When enrollment increases but school budgets do not, many school districts in Oregon and around the country have turned to purchasing portable classrooms. More than three years ago architecture students at Portland State University (PSU) came up with ideas for a more energy efficient and healthier portable classroom that cost about the same as the conventional models currently on the market.
In August 2011 Governor Kitzhaber designated the Green Modular Classroom an Oregon Solutions project. The Oregon Solutions collaborative process brought together the expertise needed to move the project from concept to product. State of Oregon Building Codes Division’s (BCD) participation focused on providing technical assistance and guidance on code related questions covering structural, life safety, accessibility, energy conservation and sustainable construction to the design team.
The Oregon Solutions process was successfully completed in June 2012 with the signing of a Declaration of Cooperation by project participants. With two national distributors of mobile buildings purchasing prototypes, construction is scheduled to begin later in the summer at Blazer Industries in Aumsville. BCD’s pre-fab structures program will provide plan review, permitting and inspections.
There’s more information about the project in a recent article in Sustainable Business Oregon.