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Perkins+Will Launches Sprout Space™, A Learning Environment For The 21st Century

ATLANTA, Jan. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Perkins+Will, leading international architecture and design firm and K-12 building experts for more than seventy-five years, announces the completion of construction of the first award-winning, modular Sprout Space™ classroom this month. Every aspect of the Sprout Space classroom was designed with the goal of enhancing student learning. The design incorporates green building strategies which eliminate energy costs, create a healthier learning environment, and reduce construction costs.

Sprout Space has a threefold mission: to provide healthy, sustainable, and flexible spaces for students to learn. Currently, more than 7.5 million children are being taught in temporary classrooms. Perkins+Will's goal in creating Sprout Space is to use the firm's institutional experience and design thinking to address issues associated with temporary classrooms.  These issues include lack of local educational resources and declining test scores nationwide. Perkins+Will is addressing these issues by redesigning the classroom from the inside out to produce a new generation of affordable modular classrooms for the 21 st century.

Sprout Space was the modular category winner of the Open Architecture Challenge: Design the classroom of the future by Architecture for Humanity and the Open Architecture Network. It creates an innovative solution to the continuing need for mobile classrooms. A paradigm shift in the modular classroom, the design is informed by decades of Perkins+Will research into how academic buildings can address the needs of students, teachers, and school administrators. Sprout Space's dynamic design encourages various teaching styles and seating arrangements, impromptu collaboration among peers, and outdoor learning through its exterior teaching walls. Sprout Space is a high-performance and cost-effective alternative not only to modular classroom units but, to traditional school buildings as well, as it has the ability to be implemented as a permanent structure. Environmentally focused Chattahoochee Hills Charter School (CHCS), located 30 miles South of Atlanta, GA, will be the first such permanent K-12 installation and will be composed entirely of Sprout Space classrooms.

"Designing a sustainable future is our passion at Perkins+Will, and we offer the Sprout Space classroom as an example to the world of a more responsible modular classroom," said Phil Harrison, President and Chief Executive Officer of Perkins+Will. "The development and launch of Sprout Space is another milestone for us as we continue to be a global leader in green building innovation and at the forefront of both K-12 and higher education classroom design."

Sprout Space implements sustainable and cost-conscious strategies to create a learning environment that promotes both occupant productivity and health. Generous daylight, which has been proven to increase student test scores and teacher retention rates, is achieved through the expansive clerestory windows and glass doors. Sprout Space features numerous design elements which make it an excellent example of passive and active green building strategies. These strategies include sun shades, integrated rainwater collection, photovoltaic roof panels, LED lighting coupled with lighting controls, efficient heating and cooling systems. They help it operate as a net-zero energy building, with the eventual goal to provide an energy independent classroom. Perkins+Will works to foster awareness of healthy building practices through its groundbreaking building materials database Transparency. Drawing from this database, the materials in Sprout Space have been carefully selected to prevent off-gassing and create the healthiest indoor air quality possible.

Kate Stohr, Managing Director and Co-founder of Architecture for Humanity says of Sprout Space, "Every two years Architecture for Humanity poses a question to the design community with the Open Architecture Challenge. In 2009, we asked designers to envision the classroom of the future. Design solutions poured in from around the world on how they see the next generation's being taught. It is great to see Perkins + Will being recognized for its outstanding design because the need for better education and healthier environments still continues." 

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