The topic is installing "dual pane" windows in new or remodeled
schools. They're made from two sheets of glass separated by a space
that is either a vacuum or filled with an inert gas. City
conservation experts, teachers and others have roasted the district
for not using the energy-saving products. Especially with some rooms
in Burbank High School sweltering despite new air-conditioning
equipment, and with soaring electric bills named as one unexpected
cost crippling district budgets, candidates have criticized the
board's decision to use windows less efficient than dual-panes.
Last year, when city utility executives lectured that dual-panes
save more money in use than their extra cost, board members said they
didn't have the cash up front, and future savings couldn't fill
today's coffers. But that logic has been dumped. Now we're told the
board did the "smart" thing in the first place.
At its last meeting, the board received a staff report titled
"Dual Glazed Windows." It was the sort of report for detailed
discussion, but no action, usually saved for nontelevised meetings.
Last summer's session with the board reviewing budget cuts warranted
the off-camera "study" atmosphere, but the window report merited TV
The presentation from Ali Kiafar, BUSD's superintendent of
facilities, included testimony from two men, one a district employee,
another from a firm the district hired. Hold your hats when you hear
the bomb the trio dropped. They said they did exactly the right thing
by not installing more dual-pane windows!
Kiafar said one of the district's architects never uses dual pane
in schools, and that another, the team that designed John Burroughs
High School, also never used them, "until very recently on a couple
of projects that wanted to do that." I suppose that's the same as
"The firm never uses dual-pane."
Kiafar didn't rest. Reaching across a galaxy of sources for
independent information from utilities, the federal government,
universities -- perhaps even window manufacturers -- Kiafar called to
the microphone one of his own staff, Mohammad Kashani-Jou, and an