GREEN FOR GO
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.