The Zuckerman Community Center at Sede-Boqer Campus

The Zuckerman Community Center was designed to facilitate daily afternoon activities of the students at the Environmental High School located at Sede-Boqer, and is also used on special occasions, such as holidays, graduation ceremonies etc. It includes a lobby, a main hall for special activities and events, a small cafeteria, social clubs for each of the age groups, a darkroom, a music room, a ceramic workshop and offices. The 700m building was inaugurated in 1988.

Winter heating is provided by the main glazed openings of the building, which face south. Special doors and shutters were designed to enable wide opening of these "solar collectors" in winter and to shade them completely during the summer. The special design of the shutters and the doors also facilitates various degrees of exposure to direct solar radiation, to obtain optimal lighting conditions inside the building and viewing conditions from inside out. A large north-facing glazed wall was built of hollow glass blocks, to permit natural daylighting while limiting unwanted heat exchange with the outdoors. Additional daylight is obtained through large light-wells in the roof of the main hall of the building.

In summer, the glazed openings are closed and shaded by the external louvers. At night, automatically activated fans draw in cool desert air, improving thermal comfort and providing structural cooling. The east and west elevations, which in summer are exposed to higher levels of solar radiation than the north and south walls, have almost no windows.

The external walls are insulated with 5cm of polystyrene foam, with a 1cm thick stucco finish, painted white. The thermal inertia of the building and its ability to absorb energy are enhanced by its massive concrete structure. Thick thermal insulation applied to the external side of the building envelope limits energy flow through it, increasing the building’s thermal time lag and the damping coefficient of the walls.