Beverly Terrace in Marysville will implement innovative attic air sealing strategies that reduce tenant disruption.
What Is REALIZE-CA?
What Is REALIZE-CA?
REALIZE-CA orchestrates the rapid deployment of net-zero carbon retrofit packages to improve affordable multifamily building stock in California. Launched through support from the California Energy Commission’s Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program, REALIZE-CA is working toward standardizing and streamlining deployment of building decarbonization technologies that improve building resilience, ensure healthy and comfortable living environments, and drive down energy expenditures and carbon emissions. REALIZE-CA also hopes to create high-road jobs, preserve affordable housing, increase grid stability, and help to achieve California’s aggressive climate goals.
Why It Matters
Why It Matters
Buildings account for nearly 25 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in California and are a key to achieving the state’s reduction targets for carbon emissions. At the same time, low-income residents face a disproportionate energy burden, with energy spending up to three times higher compared to non-low-income households, according to data from the US Department of Energy. This heightened challenge of affordability and environmental impact presents an urgent opportunity for innovative solutions.
What We're Doing
REALIZE-CA is focused on catalyzing the development of a speedy and scalable process for zero-carbon residential energy retrofits, with major efforts focused on technology development and deployment, as well as market facilitation. Inspired by Energiesprong in the Netherlands, the team is working on developing retrofit packages that are standardized and easy to deploy, reduce tenant disruption, and achieve zero-carbon operations. With those goals in mind, we will combine deep energy efficiency with electrification paired with renewable energy and load-shifting technologies to overcome the unique challenges of California multifamily housing and start a retrofit revolution in California.
Market FacilitationAt the same time, REALIZE-CA is working with financiers, affordable housing experts, and state agencies to pave the way for a rapid scale-up of decarbonization retrofits. These market-based activities include developing standardized financing tools for affordable housing, overcoming the split incentive, working to break down policy barriers, aggregating demand, and coordinating supply-side manufacturers. As a first step toward aggregating building owner demand, REALIZE-CA, in solidarity with Retrofit NY, has put together the REALIZE-CA Building Owner Pledge. This pledge will allow owners across California to send clear signals to the public and private sectors that cost-effective zero-carbon retrofits are needed and desired by the affordable housing community.
Technology Development and Deployment
REALIZE-CA is demonstrating retrofit solutions on over 300,000 square feet of pilots in California. These pilots will demonstrate advanced building construction processes and pre-integrated decarbonization technologies that are meant to reduce retrofit delivery times, cost, and tenant disruptions. These demonstration sites will act as “prototypes” to demonstrate the applicability and the design and delivery approach for the prefabricated retrofit systems—namely all-in-one mechanical pods and exterior retrofit panels.
REALIZE-CA is targeting low- and mid-rise multifamily buildings in California, which represent over 82 percent of existing multifamily units in the state. The solutions we are testing are designed to be standardized and transferable across the most common typologies within these two categories. We are also testing multiple variations of retrofit packages for a typology to give building owners more flexibility in how they choose to decarbonize their buildings.
Corona Del Rey in Corona will be demonstrating prefabricated exterior retrofit panels and an all-in-one mechanical pod, while electrifying all 40 buildings on the site and installing solar PV.
Light Tree in East Palo Alto will conduct a holistic electrification retrofit that will include heat pumps for space conditioning and domestic hot water, a structural upgrade, and a full exterior recladding.
Vera Cruz Village in Ridgecrest will install all-electric space conditioning and domestic hot water systems, new windows, a prefabricated roof panel system, and solar PV.
Kingsview Manor in Fresno will implement an emerging heat pump space conditioning system, window upgrades, re-roofing, and solar PV.
Flower Park in Santa Ana, REALIZE-CA’s only mid-rise building, will install a central heat pump water heater and electrify all end uses in the building.
We are seeking partners interested in bringing the clean industrial revolution to US homes. Is that you?
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