Build Green Joins UC Berkeley on Innovative Oakland EcoBlock Project

Build It Green is proud to join a team of premier experts and researchers who have been awarded a California Energy Commission (CEC) grant to develop The Oakland EcoBlock – A ZNE, Low-Water-Use Retrofit Neighborhood Demonstration Project. The University of California at Berkeley leads the team, and was awarded a $1.5 million grant through the CEC’s EPIC Challenge: Accelerating the Deployment of Advanced Energy Communities. Build It Green will serve as a subcontractor along with other partners, including NASA and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The EcoBlock is an urban sustainability experiment in Oakland, CA, that brings together residents of a local neighborhood block and a multi-disciplinary team of urban designers, engineers, social scientists and policy experts. The project will apply a whole-systems design approach to retrofitting the entire block—transforming an obsolete, resource-wasteful model into an integrated design that guarantees long-term sustainability.

Build It Green’s role is to support Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s development of a community-scale Zero Net Energy (ZNE) retrofit template. “This an exciting and impactful project that tests the approach of retrofitting a neighborhood block to meet net zero energy and low water usage,” says Amy Dryden, Build It Green’s Senior Technical Manager. “We will help identify how to scale this work beyond the one demonstration project.”

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Alex Coba

Communications Associate

As a proud California native from Stockton, Alex brings a wealth of experience and a versatile skill set. He has a solid communication background with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Public Relations from California State University, Chico. Alex is adept at strategic communications and media relations, with experience gathering and sharing stories from his local communities that uplift the unique spirit and values of those places. He is excited to join Build It Green, where he can apply his talents to further BIG’s mission to help communities across California thrive.