Modular Building Institute

Energy Positive Portable Classroom

(Click an image below to see enlargement)
Main Category:
Modular Building Design
Anderson Anderson Architecture
Ewa Beach, CA
Building Use:
Education - Elementary School
Gross Size of Project:
1200 Square Feet
Days to complete:

Award Criteria

  1. Architectural Excellence
    The design optimizes photovoltaic roof surface orientation, naturally shaded north-facing daylight glazing and modulated natural ventilation. These forces are balanced with the additional criteria of manufacturing and transport efficiency, functionality for classroom use, low operating costs and ease of maintenance. The manufacturing and delivery process, and the materials and products employed, are all selected for minimum environmental impact and for maximum contribution to a healthy indoor environment. Wherever possible, materials are chosen to conserve resources, minimize initial and lifecycle maintenance costs, and to promote educational awareness of the natural environment and its relationship to comfortable and healthy living. The design focuses on performance issues directly impacting the learning experience of its occupants and the environmental quality of its community—thermal comfort, natural daylighting, indoor air quality, energy, and resource conservation and generation.
  2. Technical Innovation & Sustainability
    The design provides excellent interior thermal, lighting and acoustic performance based on current research in optimized learning environments, while balancing energy use with building-integrated photovoltaic energy production for a net-positive balance capable of feeding energy into adjacent conventional buildings. The classroom is designed to minimize heat gain and to use available natural daylight and natural ventilation rather than air-conditioning. Electrical systems are designed for contemporary and future digital teaching expectations and for performance monitoring of energy consumption and interior environment charted against exterior weather conditions. Monitoring is web-broadcast and formatted as a child-accessible interface allowing students to interactively learn about their immediate environment and contextual sustainability issues. This data is integrated with curricula for various age groups and is publically accessible via an open source web interface.
  3. Cost Effectiveness
    The building is prefabricated in three easily transportable modules, reducing initial cost and energy, and facilitating efficient relocation and reuse in the future, minimizing waste. A steel frame and steel/rigid foam sandwich panel floor and roof system minimize material use, maximize insulation and heat reflection, and deter pests and mold in the cavity-free structure. A simple double-wall metal cladding, along with metal roofing shaded by solar panels above a 3” ventilated airspace, creates a ventilated double skin greatly reducing heat gain. All glazing is operable and north facing and/or shaded to prevent direct sunlight, and to optimize natural ventilation and comfortable airflow. Interior surfaces are low-VOC products. Exposed beams are FSC certified glue-laminated timbers combined with steel trusses to trace primary structural forces. Interior surfaces are naturally finished, low-VOC materials to provide good interior air quality.
Pinegrow Bootstrap Blocks