Designing and Constructing Portable Classrooms for a Healthy School Environment

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Why It's Important

  • Portable classrooms can have the same common problems that interfere with student and teacher productivity in school buildings, such as: 
    • Poorly functioning HVAC systems that provide minimal outdoor air ventilation
    • Poor acoustics from loud ventilation systems
    • Chemicals emitting from pressed wood and other materials commonly used to build portable classrooms, especially since they are often occupied soon after construction
    • Water entry and mold growth
    • Site pollution from nearby parking lots or loading areas

What You Can Do

  • Follow the same standards in portable classrooms that you would in any school facility: 
    • Use appropriate building and indoor surface materials and properly designed ventilation systems to minimize the presence of indoor pollutants 
    • Maintain the quality of the indoor air environment through commissioning and regular maintenance  
  • EPA IAQ Design Tools for Schools NEED NEW DRUPAL LINK - - provides some of the most important considerations specific to portable classroom design, commissioning and maintenance.

EPA and Federal Partners

  • The Portable Classrooms section of EPA's IAQ Design Tools for Schools addresses specifics for new portable classrooms, commissioning and operations and maintenance.

National Organizations

Regional, State and Local Resources