News Brief

Investors Will Use EPIC Tool to Decarbonize Existing Assets

Galvanize Climate Solutions commissioned a custom version of EHDD’s software to locate real estate with financial and sustainability potential.

Investors Katie Hall and Tom Steyer founded Galvanize Climate Solutions in 2021 with one goal: “to accelerate the adoption of clean technology and increase the rate of decarbonization.” The company’s new real estate arm aims to do that by acquiring and renovating existing buildings. And to help it find those buildings, Galvanize commissioned a custom version of EHDD’s free EPIC tool, which facilitates early modeling of whole-life greenhouse gas emissions.

This proprietary version of the tool, named GOLD for “Galvanize Opportunity Locator for Decarbonization,” will help investors identify low-hanging fruit for climate mitigation efforts. Meanwhile, the GOLD project has helped EHDD invest more in v2 of the publicly available version, now out in beta.

a map of the contiguous usa shows high-probably regions in purple and low-probably regions in yellow.

GOLD’s map-based display will help Galvanize Real Estate locate areas with high potential for both decarbonization and ROI.

Image: EHDD, Galvanize Real Estate
Describing GOLD as “a marriage between the science and the business,” Nicolette Jaze of Galvanize Real Estate told BuildingGreen the company’s real estate acquisition team would use the tool to “mine the U.S. market for locations that have high potential for decarbonization but also have strong real estate fundamentals.”

The partnership came about because Galvanize staff were attempting to use EPIC to assess a hundred or more buildings at a time, even though it’s designed to work at a granular scale to characterize a single building. Their frustration with massive spreadsheets led to “a really cool brainstorming session,” said Jack Rusk, climate strategist at EHDD and lead developer for both EPIC and GOLD. The new tool accommodates “a 30,000-foot view” to suit Galvanize’s investment strategy, Rusk explained. He added that free versions of both EPIC and the CARE tool for existing building assessments would also be expanding “in the short to medium term” to facilitate portfolio-scale modeling.

Using GOLD, investors will be seeking out “older vintages, energy hogs, dirty grids” and other indicators of a “slower transition” in regions that nevertheless show strong potential for high-return real estate investments, Jaze explained. “We’re not building a portfolio of LEED, Energy Star, and WELL” assets, she continued. “We really want to find the low performers—taking the clunkers and turning them into Teslas.”

Decarbonization and other sustainability goals will be integrated directly into underwriting. That way, “we are mandated to make investments that have a positive climate impact,” said Jaze. “That sends a message to investors that we mean it, and we’re going to try our best. We’re incentivized to push it all the way.”

After some initial research, Galvanize is eyeing Phoenix, Denver, and Boston as high-impact cities for its potential first acquisitions.

More on existing building decarbonization

We Must Decarbonize Existing Buildings by 2050—but How?

Existing Buildings Are Architecture’s Future

Raze or Retrofit? CARE Tool Has the Answer

For more information:

Galvanize Climate Solutions

Published June 12, 2023

Melton, P. (2023, May 18). Investors Will Use EPIC Tool to Decarbonize Existing Assets. Retrieved from

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