The “Dr. Hafiz Abd-Nabi” public school was constructed as a green building that is naturally ventilated, heated and cooled. In comparison to regular school buildings in Hebron, this school building exhibits improved indoor air quality in classrooms. Thermal comfort is achieved mainly via passive design thus reducing the need for auxiliary heating and cooling. As a result, students enjoy a healthy learning environment in both heating and cooling seasons.
The project is a fruitful cooperation between the Belgian Development Agency, the Palestinian Ministry of Education, and Hebron Municipality.
Adhering to green building standards is an uncommon practice in public schools in Palestine. Accordingly, the indoor environmental quality of public schools can be suboptimal. In heating and cooling seasons, students suffer from inadequate thermal comfort inside classrooms.
To overcome this challenge, “Dr. Hafiz Abd-Nabi” public school was constructed as a green building thus achieving high environmental and energy efficiency standards. Throughout the planning and design process the users of the school, students and staff, were engaged and have benefitted from the awareness raising activities on green building design.
The school is located in Wadi Al Mughair, in the north of Hebron, Palestine. It is an elementary public school for girls at elementary stage and it consists of three floors with three classrooms in each.
By employing green building design, the project aims to demonstrate the positive impacts on the indoor environmental quality that could be achieved through thermal insulation and passive systems such as ground ducts (geothermal system), solar walls, and solar chimneys. The implementation of these passive design techniques have resulted in achieving a healthier education environment.
The implemented green building techniques and passive design measures have resulted in achieving a healthier learning environment for the users of this school. Moreover, the investment in capacity development activities and awareness raising that targeted the staff and the students were key factors in the success of the project. However, there is still a need for extensive community awareness raising on the topic of green building design and its role in achieving energy efficiency. Similarly, it is also necessary to conduct professional trainings for engineers and architects on the implemented techniques to be replicated in other projects in Palestine.
Eng. Husam Shweiki
Head of Architectural Department at Hebron Municipality