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NREL and iUnit: Leading the Design for Net Zero Multifamily Construction

NREL is collaborating with Denver developer iUNIT, using the Energy Systems Integration Facility's apartment-in-the-loop research capabilities and energy modeling tools to lead the design, demonstration, and integration of net zero, grid-friendly, and technology-integrated multifamily construction.

Photo of the iUnit at the ESIF

Photo by Dennis Schroeder

Roughly 38 million people live in buildings that contain five or more units in the United States—totaling almost 18.5 million households. Energy efficiency efforts in multifamily housing, such as iUNIT's integrated design that incorporates a tenant feedback platform, could save $3.4 billion annually. With NREL's mega-watt scale power hardware-in-the-loop capabilities, researchers are creating a modular apartment technology development platform that enables the cost-effective design, optimization, prefabrication, and operation of net zero, technology-integrated, factory-built buildings, along with tenant engagement systems.