Sustainability Comes To Modular Classrooms

Back in 2009, global architecture firm Perkins+Will partnered with DeKalb County Schools to win the Open Architecture Challenge: Best Re-locatable Classroom design competition. Now the firm is partnering with Triumph Modular Incorporated, a provider of relocatable and permanent modular buildings, to produce the Sprout Space, a modular classroom designed to Collaborative for High Performance Schools as well as LEED standards.

This partnership makes sense for both parties, as back in 2004, Triumph Modular launched a campaign to be the first modular dealer in the country to produce a LEED level, green portable classroom. Since then, Triumph has collaborated on numerous green modular classrooms, including an early childcare center in North Andover, Massachusetts; an addition to the Oak Hill Middle School in Newton, Massachusetts; and a child care center at Harvard University (which recently won a number of design awards).

Sprout Space

image via Triumph Modular

All this is an effort to address an increasing fact of life in schools all over the country–budget shortfalls, outdated facilities, and population fluctuations all force kids into temporary and undesirable building solutions –typically, classroom trailers, which lack natural daylighting, good indoor air quality, adequate space, proper temperature control, and good acoustics, all of which are considered key to an effective learning environment.

To meet this challenge, Perkins+Will developed the Sprout Space, a modular classroom constructed of sustainable materials (including FSC-certified wood) and low-VOC finish materials, featuring access to the outdoors via large bi-fold doors, a rainwater collection system, high-reflective roofing, and bio-based insulation and flooring.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.