What Size Classroom Will We Need? A Guide to Portable Classroom Dimensions
Modular classrooms are cost-effective building solutions to accommodate long-term and temporary classroom overcrowding problems. Expansion of conventional school buildings can be costly and time-consuming. Portable and permanent modular classroom buildings provide an economical alternative to alleviate overcrowded school classrooms. Temporary portable classrooms can be delivered and assembled in just a few weeks, and permanent modular classroom buildings can be installed on site up to 50% quicker than conventionally-built classrooms.
Whether you need a portable classroom to accommodate students for a short-term need or you’re building permanent modular classrooms that seamlessly blend in with your school’s existing architecture, one question remains: what size classroom will we need? We’ll break down the standards for a typical classroom size and the portable classroom dimensions that we use for construction.
How Many Square Feet is a Typical Classroom?
Modular building code requires that modular K-12 classrooms be built using the standard of 20 sq. ft. per occupant. Specialized learning environments like science labs, art rooms, or computer centers should be built to 50 sq. ft. per occupant. When determining portable classroom dimensions, you would use the formula:
Number of Occupants x 20 sq. ft. = Total Classroom Size
Let’s use the floor plans below as a guide:
A 621 square foot classroom would fit 31 students when allowing 20 sq. ft. per student.
A 715 square foot classroom would fit 35 students when allowing for 20 sq. ft. per student.
Beyond the number of occupants, there are other elements you need to consider when creating your modular classroom floor plan and determining the final classroom dimensions. When asked for their input on the modern classroom, prominent educators repeated the same points again and again — they want natural light, flexible seating, and specialized spaces.
Natural Light — Educators agree that bright, airy classrooms with lots of natural light are an optimal learning environment. When designing your modular classroom, incorporate as many windows as possible. End-unit classroom layouts include four 3′ x 5′, while interior classroom layouts feature two 3′ x 5′ windows. However, the custom design process allows you to add more windows to your classrooms to create an improved learning experience.
Alternative Seating — Teachers have found that not all students work the same way. Some can work conformably at a standard desk and chair, while others can concentrate better if they can stand and stretch out. And everyone benefits from a change of scenery throughout the day. For this reason, alternative seating — adjustable chairs, configurable desks, cushions, or armchairs — is being incorporated in many classrooms. As this trend continues to grow, it could lead to many schools increasing their classroom sizes to accommodate larger seating options that are more spaced out.
Specialized Spaces — A place for everything, and everything in its place. Many teachers divide their classrooms into different learning centers. They have an art/supplies station with a sink, a reading nook, an electronics center, and small group learning stations. The way that your teachers and students interact in their classrooms can also affect the final classroom dimensions.