Inexpensive retrofits such as low-flow showerheads can save water and energy.
Inexpensive retrofits such as low-flow showerheads can save water and energy.

The California Sustainability Alliance’s overarching mission is market transformation by accelerating and increasing energy efficiency in combination with complementary sustainability measures. In the multifamily residential sector, primary opportunities include renewable energy, especially distributed renewable energy such as rooftop solar photovoltaics and small wind systems; demand response through participation in air conditioning cycling and other load control/management programs; water efficiency and reuse, and waste reduction.

The Alliance achieves market transformation by implementing strategies that leverage key resources and assets to encourage sustainability adoption by each targeted sector. In 2007, the Alliance embarked upon several pilot projects designed around three key strategies for accelerating sustainability adoption in the multifamily housing sector:

  1. Make a Conscious Commitment to Sustainability. The Alliance helped one real estate investment trust (BRE Properties) and one affordable housing developer-owner (LINC Housing) develop corporate sustainability goals for their multi-family properties.
  2. Portfolio Retrofit Approaches. The Alliance then helped BRE Properties and LINC assess the resource efficiency potential of their multifamily properties and develop strategies for greening their entire portfolios to meet their corporate sustainability goals.
  3. Financing. The Alliance also worked with the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to identify opportunities for awarding preference points for multi-family housing projects that agreed to adopt targeted levels of green in their retrofit projects. These discussions led to assisting HUD in identifying sustainability measures for integration into HUD’s “Mark-to-Market” Green Initiative Program.

The Alliance continues implementing these strategies with the objective of demonstrating the significant energy efficiency and other sustainability benefits that can be achieved.

To start implementing these strategies in your own organization, consult the California Sustainability Alliance Multifamily Housing Strategy Guides: