Green museums: an introduction and a possible implementation in Ankara

Tezgör, Dominique Kassab
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Bilkent University
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This thesis explores study the concept of green museums, reviews informational resources on this topic, evaluates the possibility of a green museum in Ankara as a case study and makes suggestions about its implementation. Recently, the severity of the threat of climate change has highlighted the concepts of “green” and “sustainability”. Green building and museum practices emerged to bring these concepts to life. The thesis includes a discussion as well as a timeline on the history of green buildings and green museums. Many international and local green building certification systems have been developed and started to be used for the environmentally friendly construction and implementation of buildings and museums. In this thesis, the criteria of LEED, which is the most known and widely used of these systems, are consulted. Then, the principles required to become a green building, hence a green museum are examined. Some of these are sustainable material selection, efficient use of water and energy, renewable energy sources and waste management. In addition to these green practices common to any green construction, a green museum should also use green exhibition techniques and provide education for a sustainable world. Green museums following these principles exist mainly in the USA. The only example in Turkey is the Konya Tropical Butterfly Garden. A survey was carried out with museum officials in and around Ankara about their awareness and knowledge of the concept of green museums. According to the survey, the subject of green museums is not known much in Ankara. However, the possibility of a green museum in Ankara is very favorable as I demonstrate in my case study. The existence of environmentally conscious consulting firms, eco-friendly material producers, local and natural building materials, and sufficient examples of green buildings are the factors that would facilitate the opening of a green museum in Ankara while a new museum building could be built, many old buildings could be renovated and turned into green museums as well. It has become a necessity, not an option, for museums in Turkey and Ankara to practice green principles because of the increasing environmental problems at present. This thesis is expected to contribute to the creation of awareness of green museums and to serve as an introduction to resources for realizing them.

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