Toby Long, principal architect of CleverHomes and tobylongdesign, recently led the effort to produce one of the first CHPS (Collaborative for High Performance Schools) certified relocatable classrooms in the United States. Working with the Chartwell School, Long and his San Francisco-based design/build/prefab company designed, prefabricated, and installed two green portable classroom structures, which were completed this summer in four weeks flat.


Constructed as part of The New High School Project at Chartwell, the buildings were designed to serve Chartwell’s immediate need for classrooms while being flexible to suit the school’s future growth. If necessary the prefab structures can be easily retrofitted to serve as residences on campus.

Measuring 960-square-feet each, the units were designed to complement the existing campus, but also provide a hint of distinction between the school’s older and newer spaces. The buildings feature eco-friendly materials and finishes similar to those used in the design and construction of the LEED Platinum Chartwell Campus.

The new buildings incorporate a variety of leading-edge environmental systems and specifications. They feature over 300 square feet of glazing as well as Anderson composite windows, operable clerestory windows and skylights that provide natural light and ventilation throughout the interior spaces. The prefab buildings also feature FSC-certified lumber, radiant floor heating systems, high-recycled content gypsum board, no-formaldehyde insulation, and no-VOC paints and coatings. The structures also showcase some impressive technology – each unit is hooked up to the main campus’ photovoltaic system, ventilation systems are connected to carbon dioxide sensors, and the interiors feature daylight and occupant sensing lighting systems for fluorescent lights.

+ Toby Long Design