March 7, 2002

ROSEMEAD, Calif., March 7, 2002-Southern California Edison (SCE) invites school districts whose construction and modernization bonds were approved by voters Tuesday to use a new approach to designing classrooms that can lower energy costs by as much as 45% while improving learning by as much as 20%. 

 "School bond measures received overwhelming support this week from Southern California voters," said Gregg Ander, SCE's chief architect.  "School districts have an opportunity now to use these new funds in a way that maximizes both energy-efficiency and learning."

86% of the school bond measures on California ballots were approved Tuesday resulting in almost $6 billion in new K-12 and community college facilities funding, according to School Services of California.

SCE has built two prototypes of "High-Performance Classrooms" designed to help local school districts evaluate recommended construction and modernization features-an elementary school campus in use in Newport Beach and a modular classroom on display at the utility's Customer Technology Application Center in Irwindale.

Independent studies of the High-Performance approach to building classrooms have documented the energy savings and improved academic performance the design delivers.  For example, according to research by the Heschong Mahone Group, a northern California firm, the enhanced natural daylight incorporated into the design creates an environment in which student attendance and test scores improve as much as 20%.

SCE's twin prototype projects incorporate 21 different design measures (see fact sheet), including increased wall and ceiling insulation, "low-e" glazing windows that reduce heat transference, and improved duct seals. 

In addition, the projects employ the extensive use of daylighting.  Vertical window dimensions have been increased and "light shelves" added to enhance natural daylight, view, and classroom ventilation.  To reflect daylighting into the center of the classroom, an innovative roof design is used that allows widespread light diffusion while eliminating problems associated with skylights.

School officials wanting information on SCE's classroom design initiative or to visit one of the demonstration projects can call Gregg Ander at (626) 633-7160.

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An Edison International company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation's largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 11 million via 4.3 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.  For more information on the California electricity market, see