A New Framework for Sustainable Design in Palestine

Open Access
Haddad, Hala Marwan
Graduate Program:
Master of Architecture
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
November 29, 2010
Committee Members:
  • Ute Poerschke, Thesis Advisor
  • Framework
  • Architecture
  • Sustainable Design
  • Palestine
Abstract: Many definitions of sustainable design have emerged in the past twenty years, most of which focused on the environmental part of the design process. In recent years, especially with the emergence of sustainable design as an international trend, more attention has been directed towards the social and economic part of sustainable design for a building to be truly sustainable and able of fitting in any context, for the long run. This thesis explores into the different dimensions of sustainable design, studying what makes a building sustainable, and using that as a base to define sustainable design in the region of Palestine, a small country in the northern part of the Middle East and east of Mediterranean, to define a framework of sustainable design. The framework achieved at the end of this study uses the vernacular as a passively sustainable prototype of sustainable design, for its environmental, socio cultural and economic complexity of a building, integrated with modern active techniques, that helped define the framework and helps define the future of the vernacular as a sustainable structure in different regions of the world. To define the framework, a case study is chosen in Nablus; a city in the core of the West Bank (Palestine). This already built case study is examined for its energy use, and social qualities, and later transformed into a courtyard structure, with the same occupancy and spatial praxis. Later the two buildings are compared, to examine the ability of the courtyard structure to serve as a sustainable building from all facets of the sustainable process. At the end of this study, the main features of the courtyard house are going to be extracted into a framework of sustainable design, to help start acclimating the region to sustainable design.