Leading in LA

Report / December 26, 2018 / Building Innovation, Deep Energy Retrofits / Existing Buildings

New Buildings Institute led a major research project funded by the California Energy Commission in response to the critical need to greatly reduce energy use in California’s existing commercial buildings with cost-effective and scalable solutions. Working with prominent energy efficiency entities TRC Companies (TRC) and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL), the project launched in June 2017. The four-year project included lab testing, field demonstrations at two sites, and market connection activities and resources to move an integrated set of emerging commercial retrofit technologies into wider adoption.


Leading in Los Angeles (LiLA) combines an innovative set of commercial technologies targeted across lighting, shading, and HVAC. These end uses make up the majority of a building’s energy use (70% for a typical office).

The technology package consists of:

  • Advanced lighting and wireless controls
  • Automated solar-powered window shades
  • Light HVAC retro-commissioning to update control sequences

Light HVAC retro-commissioning to update control sequences. The set of technologies are called the Integrated Technologies for Energy-efficient Retrofits (INTER) solution set and are comprised of shading products from Rollease Acmeda and lighting systems and controls from Enlighted and Daintree. The technologies can be combined and customized to suit a variety of building types and spaces. At two demonstration sites, the packages resulted in significant energy reduction for both lighting and the whole building. In addition to energy savings, the package offers significant occupant comfort and wellbeing benefits, including glare and heat gain control, views to the outside, and customizable lighting levels down to the fixture if the system includes Luminaire Level Lighting Controls (LLLC).

In Leading in LA, the INTER solution set was first lab tested at the LBNL FLEXLAB, customized to each demonstration site, then installed at two LA area demonstration sites – Santa Ana City Hall and CSU Dominguez Hills Welch Hall. The team conducted measurement and verification at both sites to review the energy savings during the post-retrofit period. The project also incorporated extensive market and policy adoption strategies, including the development of market resources and case studies included on this page.



  1. Validate the commercial viability and scalability of INTER systems in existing commercial buildings
  2. Accelerate market adoption of INTER system to address Los Angeles basin and statewide needs for energy and carbon reductions through deep energy efficiency retrofits


  1. Demonstrate energy savings and improved comfort of INTER systems
  2. Identify and address market barriers to wider acceptance and adoption
  3. Develop scalable technology packages, integration guidelines, case studies, utility program ideas and energy code connections to facilitate widespread implementation


Funder: California Energy Commission (CEC) Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC 16-302)

Project Team: 
The Energy Coalition
Taylor Engineering

Installers: Lumenomics, SBT Alliance, BeMotorized, Siemens, Orrovan Mechanical

Primary Project Contacts: Cathy Higgins and Kevin Carbonnier, New Buildings Institute
Contact Cathy or Kevin by email with any questions.

Manufacturing Partners: Rollease Acmeda, Daintree, BeMotorized

Demonstration Partners: City of Santa Ana, CSU Dominguez Hills

Match Funders: Southern California Edison (SCE), SBT Alliance, BeMotorized, City of Santa Ana, CSU Dominguez Hills, LBNL, Rollease Acmeda

Project Letters of Support: Attachment Energy Rating Council (AERC), Integral Group, ARUP, EHDD, P2S Engineering, Taylor Engineering, UC Berkeley Center for Environmental Design Research, San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

Technical Advisory Committee:
Kostas Papamichael, California Lighting Technology Center
Lisa Heschong, Consultant
Jonathan Changus, Northern California Power Agency
Amy Jiron, Department of Energy (DOE)
Bryan Cope, Southern California Public Power Authority
Kent Petersen, P2S
Adel Suleiman, California Energy Commission
Kim Rodriguez, Intech Energy
Travis Nelson, ComEd
Nancy Ander, California Department of General Services
Eric Knops, California Energy Commission
Drew Quirk, Xcel
Pierre Delforge, NRDC
Brian Smith, PG&E
Jai Agaram, Digital Energy, Inc.,
Ann McCormick, Newcomb Anderson McCormick