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These Smart Academic Green Environments (SAGE) were purchased to accommodate the Edmonds School District’s increasing elementary enrollment. A total of nine classrooms across five campuses were installed for the 2014-2015 school year. Designed by Portland State University, these buildings exhibit a modern architectural look with large overhangs, exposed ducting and 11’ ceilings. The school district was looking for a cost-effective healthy learning environment built with the latest in green building practices. In 2013, the SAGE project was honored with a SEED (Social Economic Environmental Design) Award at the Green build conference in San Francisco.
The SAGE interior features an energy-efficient ERV (energy recovery ventilator) mechanical system, low velocity fans, vaulted ceiling height and continuous dimming luminary lighting. These buildings were also designed to be LEED certifiable. Clerestory windows allow the buildings to be sited to take advantage of the most natural daylighting reducing the amount of energy used on interior lights. Children in these classroom will be exposed to four times more natural light, 100 percent fresh air and 150 percent more air circulation, compared to a regular modular classroom. The buildings incorporate an exterior mechanical room that not only houses the ERV unit but allows the district to enclose a communication IDF (intermediate distribution frame).
For the district, the SAGE classroom will use up to 50 percent less energy than an average modular classroom with an expected lifespan of 50 to 60 years.
From the start of construction SAGE is made with environmentally friendly materials and a manufacturing processes that minimizes material waste. The overall building process takes approximately half the time for building occupancy than standard construction practices.
The interior features BIOPCM Phase Change Material in the walls that act as a thermal mass to stabilize indoor temperatures. The structure has large overhangs to protect against unwanted heat gain. Low velocity ceiling fans and the ceiling height aid in ventilation and energy efficiency. Skylights, along with larger clerestory windows, were installed in each classroom to add natural lighting and reduce the amount of energy used on interior lights. Interior lighting is suspended wrap around diffused LED fixtures. The steel floor structure is designed for longevity and allows for a door threshold that is closer to the ground. High quality, environmentally safe building materials were used that do not release toxins into the air.