Tucked in the far corner of the giant exhibition hall at the New Orleans Convention Center, a 560-square-foot modular classroom designed by New Orleans architecture firm Eskew+Dumez+Ripple quietly made its public debut at Greenbuild.

The building has numerous sustainable elements: LED lighting, photovoltaic panels, a folding wall for natural ventilation, a planted wire mesh screen on the south side for shade, and a butterfly-shaped roof to route stormwater to cisterns used to irrigate wetland garden plots that will be planted next door to the classroom once it is permanently moved to the Lower 9th Ward.

Constructed by Metairie, Louisiana-based design-build firm Broadmoor, the structure will serve as an on-site K-12 environmental education center and research space for the Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development (CSED), a local environmental organization founded a year after Hurricane Katrina. It will be installed near the Bayou Bienvenue Wetlands Triangle viewing platform, built in 2008 to raise local awareness about decades of wetlands degradation and renewed environmental clean up efforts in the storm-ravaged, still recovering community.

View slide show.