I am pleased to introduce my two buildings for our “Conversion to Net Zero” experience: Icon at Park and Icon at Doyle in Emeryville California.  I chose these two sites for a few key reasons:

  • These sites represent two different construction types:
    • Icon at Doyle is 3-story construction with 27 townhome-style dwellings and an underground garage. Entrances to the homes are from a garden type courtyard or interior hallway.
    • Icon at Park is 4- and 5-story with 54 units in a more traditional condo or apartment like format (shared walls, ceilings and floors), enclosed interior hallways and a mixture of underground garage and exterior parking.
  • Both sites are located in Emeryville, California
    • I wanted to simplify my process and work with the same utility company and city.
    • I believe that there will still be variations in processes between within the construction types, while being able to visit them concurrently.
    • I am lucky enough to have a team at these sites who are excited about this process.

The California Energy Commission (“CEC”) has a goal of all new construction of three stories or left, including multifamily, be Net Zero as of 2020.  The CEC is working on writing this into the 2019 code, which is being developed right now.  Although the CEC has indicated that the first thing they have to do is decide on what “Net Zero” is defined as in this code (remember how I said there were a lot of definitions out there), I believe that Icon at Doyle will be a great test site to understand what developers should consider in terms of changes in our construction practices if/when this code goes into effect.

The CEC has also confirmed a goal that by 2030, all new construction 4 stories and above be Net Zero.  This will be a more challenging process, as this construction type has greater energy load requirements for elevators, dwelling and HVAC … but the space available for on-site energy generations (i.e. “roof space”) does not increase with those demands. Icon at Park will be a great experience to understand what needs to occur in construction to meet this goal AND determine if Net Zero is even possible for this size construction.

In my next post, I will go in deeper on construction for Icon at Doyle (I have photos…it will be super fun).

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