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3 Examples of Green and Gorgeous Portable Classrooms

Sustainable and energy efficient, portable classroom design provides a fast, flexible solution for educational facilities in need of a budget-friendly classroom addition. If you’re interested in adding a touch of green to your campus but aren’t quite sure how portable classrooms stack up, here are three award-winning examples for your consideration.

SAGE classrooms are a breath of fresh air


Photo credit: Peter Simon

In 111 days total—and only 40 days from delivery to occupancy—the Edmonds School District was able to add nine Smart Academic Green Environments (SAGE) classrooms across five campuses.

Designed by Portland State University, these sustainable classroom designs took home the 2015 Modular Building Institute (MBI) Award of Distinction for Relocatable Education under 10,000 square feet.

SAGE classrooms were designed to be LEED certifiable and use up to 50 per cent less energy than the average modular classroom. They also receive 100 per cent fresh air and 150 per cent better air circulation, thanks to the use of Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV). And thanks to clerestory windows, students and teachers receive four times the amount of natural light.

The P. IQ high performance classroom is smart. Period.


Photo credit: Mspaceholdings

In 2011, this 960 square foot building, located in Riverside, CA, won an MBI Award of Distinction. Approved by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) and pre-approved by the California Division of State Architecture, the P. IQ classroom exceeds California’s Title 24 efficiency standards by 26 per cent in interior lighting and 40 per cent in terms of overall energy efficiency.

“The P.IQ is not only constructed with recycled, energy efficient and ‘green’ materials, but most importantly it creates a comfortable and healthy learning environment for students and teachers,” says Jeff Deutschendorf, Chief Operating Officer and Member of MBI.

The P. IQ’s award winning classroom design uses thermal displacement ventilation (TDV) to regulate heating and cooling. This creates a healthier atmosphere for students and teachers, improving indoor air quality by as much as 20 per cent.

SmartSpace Classroom gets top marks for energy performance


Photo credit: Inhabitat

Winner of the Portable Classroom Design Challenge, the sustainable and energy efficient SmartSpace Classroom in Lincoln, MA, took six weeks to build and was the first of its kind.

“Our goal was to create a high-quality portable classroom that was green—one with environmentally conscious materials used in its design and operation. The design was smart in the way it used resources and provided heat, light, unsurpassed acoustics and air quality within the space,” said Cliff Cort, founder of Triumph Modular.

The project was a team effort: the architect was Architectural Resources Cambridge, the builders’ representative was Triumph Modular and NRB Inc. manufactured the building.

“The energy performance of the green, SmartSpace modular classroom is far better than would be expected for a similar building built to meet the Massachusetts Energy Code or the ASHRAE 91-2004 standard,” stated an independent report by the Hickory Consortium of Harvard, MA.

“Due to better insulation, windows, daylighting, CO2 controlled energy recovery ventilation and higher efficiency equipment, this building will save approximately 56 per cent of the energy cost in comparison to the stricter ASHRAE 90.1-2004 Standard,” the report continued.

The third-party analysis determined the SmartSpace Classroom provides a 68 per cent reduction in heating energy, a 49 percent reduction in cooling energy and an 80 percent reduction in energy for lighting.

“Building green is good for the environment, good for the wallet and good for the occupants of the building,” said Cort.

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