EBALDC: Casa Arabella


Working in partnership The Unity Council (TUC) and East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC) – both Oakland-based community organizations – are developing Casa Arabella, a 94-unit apartment community near the Fruitvale BART station. The property will expand the affordable housing options within the Bay Area where rents spiked 51% between 2012 and 2017, and where between 2015 and 2017, homelessness in the city grew 25%, and 39% in the county as a whole.  Casa Arabella will provide permanent affordable housing to nearly 400 residents in the Bay Area with household income at or below 20-60 percent of the area median income. Additionally, 20 units will be reserved for formerly homeless U.S. military veterans. The project has been designed to exceed California’s stringent Title 24 energy code by 13 percent, and to exceed ASHRAE’s national energy standard by almost 20 percent.



In developing the property to exceed Title 24 and ASHRAE standards, the building will have many high-performance energy efficiency features. Also included are low-flow water fixtures and a solar thermal system dedicated to preheating domestic hot water (DHW). Additionally, the project has also been designed to achieve a Gold certification following the Rate it Green’s GreenPoint Rated system.  When finished, the building will help EBALDC exceed its Better Buildings Challenge-calculated Source EUI by 25 percent.


Some key features of the building include: 




Exterior Walls

R-21 cavity insulation

Window Glazing

Thermal pane construction with ratings of U-0.26 and SHGC-0.18

Roof Insulation

Above deck with a rating of R-30ci (U-0.031Btu/h-ft2-°F)


High-efficiency LED lighting  (No incandescent or screw-in bulbs specified)


Residential Spaces: water source heat pumps with 94% efficient boiler and VFD enabled circulation system

Common Area Spaces: split system heat pumps with a cooling efficiency of 14 SEER and a heating efficiency of 8.2 HSPF


ENERGY STAR® certified dishwashers and refrigerators


.950 Thermal Eff. Gas fired boilers

Water Conservation Features

WaterSense showerheads with matching compensation valve (≤2.0 GPM)

WaterSense bathroom faucets (<1.2 GPM residential, <.25 GPM non-residential)

WaterSense toilets with a maximum performance (MaP) threshold of no less than 500 grams (≤1.28 GPF)

Renewable Energy Systems

1,500 gallon solar hot water systems designed to offset 50% of the annual domestic hot water load

PV-Ready infrastructure



In addition to managing the apartments, EBALDC and TUC will provide onsite support services to residents. This will include a full-time resident service and workforce coordinator who will connect residents with economic empowerment services, as well as a full-time veteran services specialist. Residents will also benefit from the fundamental nature of a transit-oriented development: the mixed-use, walkable development is within a ½-mile radius of public transportation options, schools, shopping, and healthcare facilities.


Annual Energy Use

(Source EUI)
Baseline (ASHRAE 90.1-2007) (2017)
70 kBtu/sq.ft.
Expected (2020)
57 kBtu/sq.ft.

Energy Savings:


Annual Energy Cost

Estimated (Based on U.S. EIA survey data) (2017)
Expected (2020)

Cost Savings:


Sector Type



Oakland, California

Project Size

96,000 Square Feet

A rendering of the Casa Arabella project
A rendering of the Casa Arabella project