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Brentwood School Goes Greener

Students and faculty watch Friday morning as four eco-friendly classrooms are installed.

Wrenches ratcheted clunky chains that clinked against the bed of a massive truck beeping as it moved in reverse. Students and faculty moved across the hard top in front of workers in hard hats.

was awash in activity Friday morning as its four pre-built, modular, eco-friendly classrooms were driven, lifted and then lowered into place. 

The general consensus among faculty was to have the project done during class time, to possibly use the event as a teaching tool and to help give the students ownership of the new facility.

"This generation—they're creators and inventors and all sorts of things," said Head of School Mike Riera. "If we can give them the pieces, they're going to come up with things that are going to help the country and help the society in general."

The green classrooms, part of American Modular Systems' line of Gen7 units, are designed to provide natural light and ventilation as well as run on solar energy when needed, said John Zinner, principal of Santa Monica-based Zinner Consultants, a company responsible for ensuring the project is up to LEED-certification standards.

"The combination of energy efficiency and the solar-electric system means that over a period of a year, the schools will net out at using no energy," Zinner said. 

This is possibly the first zero net energy, green classroom of its kind to be installed in a school in this area, Zinner said.

Sophomore Russell Monkarsh, an 11-year student at Brentwood School, said he likes the new classrooms.

"(It) looks good for the school to have something that is great for the environment and we're happy to be the first ones to promote it," Monkarsh said.

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