Photos by Reham Abdelrahman. © The Palestinian Museum. 

Photos by Reham Abdelrahman. © The Palestinian Museum. 

Photos by Reham Abdelrahman. © The Palestinian Museum

The Palestinian Museum receives Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification

The First Museum in the Middle East and the First Building in Palestine to Earn LEED Certification

13/11/2017 - Birzeit: The Palestinian Museum has been awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. It has become the first museum in the Middle East, the first building in Palestine, and one of only fourteen museums worldwide to receive this certification. The announcement was made at a press conference held at the museum in Birzeit today.

The Palestinian Museum is acknowledged, based on this certification, as a green building, constructed using procedures and techniques that take the environment and sustainability into consideration, and foster economic and social benefits throughout the museum project’s development, from location selection to design, construction, and operation. This achievement was realised after gaining 61 points on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) scale set by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The chairperson of the Palestinian Museum Board in the Taawon-Welfare Association, Zina Jardaneh, expressed her pleasure at this Palestinian achievement. “We are proud that the Palestinian Museum, built with Palestinian effort, funding, and collaboration, was able to rise to a global level in terms of design and environmental sustainability,” said Jardaneh. “Since the idea of the museum was conceived, we have been keen on leadership not only in generating knowledge and promoting culture, but also in contributing to environmental sustainability and nature reservation. We are delighted today to be an example in creating this harmony between nature and culture, not only on a Palestinian level, but on a global one as well.”

The Museum’s facilities manager, Bashar Ammar, and the executive manager of the Palestinian Green Buildings Council, Wijdan Al-Sharif, have demonstrated the green buildings standards adopted by the museum. The choice of location was made with due consideration for sustainability in many ways, including preventing soil erosion in areas surrounding the construction site and providing convenient public transportation and parking for environment-friendly cars and collective passenger transport.

The Museum strove to achieve a 49% efficiency rate in the supply and use of water through rainwater collection tanks, wastewater treatment and reuse in gardening, and the use of drip irrigation techniques. The museum also adheres to energy saving and conservation principles through eliminating gas heating and air conditioning that contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer. Special designs and high insulation techniques have made it possible to save energy by 16%.

Sustainability was also taken into consideration when choosing the materials and natural resources used in construction. Waste sorting bins were used, enabling the reuse and recycling of 96% of the waste generated during construction. Recycled materials constituted 32% of the materials used in construction, while 41% were available regionally, reducing freight and transportation and the pollution they produce. The quality of the internal environment was assured through the use of mechanical ventilation and conditioning systems to provide enough fresh air, and the use of low-emission materials inside the building. A no-smoking policy was adopted, with designated smoking areas outside the building.

The Museum’s Director, Dr. Mahmoud Hawari commended the important role played by the Palestinian companies that contributed to the execution and implementation of the building project, overcoming the various challenges that faced the application of green building standards for the first time in Palestine. These companies are the Palestinian Green Buildings Council, Projacs International, Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), Arabtech Jardaneh, Tubaila for Engineering and Contracting, Tubaila Target United for Engineering and Construction, Mirage Electromechanical Contracting Company and a large number of sub-contractors.

The Palestinian Museum is an independent institution dedicated to supporting an open and dynamic Palestinian culture nationally and internationally. The Museum presents and engages with new perspectives on Palestinian history, society and culture. The Museum is a flagship project of Welfare Association (Taawon), an independent Palestinian non-profit organisation, committed to providing development and humanitarian assistance in Palestine and the Palestinian communities in Lebanon.
Click here to view and download the LEED manual.