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L.A. School Goes Green with Zero Net Energy Modular Classrooms

Environmentally friendly schooling has taken a step closer to reality for one Los Angeles school.

Brentwood School has acquired four Gen7 modular classrooms made by American Modular Systems, a move that provides a new wing of space with an eye toward energy savings.

Made to achieve LEED Gold certification, the classrooms are predicted to save 70 percent in energy costs, according to information provided by the school.

Features of the Gen7 classrooms include:

  • An ultra-tight, high R-value building envelope;
  • High-efficiency mechanical system;
  • Smart lighting system;
  • Large low-E view windows and skylights;
  • Light and occupancy sensors; and
  • A dedicated outdoor ventilation system.

Each zero net energy classroom, called such because they are designed not to require outside energy to operate, making their energy consumption essentially zero, are equipped with an interactive Smart Board. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors will also be updated on the environmental impact courtesy of an energy efficiency education dashboard currently under development.

When completed, the dashboard will display educational data including performance information, a LEED scorecard, and information on green features, sustainable initiatives, and student tutorials.

The classrooms, which are made from recycled materials, draw their power from roof-mounted solar panels, which are designed to generate 100 percent of the power needed for each individual classroom. The solar panels are expected to begin generating power the same day they are installed.

"True to our mission of embracing high standards of character, commitment, and achievement, with Gen7 we set a new standard for ourselves in terms of environmental responsibility and the use of learning space as teaching tool," said Brentwood School's Head of School Dr. Mike Riera.

Brentwood School is an independent K-12 day school serving approximately 1,000 students with 89 teachers. For more information, visit