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REALIZE-CA

California needs a net-zero carbon retrofit program for affordable housing building owners. This pledge will demonstrate that need to policymakers and manufacturers.

REALIZE-CA Building Owner Pledge

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What Is REALIZE-CA?

What Is REALIZE-CA?

REALIZE-CA is working with affordable housing building owners, manufacturers, community organizations, and policymakers to develop a statewide net-zero retrofit program. To achieve California’s aggressive climate goals, we work to standardize and streamline retrofit packages using building decarbonization technologies.

REALIZE-CA hopes to:

    • Improve building resilience
    • Ensure healthy and comfortable living environments
    • Reduce energy costs and carbon emissions
    • Create high-road jobs in disadvantaged communities
    • Preserve affordable housing
    • Increase grid stability
    • Help to achieve California’s aggressive climate goals

REALIZE-CA retrofits are customizable and feature:

    • All-electric appliances
    • High performance roof systems with
    • Integrated PV/solar
    • Integrated HVAC, DHW, and optional energy
    • High-performance windows and doors

We will combine deep energy efficiency and electrification, paired with renewable energy and load-shifting technologies, to meet the unique needs of California multifamily housing.

California Building Owner Pledge

Affordable housing building owners throughout California have already committed over 60,000 units to REALIZE-CA zero-carbon retrofits.
Contact us today at realize@rmi.org for a free consultation and add your building to the retrofit revolution.

Why It Matters

Why It Matters

Buildings account for nearly 25 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in California and are key to achieving the state’s targets for reducing carbon emissions. At the same time, low-income residents face a disproportionate energy burden, with energy spending up to three times higher than non-low-income households, based on data from the US Department of Energy’s Low-Income Energy Affordability Data (LEAD) Tool. This heightened challenge of affordability and environmental impact presents an urgent opportunity for innovative solutions.

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.

Realize-Sustainability-project

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.

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, costs, and tenant disruptions. These demonstration sites will act as “prototypes” to demonstrate the applicability and the design and delivery approach for the prefabricated retrofit systemsnamely all-in-one mechanical pods and exterior retrofit panels.

REALIZE Retrofit Package
Market Facilitation

At 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 breakdown policy barriers, aggregating demand, and coordinating supply side manufacturers.

Demonstration Sites

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 each typology to give building owners more flexibility in how they choose to decarbonize their buildings.

Corona del Rey
Corona Del Rey

Corona Del Rey in Corona will demonstrate 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
Light Tree

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
Vera Cruz Village

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

Kingsview Manor in Fresno will implement an emerging heat pump space conditioning system, window upgrades, re-roofing, and solar PV.

Partners

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Resources

REALIZE-CA Informational One-Pager

One-Pager

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REALIZE-CA: Retrofit Solutions in California

Article

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Retrofits: Revitalizing Communities

Article

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Get Involved

For general inquiries or information on how you can join the movement, or to express interest in becoming a pilot site, please contact REALIZE@rmi.org.

Sign the Building Owner Pledge

 

Contact Us

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Our Team

Martha Campbell
Principal

Amy Egerter

Amy Egerter

Brett Webster
Manager

Maggie Huang
Senior Associate

Liam Keyek

Liam Keyek
Associate

audrey rempher

Audrey Rempher
Associate

Maura Mooney

Maura Mooney
Associate

Madeline Weir

Madeline Weir
Communications Specialist