Improving the energy efficiency and sustainability of American homes.

What is RetroFit Lab?

The nonprofit Retrofit Lab is on a mission to improve the energy efficiency and sustainability of American homes by developing a community of stakeholders with the tools, knowledge, and resources necessary to transform the current stock of housing. Our community‐based approach provides training, outreach and technical assistance to create pathways for deep energy retrofits (DERs) of existing single‐family homes. Our goal is to increase the accessibility and affordability of energy‐efficient upgrades and normalize these methods of home renovation by transforming our single‐family retrofit projects into classrooms for homeowners, architects, and construction professionals. Through virtual and in‐person workshops, home tours and an online directory of resources, Retrofit Lab creates the conduit by which contractors receive training in DER methods, homeowners become familiar with the value proposition, and communities unite around home improvements as a critical climate solution.

What is a deep energy retrofit?

According to the US Department of Energy, a deep energy retrofit (DER) is a major building renovation project in which site energy use intensity (including plug loads) has been reduced by at least 50% from the pre-renovation baseline with a corresponding improvement in indoor environmental quality and comfort. DERs demand a more thorough, whole-house approach than a typical retrofit or remodel. This approach must take into account all the energy uses in the home, as well as the activities of the occupants.

Launch 2022

Led by builder and sustainable developer Nicole Tysvaer, Retrofit Lab launched in Fall 2022 with the deep energy retrofit of a 19th Century Victorian home in Hyattsville, MD. Tysvaer has a PhD in Education from the University of Michigan, LEED AP certification, and is the CEO and Co-Founder of award-winning Symbi Homes. Contact for more info.

Download the Strategic Plan for Retrofit Lab (PDF)