP package was submitted to the Designers’ Software Exchange, directed by Prof. Harvey Bryan. Balcomb in ASES 1986 conference praised it as: “An excellent example of a guidance tool has been developed by Shaviv, which indicates the exact shape of overhangs in order to achieve a desired seasonal shading characteristic.” This unique research work was awarded in 1977 “the Goldstein Award” of the Israeli Building Center.

In 1977 she developed one of the first models for of an Hourly Simulation Model, ENERGY, to predict the Thermal Performance of Buildings. The model was the foundation to a series of CAD models aiming at assisting the Architect during the Design Process. This series of design-assisting tools was awarded, in 1978, “the Arnan Award” of the Israel Association of Engineers and Architects for “the use of mathematical models and computers in architectural design.”

Since 1979, Shaviv consulted the Weizmann Institute of Science building construction department on window shading and energy-conscious design of several buildings. She realized that it is important to integrate daylighting into the simulation model, which she did already in 1979. (“On the Determination of the Optimal Shading Factor of Windows”, Proc. of CAD 80). Numerous papers were published on various aspects of the problem. These papers were at the base of the 1989 European massive drive as expressed in the “Report of the Commission of the European Communities – Building 2000,” “Passive and Hybrid Cooling for buildings.” Ten of Shaviv’s papers were cited.

The two models SUNSHADES and ENERGY have been used since then for consulting, teaching and research, including the development of the Israeli Standards SI 5282 “Energy Rating of Buildings” (2005-Residential, 2007-Office Buildings), as well as the energy Chapter in SI 5281 “Buildings with reduced environmental impact (Green Buildings)” (2005).

Shaviv established at the Technion, with the support of the Ministry of Energy and Water, the national laboratory for “Climate and Energy in Architecture.” At the Faculty of Architecture, Technion, she educated a new generation of researchers, with whom she developed a series a new models applied on larger scales like: SOLRET– Solar Retrofit of Social Residential Buildings. PSA– A Knowledge Based Expert System for Passive Solar Architecture. SHADING– Evaluating Mutual Shading Among Buildings and on Open Spaces. PASYS– A Knowledge Based Expert System for Determining Design Strategies for Passive Solar Design. MULRES-ENERGY– Determining the Optimum Configuration of Multifamily Residential Buildings. SUSTARC– Modeling the Design and Evaluation of Sustainable Architecture. APS – Modeling Acoustical Performance of Sunshades. CoED – Modeling Collaboration Enhancing among Design participants. WEG – A KB Expert System for Water Efficient Gardens & landscape design. The research products using these CAD tools were all published as guideline books for practicing architects. Her students carried the energy torch to other universities in Israel.

The book “Climatic and Energy Conscious Design Guidelines for Residential Buildings in Temperate-Cool and Hot-Humid Mediterranean Climate” (with I.G.Capeluto) was awarded the “Dori Prize” in 1994 by the Division of Culture – Haifa Municipality for “special achievements in technology.”

Lately, three other research works/books, by her and the team in the Lab (Yezioro, and Capeluto), got by the Israel Association of United Architects and the “Architecture of Israel journal” the Project of the Year Prize in Research Category.” The first prize was for the book “Climate and Energy Aspects of Urban Design in the Hot-Humid Region of Israel (2006); the second one for “Solar Rights in High Density Urban Development” (2007); and the third for the “Israeli Standard for the Energy-Rating of Office Buildings” (2008/9).

More recent works:

Kyoto Protocol for “Reducing greenhouse gas emissions – Israel policy, Sponsored by The Ministry of the Environment. Climatic and Energy Aspects of Urban Design in Hot-Humid Region of Israel, Sponsored by The Ministry of Energy and Water. “Solar Rights in High Density Urban Development”, Sponsored by The Ministry of Housing and Constructions. Energy Code for Buildings in Israel. 1st stage ordered by The Ministry of the Environment. 2nd Stage: Residential Buildings & 3rd Stage: Office Buildings, Sponsored by the Ministry of Energy and Water. The Israeli Standards SI 5282 Energy Rating of Buildings as well as the Energy Chapter in SI 5281 “Buildings with reduced environmental impact (Green Buildings)” are based on it.

Consulting and Practice:

Shaviv is keen on implementing the fruits of the academic research in practice. Besides numerous projects, we mention the first passive solar house in Israel, which by the way, was built in a high-density area and required to develop special Passive Solar Systems to overcome the problem of shading by the close neighboring buildings (see Proc. of ASES 1985 in the paper: “Window Components as Integrative Passive Systems for Heating, Cooling & Daylighting“). The “Sussman Family Building for Environmental Sciences” at the Weizmann Institute of Science (1996) contains a range of special features that reduce significantly the cost of lighting, heating and cooling and is the first Green Office Building built in Israel. (See the 2nd ISES-Europe Solar Congress, EuroSun’98, in the paper: “The Integration of Passive Cooling, Heating and Daylighting in the Design of an Intelligent Energy Conscious Building Design.“)


In 1979 Shaviv initiated the integrated course Bio-Climatic and Passive Solar Architectural Design in the Faculty of Architecture & Town Planning. The course integrates design practice and theory by using simulation and CAD tools for energy-conscious design. Shaviv supervised more than 20 Ph.D. and M.Sc students and wrote more than 120 original papers in professional refereed journals, chapters in books and conference proceedings.  In 1998, Shaviv was honored by the World Renewable Energy Network with the title “PIONEER IN RENEWABLE ENERGY” for special achievements in the field, and in 2003 was honored by her city, Haifa, “On high scientific achievements in Science.”

Writing the Israeli Standards:

Shaviv retired in 2008 from the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning, after more than 40 years of teaching. Since her retirement she has devoted most of her time to the development of the revision of the Israeli Standard, SI 5282 – “Energy Rating of Buildings,” and SI 5281, Sustainable Buildings (“Green Buildings”), both published in September 2011. These two standards are based on her extensive research performed over the years. Through these building standards, Shaviv feels that she can transfer her knowledge to the practicing architects, and hopes that future buildings in Israel will be greener. The Energy Chapter of the Israeli Green Building Standard is presented in this conference, with emphasis on Passive and Low Energy Architecture.

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