SEEDclassroom is the first modular building designed to the highest standard of green building: The Living Building Challenge. The 900 square-foot building will be net-zero energy and net-zero water. The structure recycles rainwater, is completely non-toxic, flooded with daylight, and is built to last decades - a far cry from the standard "portable" classroom quality.
The classroom is the first production of the SEED Collaborative, founded by dear friends Ric Cochrane, Stacy Smedley and James Jenkins, and local precision manufacturer, Method Homes. SEED Collaborative will offer a curriculum package, enabling students to learn about and from the building, as well as a platform for ongoing inspiration - including talks by leaders in sustainable design and an online community to connect with other SEEDclassrooms all over the world.
The applications are massive in scope and scale because, like all excellent design, the SEEDclassroom directly meets challenges schools grapple with on a daily basis:
- immediate growth needs
- operating budget constraints - SEED classrooms are self-sustaining and have no ongoing OpEx
- capital budget constraints - SEED classrooms last up to 10x longer than traditional modular buildings
- concern for student health / desire to provide a non-toxic learning environment
- desire to teach values of sustainability, integrated design, agriculture, building performance modeling in an applied setting
There are also a host of applications for developing nations and schools in low-infrastructure or post-conflict zones, and the SEED Collaborative won't stop there.
I couldn't be more proud of this team - Together they've built a product in total alignment with their values, one that has the potential to shift a generation's expectations for what buildings can and should be. Keep up the incredible momentum, guys, you're onto something big.
Link to today's coverage in the Daily Journal of Commerce here. Full text of Method's press release and detail on the building design below:
Method Prefab and SEED Collaborative announce they will unveil a self-sustaining modular classroom prototype designed and built to pursue the Living Building Challenge. The prototype – called SEEDclassroom – will launch at the International Living Future Institute’s Living Future unConference, a convention focused on major global issues and innovative solutions in the green building movement. This year’s unConference takes place in downtown Seattle May 15–17. The SEEDclassroom prototype will be on display from May 15–June 18 at Vulcan Real Estate’s South Lake Union Discovery Center.
The 900 square-foot structure is designed to meet the requirements for net-zero energy and water, making it completely self-sustaining through efficient systems and features. Rooftop rainwater collection provides water used for the laboratory, toilet-room sinks, and agriculture, and the laboratory sink is operated by hand pump so that students can see how much water is required to wash their hands. Greywater from sinks will be filtered and treated by a food-producing living wall. The SEEDclassroom core module also features a composting toilet.
The Collaborative’s co-founders were part of the design team for The Bertschi School, which was recently certified as the 4th Living Building in the world and is the inspiration behind the SEEDclassroom.
“After seeing the impact the Bertschi Living Building had on its students and their perspectives on sustainability and the built environment, we asked ourselves, ‘How do we bring this same learning opportunity to all students?’” says SEED Collaborative co-founder Stacy Smedley. “We wanted to create a living laboratory in which kids could interact with the building to make learning fun and useful through real world applications. We came up with the SEED concept: a portable Living Building Challenge classroom that works as a tool for teachers and students.”
The building will act as the basis for applied lessons about sustainability. The Collaborative has partnered with the International Living Future Institute, the organization responsible for operating the Living Building Challenge, to develop an integrated K-12 curriculum called the SEEDpacket – tailored to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), social studies and art education, and based on the SEED core systems.
“The SEED project aligns with the mission and intent of the Living Building Challenge to serve as a framework to educate and inspire,” says Jason F. McLennan, founder of the Living Building Challenge and CEO of the International Living Future Institute. “These classrooms will serve as hands-on tools to teach the importance of protecting the environment and creating restorative, resilient buildings.”
The SEEDclassrooms is available in a variety of modular configurations and is currently available for order with shipment inside the U.S. and western Canada in as little as 75 days.
Click here for a full list of SEEDclassroom Events.
About The SEED Collaborative
SEED Collaborative is a Seattle-based non-profit organization co-founded by Stacy Smedley, Ric Cochrane and James Jenkins. Its mission is to create learning environments that educate and inspire the world’s children to be the next generation of environmental stewards. The Collaborative aims to serve schools, communities and organizations around the globe that are in need of spaces in which to educate and inspire. Its first endeavor, the SEEDclassroom project, manifests this philosophy.
About Method Prefab
Method Prefab (Method) is a custom manufacturer of architect-designed modular structures and acts as the commercial division of Method Homes. The company offers fully custom prefabrication of any design by any architect. Prefabrication allows Method to reduce construction timelines and control costs while building custom projects in a controlled environment, minimizing exposure and waste. As such, Method can focus on sustainability and leading edge design.
About the International Living Future Institute
The International Living Future Institute is an environmental NGO committed to catalyzing the transformation toward communities that are socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative.
Quantum Consulting Engineers, FSI, 2020 Engineering, Parsons Public Relations, Solatube, Green Bronx Machine, Lutron, Vulcan Real Estate, Premier SIPs, Forbo, PBS Supply, FLOR, Virco, Municipality of Jasper – Environmental Stewardship Program, City of Seattle Conservation Corps, Pacific Studios, West Seattle Natural Energy