Low-GWP Mechanical Modules for Rapid Deployment Project (LG-MM)


Association for Energy Affordability


Emeryville, CA

Recipient Location


Senate District


Assembly District



Amount Spent



Project Status

Project Update

The project is on track and progressing as expected. Much of the initial project focus was on design-related activities, brainstorming, and developing a partnership with SystemAir, the manufacturer of the basis of design unit. Since then, the Team completed prototype Lab Testing, demonstration site and M&V planning, and saw through product fabrication and manufacturing as well as additional equipment sourcing for demonstration

The Issue

To reach California's building decarbonization goal, there is a strong need for innovative HVAC solutions in the retrofit market. Neither the CA market, nor the US market, currently have a fully packaged mechanical pod system that integrates space heating, cooling, domestic hot water, and ventilation with heat recovery. Although many overseas manufacturers produce combined systems that require less space, improved quality, and reduced renovation time, they are not exported to the U.S.A The demonstration and design modification of the overseas products can help the adoption of these solutions. and become commercially available.

Project Innovation

The project develops a pre-fabricated central mechanical system module for retrofit applications. The mechanical module will include heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), domestic hot water, and real time energy use monitoring, control and feedback for multifamily buildings. The compact, lightweight, package will be designed to be mass produced offsite and installed quickly. All demonstration sites will be located in disadvantaged or low income communities. This agreement continues on research initiated in the EPC 17-040 grant, which identified a market gap for packaged mechanical systems in CA. The prototypes will re-tool and re-design commercially available equipment available in Sweden to accommodate the refrigerant to R32. The team will also replace the 40 gallon DHW storage tank 7 kWh of phase change material thermal energy storage which is expected to provide an equivalent volume of domestic hot water, but will occupy substantially less space than the existing tank.

Project Benefits

The project develops low GWP mechanical module prototypes, optimized for the most common multifamily building types in California. The system will show at a proof-of-concept level that these combined systems are well suited for the California market. This will serve as an example to American manufacturers, potential fabricators, and technology startups for the retrofit industry.

Lower Costs


The annual energy savings are estimated to reduce utility bills by $80-$155 per year per apartment. If all 6 million single family homes with natural gas space and water heating and 1.6 million apartments with natural gas space and water heating installed a system, it could result in an estimated $600 million or more savings in customer utility bill savings per year.

Increase Safety


The conversion from natural gas to electric will reduce gas piping and infrastructure which could result in improved safety,as well as reduced risk of indoor air quality hazards.

Key Project Members

Project Member

Andrew Brooks



Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


Emanant Systems, LLC


Contact the Team