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The Pales­tinian Mu­seum – the first green build­ing in Pales­tine – is seek­ing to achieve Lead­er­ship in En­ergy and En­vi­ron­men­tal De­sign (LEED) Sil­ver cer­ti­fi­ca­tion from the United States Green Build­ing Coun­cil.

Phase one of the project, which is lo­cated 25 kilo­me­tres north of Jerusalem on a hill­top site ad­ja­cent to Birzeit Univer­sity, com­prises a 3500-square me­tre build­ing which ac­com­mo­dates a cli­mate-con­trolled gallery space, an am­phithe­atre, cafe­te­ria with out­door seat­ing, li­brary, class­rooms, stor­age, a gift shop and ad­min­is­tra­tive spa­ces.

It is sur­rounded by ter­raced gar­dens that have been planted with trees, shrubs and flow­ers that are local to Pales­tine.

Dublin-based ar­chi­tec­tural com­pany heneghan peng won a com­pe­ti­tion to de­sign the mu­seum, which is ded­i­cated to Pales­tinian cul­ture, and ref­er­ences the re­gion’s ru­ral land­scape.

It is also home to a long list of sus­tain­able de­sign ini­tia­tives, in­clud­ing the de­vel­op­ment of a stormwa­ter man­age­ment plan and the im­ple­men­ta­tion of on­site rain­wa­ter har­vest­ing.

The in­stal­la­tion of high-ef­fi­ciency fix­tures de­liv­ered a 48% sav­ing in wa­ter use within the mu­seum, while the use of drip ir­ri­ga­tion for land­scap­ing ac­tiv­i­ties achieved sub­stan­tial sav­ings in wa­ter con­sump­tion.

Ma­te­ri­als with a high so­lar-re­flectance in­dex were used in the mu­seum’s roof, re­duc­ing the heatis­land ef­fect of the de­vel­op­ment and its impact on mi­cro­cli­mates and wildlife habi­tats.

And the en­ergy per­for­mance of the build­ing was im­proved by high lev­els of in­su­la­tion, along with the use of low-en­ergy sys­tems in ap­pro­pri­ate ar­eas and by heat re­cov­ery in ven­ti­la­tion sys­tems.

A to­tal of five so­lar pan­els pro­vide a re­new­able en­ergy source for hot wa­ter ser­vices. And the project also gave pri­or­ity to the se­lec­tion of sus­tain­able ma­te­ri­als that are re­cy­clable and environment-friendly, thereby re­duc­ing waste at source.

Phase two of the project will see the mu­seum ex­pand to cover an area of 10,000 square me­tres.

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