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The rise of green modular classrooms 

Green Modular makes the case for convenience and sustainability in school buildings

Posted by Stephanie Broad | May 21, 2016 | Sustainability

Sustainability is an increasingly important priority for 21st century schools. Building schools for the future, with a legacy that will last, entails constructing eco-friendly and sustainable buildings. While many educational institutions have inherited draughty, Victorian structures with large carbon footprints, some are lucky enough to benefit from newly designed new school buildings that are green, sustainable and built from eco-friendly materials.   

Green modular classrooms are a type of mobile school building that is fast gaining in popularity - fall somewhere between the two. Convenient and quick to construct, they tick all the boxes for sustainability and energy efficiency, while allowing schools to expand their premises easily without knocking everything down and starting from scratch.  

The ever-growing need for green school buildings 

As a result of the current population boom, schools are under increasing pressure to accommodate larger intakes of pupils. The recent rise in numbers of school-aged children, combined with a responsibility to build sustainably, has led inexorably to an increase in the popularity and importance of the green modular classroom. These prefabricated buildings are usually built off-site and delivered fully formed – but they can nevertheless be made to a bespoke specification. Some of the examples below show just how convenient and flexible a prefabricated modular classroom can be. 

Full functionality 

More than just a simple, one size fits all box, modular classrooms can be designed in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit their purpose. Options for extra features include multiple rooms, plumbed-in toilets and sinks, wheelchair ramps and other accessibility features, specially designed windows and doors, and more; whatever the classroom is needed for, the functionality can be built in. Examples include: 

  • Regular classrooms 
  • Libraries 
  • Kitchens 
  • Science labs 
  • Art and music studios 
  • Staff areas 
  • Meeting rooms (take a look at a meeting room example here)  

Compared to older school buildings, the advantage of these flexible and fully functional modular designs is clear.  

Eco credentials 

What is it that makes a modular classroom green? They live up to their eco credentials in several key design aspects. Green modular classrooms are built with consideration for the environment at every step: 

  • Energy efficiency. Extremely well insulated using structured insulated panels, modular classrooms are cheap to heat. Modern modular classrooms also employ energy efficient LED lighting – which translates into lower energy bills. 
  • Sustainable materials. Sourced from FSC certified forests, the timber used to build green modular classrooms is sustainably sourced. 
  • Long lasting. Today’s mobile modular classrooms are anything but a temporary solution. Designed to last for at least 50 years, they require minimal upkeep and will still be standing to help educate generations of schoolchildren well into the future. 

Fast, flexible and multi-purpose 

An additional consideration for cash-strapped schools is the value that modular classrooms offer, providing additional space for expanding subjects, class sizes and resources. Built with flexibility in mind, modular classrooms can utilise clever design and useful storage to enable schools to double up on functionality – so, a regular classroom could double up as a music studio or meeting room, for example.  

It’s also possible for modular classrooms to be moved, should the need occur. So, if the school relocates or requires a further adjustment to its premises, their modular buildings will still stay standing – albeit in a different place. 

Finally, modular classrooms are very convenient to install, saving schools valuable time and resources. Unlike a bricks-and-mortar building project, modular classrooms can be installed onsite in a matter of weeks, meaning that they can be constructed at the school’s convenience, in the holiday period, causing minimal disruption to the day-to-day business of the school.

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