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First PSU-designed green portable classrooms go into service in schools

Photo Credit: TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO BY CHRISTOPER ONSTOTT  - Edwin Castillo reads aloud during Daren Zook's sixth-grade class in one of Rigler School's 1940s-era portable classrooms. A team led by PSU architecture professors designed a 'green portable' to offer a better learning atmosphere with an improved environment for students.As students file back into school this fall, some will be studying in green modular classrooms designed at Portland State University.

The first batch of the innovative portable classrooms are being deployed at five schools in the Edmonds School District in Washington and the Corvallis Waldorf School.

“It’s extremely gratifying to know that children will finally be benefitting from a healthy, sustainably designed learning environment that we’ve been working with our partners to perfect and distribute,” said Margarette Leite, a PSU architecture professor who initiated the green portable classroom project with her husband and PSU colleague, Sergio Palleroni.

The portable classrooms feature high ceilings and systems to keep the temperature comfortable and the air fresh while using a minimum amount of energy. They incorporate natural light and no toxic materials, unlike most modular classrooms.

The modular classrooms are now called The SAGE, for Smart Academic Green Environment.

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber designated the PSU project as an Oregon Solutions initiative, which helped link PSU researchers to Blazer Industries, a manufacturer based in Aumsville, and others.

The classrooms are being distributed in the Northwest by Pacific Mobile Structures of Chehalis, Wash.

Steve Law can be reached at 503-546-5139 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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