What if every child had access to an inspiring, healthy, and restorative learning environment? What if this space also created hands-on experiential learning opportunities for the children and teachers who learned and taught in it? And what if this space was self-sustaining and could be transported anywhere, could be a temporary or permanent space solution and was also modular and scale-able? Wouldn't that be cool? We thought so, so we built one.
Introducing the SEEDclassroom - a hand-on sustainable learning space built to Living Building Challenge standards. This means that the classroom is net-zero energy, net-zero water, is made of non-toxic materials, includes daylighting, urban agriculture and equity components and creates a space that fosters inspiration, education and beauty. The SEEDclassroom is meant to address school's temporary space needs or provide a modular permanent design option. It is built to last 100 years and is designed on a foundation system that allows it to have little impact on its site and makes it easy to move it one or more times during its lifetime.
SEEDclassroom is designed for kids, and with kids – we engage students to help design each classroom space so it is unique to them and they have a pride of ownership!
- Net-zero water and Net-zero energy. Because we are a living building we are required to meet all of the building’s needs right on site. That means that over the span of 12 months the classroom will be so high performing that it will have produced its own water, through collection, and its own energy, through solar. Making our classrooms the most energy efficient and sustainable on the market.
- LBC materials Red List compliant. There are absolutely no toxic materials used in the building of our classrooms. The air is free and clear of all of the chemical toxins normally found in portables that make kids and teachers sick.
- Abundant natural day lighting. Triple-paned windows and transoms, plus 8 Solatube skylights, provide lots of natural light, fresh air, and a connection to the outdoors, without compromising insulation values.
- Solar photovoltaic array. Calculated to provide for the exact energy needs of each classroom, depending on climate and use, photovoltaics provide all the energy your classroom needs to be comfortable, well lit and technology ready. Digital monitors and an online dashboard allow students to track the energy production and consumption of the classroom and change their behaviors to see what impact they have on the data.
- The most efficient mechanical systems available. Every SEEDclassroom comes with an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) for optimum ventilation and indoor air quality as well as heightened energy efficiency.
- Rainwater treatment for sinks. A potable water treatment systems comes in every SEEDclassroom where sinks are a desired option, even if local codes won't allow it to be used quite yet. This allows students to see what such a system looks like and makes the SEEDclassroom plug and play when codes do change.
- Rainwater collection and filtering All of the rainwater that falls on the SEEDclassroom's roof is collected in a primary interior cistern and secondary exterior cistern, to meet all of the classroom's water needs. Gauges and a digital monitor allows students to track rainwater collection and use.
- Living wall fed by treated greywater. Imagine being able to grow your own classroom snacks, or have an indoor seed bed for your outdoor garden. However you use the living wall, it brings growing things right into the classroom and all the learning opportunities that come with it. The built in grey water system provides all the necessary water as well as the opportunity to understand how water moves and is collected and used.
- Ongoing performance monitoring led by students. Living Buildings must prove their performance to obtain certification. Supported by the SEED team students learn to monitor the building’s energy and water usage over the course of a year.
- Composting toilet. Part of the net zero strategy, composting toilets provide high efficiency, and great learning portals for everything from microbiology to exploring alternative treatment systems from composting to living machines to city wide treatment options,
- Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) R-49 ceiling + R-40 wall insulation. 30% above code, our classrooms are super insulated
- Education-integrated features Because we believe that the environment has the power to teach, we have wrapped each classroom with tools to facilitate STEM, common core and project based learning opportunities.
- SEEDpacket Every project comes with a comprehensive manual, that outlines the all of the systems in the building, and provides a framework we call the SEEDeducation map for using the building as a teaching tool.
- SEEDpatch Our unique online platform allows students all over the world to record, compare and discuss the performance of their classrooms, and what they are learning.
CURRENT SEEDclassroom Projects:
SEEDclassroom @ The Perkins School, Seattle
Installed in May, 2014. Used as their Kindergarten thru 5th Grade Science Classroom
SEEDclassroom @ Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh
Installed in May 2015. .Used as their learning lab for K-12 programming.
SEEDclassroom @ Washington State Public School, Northern Washington
To be installed August 2015. Used as prototype STEM classroom for entire elementary school, year 1. Used as dedicated classroom, years 2+.
SEEDclassroom @ Washington DC Charter School, District of Columbia
Feasibility commenced in May 2015.