Your lawyers since 1722

Building/Project Details

Building/Project NameThe Palestinian museum Building/Project Size3000
Building/Project Typeother Address Birzeit, Ramallah Ramallah 00970 Palestine Region mena

Performance Details

Health and Wellbeing

Existing buildings or developments that demonstrate outstanding performance in improving the health, equity and/or resilience of people in local communities.

Achieved Certification Scheme: FITWEL

Tell us your story

The Palestinian Museum (PM) is a leading and dynamic platform for the production and sharing of knowledge about Palestine – people, history, society, and culture – through its collections, exhibitions, research, and public and educational programming. The PM was designed as a transnational institution, capable of overcoming geographical and political boundaries to reach Palestinians within historic Palestine and beyond. Its digital collections, online platforms, physical, virtual and touring exhibition, alongside its network of local and international partnerships, will allow for the sharing of skills, resources, programmes and exhibitions with individuals and institutions worldwide. The PM is a unique and most credible and robust platform for shaping and communicating knowledge about Palestinian history, society and culture; creating an environment that is conducive to free and innovative intellectual and creative ventures; and offering spaces for the use of cultural tool for educational and research purposes. The PM building was designed by Dublin-based architecture company Heneghan Peng and is an exemplar of clean, contemporary design that blends seamlessly with the local rural landscape. The Museum building is located on a 40,000m2 plot next to Birzeit University campus, one of the leading Palestinian universities, on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean. The site is 7 miles north of Ramallah, and approximately 19 miles from Jerusalem. The building’s structure references the terraced hills around Birzeit and is surrounded by terraced gardens, planted with trees and flowers local to Palestine. Covering an area of 3500 m2, the building, largely single-story, stretches out along the hilltop from the south to north, overlooking the gardens to the west. The ground floors, comprising entrance reception, administrative offices, galleries, screening room and cafeteria opens out directly to the gardens at its northern end, while overlooking a stone amphitheater below it at the southern end. The lower ground floor however consists of a public education and research center with classrooms, as well as private workshops, art collections, photographic archives and administrative spaces, opening out to a secure delivery yard at the eastern side of the building. The Palestinian Museum was recently awarded the LEED® Gold certificate, making it the first museum in the Middle East and Palestine to achieve this status and one of only fourteen museums around the world to earn a LEED® Gold certificate. The Palestinian Museum is Palestine’s first green building following the LEED rating system. In this as in other fields, it aims to present an example of long-term energy sustainability based on international criteria. Water conservation was a main design driver. Rainwater harvesting tanks with large storage capacities supply the irrigation water. Drought tolerant and adapted plants constitute the majority of the planting palette. The Museum building is architecturally designed to maintain adequate and comfortable temperatures in both summer and winter, thus reducing heating and cooling energy consumption by 15.71%. Moreover, waste is separated in special bins for recycling. Features of consumption:  Energy-saving measures helped the Museum to save 15.71% of its annual energy consumption, and 49.23% percent of its water consumption.  water use was reduced by 48.73% through using water-conserving fixtures, rainwater and recycled grey water. There is a wastewater plant on site which produces 100% waste treated water. Innovative wastewater technologies. These limited the generation of wastewater and potable water discharge whilst increasing aquifer recharge. Water use was reduced by 48.73% through using water-conserving fixtures, rainwater and recycled greywater. There is a wastewater plant on site which produces 100% waste treated water. This treated water is used for flush in the bathrooms and for irrigation. The drip irrigation system was designed for landscaping  A modest solar array (five flat plate type solar collectors) 10.75 m2 in area is available on site. This solar array provides a renewable energy source for hot water services, with a backup electric water heater used to cover any shortfall.  Selecting an orientation for the Museum that benefits as much as possible from natural lighting and heat, allowing the desired amount of sunlight to enter the building spaces. This, along with the high-performance façade and shading techniques jointly contributes to reducing dependency on HVAC systems during summer and winter. The Museum depends mainly on natural lighting by providing daylight sensors and disconnecting artificial lighting when enough natural lighting exists in the desired space.  Installing permanent monitoring systems, all devices and electrical meters are connected to the building management system (BMS), to help evaluate actual energy performance against the performance predicted in the energy model or design documents.  Maximizing the ratio of open space to development footprint to conserve natural areas and promote biodiversity. The project site contributes to 249,722 square feet of vegetated open space compared to 24,164 square feet building footprint (built-up area).  priority was given to selecting sustainable materials that are recyclable and environment-friendly. We also encouraged waste reduction by reducing waste at source and reusing and recycling materials. Recycled materials is accounted for 31.52% of the total cost of materials. Minimum Indoor Air Quality Performance: available as optional tools that may be used to calculate the minimum ventilation needed to comply with this prerequisite and the 30% increase in ventilation needed to comply with IEQc2: Increased Ventilation. IEQp2: Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) Control: The LEED Form states that smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of entries, outdoor air intakes, and operable windows. Additionally, smoking is prohibited within the building IEQc4.1: Low-Emitting Materials- Adhesives and Sealants: The LEED Form states that all adhesive and sealant products used on the inside of the weatherproofing system and applied on-site have been included in the tables and comply with the VOC limits of the referenced standards for this credit. IEQc4.2: Low-Emitting Materials-Paints and Coatings : The LEED Form states that all paint and coating products used on the inside of the weatherproofing system and applied on-site have been included in the tables and the overall VOC Budget is equal to or below the required standard. IEQc4.3: Low-Emitting Materials-Flooring Systems: The LEED Form states that all interior flooring materials meet or exceed applicable criteria for the Carpet and Rug Institute, South Coast Air Quality Management District, the California Department of Health Standard, or Floor Score; the carpet adhesives used have a VOC level of less than 50 g/L; all floor finishes meet the requirements of SCAQMD Rule 1113; and all tile setting adhesives and grout meet SCAQMD Rule 1168 IEQc4.4: Low-Emitting Materials- Composite Wood and Agrifiber Products: The LEED Form states that all composite wood and agrifiber products used on the interior of the building and all laminating adhesives used to fabricate on-site and shop-applied composite wood and agrifiber assemblies contain no added urea-formaldehyde resins IEQc6.2: Controllability of Systems- Thermal Comfort: The LEED Form states that thermal controls are provided for 50% of building occupants at individual workstations and 100% of shared multi-occupant spaces to enable adjustments that meet needs and preferences. The additional documentation demonstrates compliance. IEQc7.1: Thermal Comfort-Design: The LEED Form states that the mechanically ventilated and mechanically conditioned project space is in compliance with ASHRAE 55-2004 IDc1.5: Green Cleaning Policy : The LEED Form states that the project team has developed and implemented a Green Housekeeping program. The project must demonstrate compliance with LEED-EBOM 2009 IEQp3: Green Cleaning Policy, the main goal of this green cleaning policy is to protect the health of the workers at the museum, visitors and the maintenance personnel through keeping them away from being exposed to the hazardous chemicals and biological contaminants through using cleaning products with low VOC and are classified as green materials that would maintain a high level of cleanliness thus minimizing the presence of irritants. The other goal is to protect the environment from any pollutants that may ruin the building systems and finishes.

Submitter's Details

Organisationthe palestinian museum/ welfare association