Gallery: PSU's SAGE program spices up national modular classroom options

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Portland State University

The exterior of the SAGE team's classroom. Click through the gallery for photos of the project.

A team of professors and students at Portland State University’s School of Architecture is about to deploy its first set of green portable classrooms on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

The city of Cambridge, Md. hopes to use the structures as it educates children on the ecologically and historically significant Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Mod squad: A look inside PSU's prefab classroom concept

PSU’s SAGE classroom team plans to sell the units to Triumph Modular, which will use three of the structures to help enable primary school students study fragile habitats near Cambridge.

A single classroom costs approximately $75,000.

PSU’s designers are also hammering out details that would allow four distributors to help supply the classrooms nationally and in Canada.. The effort had been launched by the Oregon Solutions group with the support of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber.

The Cambridge deal indicates that PSU’s green classrooms could begin sprouting around the country.

“It’s important because we’ve gotten interest from around the country on this and we’ve taken it beyond Oregon Solutions,” said Margarette Leite, an assistant architecture professor at Portland State University who designed the units with her husband Sergio Palleroni and their students. “We’ll start further research to get this up to scale” and develop the classrooms for various climate zones.

The PSU team had hoped to strike a deal with the Gervais school district to supply 10 units. But Gervais voters didn’t approve a bond that would have funded the deal.

The modular buildings feature heat recovery systems for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, more windows to increase natural lighting and a steel floor structure that improves portability and reduces overall cost.

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