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Prefabricated Zero Energy Retrofit Technologies

A Market Assessment

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REALIZE, under its existing grant with the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), has conducted a market assessment of high performance, prefabricated retrofit technologies in the United States and the Netherlands. This report seeks to identify products in the European and US markets that can enable a more integrated and standardized approach to conducting zero-energy retrofits by leveraging off-site construction and manufacturing. Greater integration of energy conservation measures into prefabricated building components will further enable efficiency adoption, while reducing project complexity, risks, and costs.

In particular, this report discusses the current state of integrated retrofit technologies as demonstrated by Energiesprong in the Netherlands and assesses similar product availability for the US market. Energiesprong is a Dutch public-private partnership that has pioneered the development of a semi-industrialized net-zero energy retrofit package and has applied this approach on approximately 5,000 low- and mid-rise multifamily retrofits to date, with roughly another 100,000 units of multifamily demand aggregated across Europe. RMI’s REALIZE initiative aims to catalyze a similar retrofit approach in the United States in partnership with other market facilitators, such as New York State’s Research and Development Authority’s RetrofitNY program and federal and state government agencies such as DOE, California Energy Commission, and Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources.

This report catalogues facade panel and mechanical system innovations created for multifamily housing net-zero energy retrofits in the Netherlands and the technologies available and still needed in the United States to enable a similar retrofit solution. REALIZE sees these technologies as having the potential to unlock the retrofit market as a function of turning the retrofit process into a product, as opposed to a complex set of activities that increase an already complex capital improvement process. With this report, REALIZE hopes to alert policymakers, manufacturers, and researchers to the opportunities and needs in the US market to enable large-scale industrialized retrofits.