Measurements and simulations of thermal comfort: a synagogue in Tel Aviv, Israel

Anat Geva, Hadas Saaroni, Jacob Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This study illustrates the utility of empirical and digital methodologies in examining the question to which degree an architect who lives and builds in one distinctive geographic and climatic region adapts his sacred architecture design to a different climatic region. Specifically, we analysed the thermal comfort in a Synagogue in Tel Aviv, Israel, designed by a renowned Swiss architect in 1996. The morphological analyses, actual measurements, and computerized energy simulations show that the synagogue exhibits high thermal discomfort during the hot-humid summers in Tel Aviv. The results of morphological analyses and simulations also show thermal discomfort in the synagogue during Tel Aviv's mild winters. When simulating the synagogue as if built in Switzerland, the results also show high thermal discomfort. Thus, the design of this synagogue did not necessarily consider climate conditions. However, the design does exhibit attentiveness and sensitivity to symbols and faith requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-250
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Building Performance Simulation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014


  • sacred architecture
  • simulation
  • thermal comfort

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Computer Science Applications


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