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SAGE Classroom wins first place award in Green Building category from Modular Building Institute
Author: Karen O'Donnell Stein
Posted: May 14, 2020

The SAGE Classroom, the sustainable, affordable modular learning environment designed by Portland State University School of Architecture students and faculty, recently received the first place Award of Distinction in the “Green Building” category from the Modular Building Institute in March 2020. 

The award recognized the newly built SAGE Classroom complex at the Silverdale Elementary School in Bremerton, Washington. 

“Silverdale is our first SAGE Classroom complex, with five classrooms, bathrooms and an interior hallway with a wood-trussed light monitor roof,” said Margarette Leite, associate professor of architecture at PSU and co-founder of the SAGE Classroom, with fellow PSU professor Sergio Palleroni.

The SAGE Classroom design offers multiple benefits over the traditional portable classrooms. SAGE Classrooms bring in significantly more natural light, offer improved ventilation, use less energy and are made from healthy and sustainable materials, making them enjoyable places for teachers and students to work and learn.

Distributed by Pacific Mobile Structures and built by Blazer Industries in partnership with PSU, more than 100 SAGE Classrooms have been deployed at schools across the Pacific Northwest and beyond since SAGE’s debut in 2012. School districts have welcomed SAGE Classrooms in a variety of formats, from single portable classroom units to entire school structures. Olympic College, also in Bremerton, Washington, joined the roster of schools with a SAGE Classroom—the first higher-education institution to join the list—receiving an honorable mention award from the Modular Building Institute in 2019. 

The green, healthy modular classroom concept is in demand in part due to its adaptability. A SAGE School is currently being designed by Leite, Palleroni and their team, in response to a need among school districts. The SAGE School design will feature two stories, a cafeteria, a gym, interior hallways and stairs, administrative offices, and will be available for distribution through Pacific Mobile.

SAGE Classrooms will soon be expanding to Canada as well. The first SAGE prototype in Canada is under construction in Calgary, Alberta, by ATCO, a distributor and manufacturer.

“From its earliest beginnings as a School of Architecture studio project, the SAGE Classroom concept is now a widely sought-after learning environment,” said Leite. “We are proud that we’ve created healthy, environmentally friendly learning spaces for students all over the Northwest, making a difference in the lives of hundreds of students and teachers.”