UPscaling Grid-friendly, Resilient, AfforDable, and Efficient modular housing (“UPGRADE”)


SCH Number
Public Agency
California Energy Commission
Document Title
UPscaling Grid-friendly, Resilient, AfforDable, and Efficient modular housing (“UPGRADE”)
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
Under grant agreement EPC-23-019, the California Energy Commission (CEC) will provide a grant of $5,000,000 to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to design and build advanced modular homes in a disadvantaged area of Bay Point in Contra Costa County (Climate Zone 12) (or an alternate location). The demonstration project will consist of three townhome units on a single site and include solar and energy storage and advanced high efficiency electric heat pump equipment. Design, planning, and other deskwork will take place at an existing facility at LBNL. In addition, the project includes changes to the manufacturing line at an existing facility operated by Mighty Buildings, Inc. in Oakland. These changes will be minor modifications and/or retooling of existing manufacturing equipment and processes. This project will benefit the Investor-Owned Utilities’ ratepayers by reducing energy usage and increasing on-site solar photovoltaic generation. Owners of the advanced modular homes will benefit from a lower cost of ownership over ten years than typical modular homes.

Contact Information

Jason Tancher
Agency Name
California Energy Commission
Job Title
Utility Engineer
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency


Antioch, Berkeley, Oakland, Pittsburg
Alameda, Contra Costa
Cross Streets
Cyclotron Road

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Cal. Code Regs., tit. 14, § 15303
Reasons for Exemption
14 CCR 15303 in part exempts “construction and location of limited numbers of new, small facilities or structures.” It applies because it allows “One single-family residence…” and in “urbanized” areas it allows “up to three single-family residences may be constructed or converted under this exemption.” 14

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Cal. Code Regs., tit. 14, § 15306
Reasons for Exemption
14 CCR 15306 excludes basic data collection and research. The research portion of this work to design the prototype mobile homes will occur in existing offices. The manufacturing of the homes will be done in businesses already established and permitted to do such work. The data collection phase will use temporary measuring devices to collect and assess the energy efficiency of the new homes. For these reasons, this project is also exempt under this section. The project will not impact an environmental resource of hazardous or critical concern where designated, precisely mapped, and officially adopted pursuant to law by federal, state, or local agencies; does not involve any cumulative impacts of successive projects of the same type in the same place that might be considered significant; does not involve unusual circumstances that might have a significant effect on the environment; will not result in damage to scenic resources within a highway officially designated as a state scenic highway; the project site is not included on any list compiled pursuant to Government Code section 65962.5; and the project will not cause a substantial adverse change in the significance of a historical resource. Therefore, none of the exceptions to categorical exemptions listed in CEQA Guidelines section 15300.2 apply to this project, and this project will not have a significant effect on the environment.
County Clerks
Alameda, Contra Costa


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