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Rethinking the Design of Portable Classrooms

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Title:Rethinking the Design of Portable Classrooms
Authors:Jugueta, Kristoffer T.
Contributors:Walters, Lance C. (advisor)
Architecture (department)
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Date Issued:2020
Publisher:University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Abstract:Auxiliary classroom buildings are an essential component of high school campuses in Hawaii. As of 2019, 21 out of 23 public high schools on Oahu have some type of stand-alone classrooms. Often referred to as “portables,” these low-cost classroom structures are a response to the often unpredictable and fluctuating student enrollment.
This research investigates qualitative and quantitative data through a built inventory of the portable classroom typology, with an emphasis on Oahu public high schools. The analysis of this data provides an understanding of the past and current roles these spaces perform. The study also develops criteria for current and future needs, including the efficiency of space, positive performance in energy consumption, and building codes related to design standards for modern learning environments.
The findings show that, counter to their common nomenclature, 98% of “portable classrooms” constructed today operate for permanent use and remain on campuses longer than their expected life span. The design of portables that are used so far show insufficiencies in areas of energy consumption, environmental control systems, and space usage. Regardless of the innovation of modern design techniques, the newly built “portable classrooms” in Hawaii stay similar to how they were structured 30 years ago. Consequently, these “portable classrooms” can no longer fit in well with the needs of today’s educational curriculum.
The term “portable classrooms” has not always been used appropriately for the structures at high schools in Hawaii. Thus, this project uses the term Additional Classroom Unit (ACU) as an alternative to represent the broad typology of single space learning environments. The product of this research is (3) new prototypes ACU’s, each of which is designed for specific uses/cases: transportable, demountable, and permanent. The research also develops a design toolkit that supports the programming and associated design strategies for those engaged in public high school ACU’s.
Pages/Duration:147 pages
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: D.ARCH. - Architecture

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