Winner of a 2009 Classroom of the Future competition held by Architecture for Humanity, Perkins+Will has developed a prototype of its winning entry, entitled Sprout Space™. Drawing on the firm’s experience in the realms of both education and sustainability, Perkins+Will designed Sprout Space with the goal of creating low-cost, healthy learning environments for children. 

Sprout Space, constructed in conjunction with Triumph Modular and Mark Line Industries, is a net-zero-energy building that capitalizes on active and passive strategies to achieve its minimal environmental impact. Sun shades help to cool the building exterior and reduce overall heat load, while clerestory windows allow ample daylight within the classrooms, with light-controlled LEDs making up the balance on overcast days. Low-VOC interior finishes and bi-fold doors that open to allow for increased natural air improve indoor air quality, while rooftop photovoltaics and rainwater catchment systems capture sun and rain, respectively, to reduce dependence on outside energy and water providers. 

Using modular fabrication to reduce material waste and on-site construction time, Sprout Space can be deployed as temporary individual classrooms or ganged together as long-term educational facilities, as they will be at Chattahoochee Hills Charter School, outside Atlanta, Ga., which will be comprised solely of Sprout Space classrooms. Flexible interiors offer multiple configurations to suit a variety of teaching methods, and markerboard installed on exterior walls encourages outdoor learning. 

Sprout Space will be on display at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC, starting March 3, 2013, as the main attraction of the museum’s exhibit on green schools.

The National Building Museum has released a time-lapse video of Perkins+Will's Sprout Space under construction on its grounds: