SAGE Classroom Wins National Modular Building Institute Awards
Author: Karen O'Donnell Stein
Posted: March 31, 2015

The Modular Building Institute (MBI), the national organization advancing the work of the modular construction industry, bestowed an important honor on Portland State University’s groundbreaking SAGE (Smart Academic Green Environment) Classroom project on March 15 at the MBI’s 2015 Awards of Distinction in Las Vegas. The SAGE Classroom was recognized for its installations in the Edmonds, Wash., school district, winning First Prize in the Relocatable Education under 10,000 Square Feet category, and the SAGE Classroom that is now part of the Corvallis Waldorf School earned Honorable Mention in the highly competitive Green Building category. Building entries were judged on architectural excellence, technical innovation and sustainability, cost effectiveness, energy efficiency, and calendar days to complete. A panel of industry and non-industry construction and code experts, architects and engineers, and marketing professionals evaluated the entries.

The project was presented at MBI by Pacific Mobile Structures, whose CEO Garth Hakkenson accepted the awards on behalf of the team.

The SAGE Classroom, designed by PSU architecture and engineering students and faculty, is an ongoing project led by Margarette Leite, Assistant Professor of Architecture and Fellow with the Center for Public Interest Design, and Sergio Palleroni, Professor of Architecture and Director of the Center for Public Interest Design. SAGE offers a healthy, sustainable, affordable alternative to the ubiquitous dark, poorly ventilated portable classrooms in our schools.

“To receive such recognition from the leaders in the modular building field is a huge honor for us and for our whole team. We are so proud to work with this team of professionals, who join us in this effort to create a healthy learning environment for all school children,” commented Leite.

The product of years of research, design and collaboration between Portland State University’s Schools of Architecture and Engineering, Oregon Solutions, manufacturing partner Blazer Industries and distributor Pacific Mobile Structures, with support from PSU's Institute for Sustainable Solutions, the SAGE Classroom continues to attract interest from school districts across the country. In addition to the 15 SAGE Classrooms already installed at schools in Oregon and Washington, negotiations are currently underway to distribute SAGE Classrooms to several new schools. By September 2015 approximately 40 SAGE Classrooms will be in use at Pacific Northwest schools.

To learn more about the SAGE Classroom’s history and design innovations and how to get a SAGE Classroom for your school, go to More information about the awards is available at the Module Building Institute's Awards of Distinction website.

Pictured: SAGE Classroom at Corvallis Waldorf School
Photo by Kelly James