Future School Design on Display at Greenbuild

Designed by Project FROG™ of San Francisco, a high-performance, green classroom showcases advanced technologies and sustainable systems at the 2008 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo Nov. 18-21.

The U.S. Green Building Council presents Greenbuild annually. The council is a nonprofit organization committed to expanding sustainable building practices and consisting of more than 15,000 organizations from across the building industry.

The "School of the Future, Today" project is intended not only as a vision of what is to come, but also as evidence of what is possible today.

Project FROG — short for Flexible Response to Ongoing Growth — designs and manufactures high-performance green building systems that are rapid to deploy, affordable, and sustainable. Founded in 2006, the firm has completed numerous forward-thinking school projects, including a child development center for the City College of San Francisco and a learning and technology center for the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School in Sonoma, Calif.

The 1,282-square-foot "learning space" will incorporate the latest concepts in eco-friendly, sustainable features and products:

•A raised access floor plenum will hold the heating, cooling, and electrical connections, which frees up the ceiling and walls for a column-free and flexible interior environment allowing for clear site lines.

•Daylighting will be optimized, allowing for abundant natural light, and will be coordinated through a high-tech indirect lighting system equipped with occupancy sensors and daylighting controls.

•Overall heatload is reduced through the use of sophisticated coated glass.

•Tackable wall surfaces and an abundance of whiteboards will be featured.

•Enhanced acoustics will optimize learning, and non-volatile organic compounds recycled carpet tiles, interiors, and paint will increase indoor air quality.

•Photovoltaic roof panels and a living roof will make the building's heating and cooling systems more energy efficient.

•Durable protective coatings will be applied to the curtain wall.

•The look will be bright, colorful, clean, and high tech, with large plasma television screens, laptop computers, and flat-screen monitors. On the soft-tech side, the room will be dotted with ergonomic seating.

"Our solutions are characterized by abundant natural lighting, prevalent use of attractive, sustainable, non-toxic materials — all within a cost-, maintenance- and energy-efficient package," explains Project FROG Director of Marketing Nikki Tankursley.

"The classroom will employ a lot of built-in technology, and the layout will be flexible," she adds. "This will allow teachers to easily reconfigure tables and chairs. This will be a zero-energy classroom, generating as much energy as it uses over a 12-month period."

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