USGBC-LA Releases 2nd Annual Pilot Flight Manual Featuring New Cohort of 14 Companies Worldwide, Current Pilot Projects
LOS ANGELES (September 21, 2023) The Net Zero Accelerator (NZA), a program of the U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles (USGBC-LA), is proud to announce that Kit Switch, a member company of the 2023 NZA cohort, was awarded the Trailblazer Award at the 10th annual Net Zero Conference (NZ23) on September 14th. USGBC-LA simultaneously announced the release of its 2nd annual NZA Pilot Flight Manual, featuring introductions to Kit Switch and the 13 other members of the 2023 NZA cohort, as well as current NZA company pilot projects. The Manual is available for download here and on the NZA website.
The NZA helps position selected pilot-ready, building-focused technologies for success by accelerating their market entry throughout the greater Los Angeles region and beyond through collaboration with marquee partners and advisors who provide guidance, connections, and participation in pilots. Since the accelerator’s inception, 85 companies from around the globe have participated, with more than 60 pilot opportunities initiated.
“Kit Switch represents so much about what we need to be doing to decarbonize the built environment by leveraging a disruptive approach to construction and electrification that delivers reduced costs and embodied carbon impacts. We’re honored to have them in our Net Zero Accelerator Program, and this year’s Trailblazer award is much deserved,” said Ben Stapleton, Executive Director, USGBC-LA. We’re also excited to launch the 2023 NZA Pilot Flight Manual, which emphasizes the program’s focus on connecting growth-stage companies with pilot partners to help speed and scale adoption. That’s what the NZA is all about.”
Kit Switch is a woman-and-minority-owned, San Francisco-based small business whose mission is to create an end-to-end solution for housing providers to leverage existing buildings toward the creation of quality, sustainable homes. They design and deliver kits of ready-to-install interiors (manufactured and assembled in California) for tenant improvement, retrofit, and conversion projects, and started with the heart of the home, the kitchen.
“And the winner is… important,” said Colin Mangham, Director, Net Zero Accelerator. “Vitally important. As not only has this young company created a solution to help move us toward net zero energy, carbon, water, and waste, they’ve also solved for the economics, the return on investment, with functionality, aesthetics, build quality, ease of installation, and more … all of that makes it much easier to sell sustainability.”
With their first product line, theKit-Kitchen, cooking amenities can be installed or reconfigured on-site in less than one day with improved turnaround, predictability, and sustainability. In Q1 and Q2 2023, they delivered their kitchen kit on two projects with an affordable housing developer in San Francisco. First, inside a multifamily building gut-rehab and second for a garage conversion. These small pilots—noted in the NZA Pilot Flight Manual—are the first ones of a pipeline of projects they are tracking with the support of the National Renewable Energy Lab.Besides the NZA, they are part of the Autodesk Research Outsight Network and backed by several other incubators.
States Kit Switch co-founder Candice Delamarre, “Armelle and I grew up abroad and traveled, and it always struck us how differently communities approach their built environment. We are addressing how to host our populations sustainably by creating modular interiors as a scalable model for building flexibility and resilience, designed to lengthen the lifespan of our buildings in a more equitable and sustainable way. Ultimately, we commercialize products and tools that architects can design with quickly, that contractors can procure turnkey, that trades can install easily and safely, and which tenants will find beautiful and functional.”
A key part of their mission is to create higher quality and more inclusive job opportunities—regardless of age, gender identity, and ability—with modules designed to assemble horizontally and moved with a hand truck, for improved worker ergonomics and the elimination of repetitive on-site drilling and heavy lifting.
“The effect of organizations such as USGBC-LA and Verdical Group believing in small businesses, new ideas, and new organizations does not go unnoticed, and is quite an honor,” adds co-founder Armelle Coutant. “It is what enabled us to voice our vision for Kit Switch and to feel heard, it is the reason behind messages we receive from young people reaching out to us saying that they now see a place in the industry that they had never envisioned for themselves before, and it is what has and will continue to fuel us to continue the work that we do. Thank you.”
Kit Switch and fellow NZA cohort members are featured in the 2023 NZA Pilot Flight Manual, which details current pilot project opportunities with NZA companies. It also highlights key aspects of the program, spotlights alumni companies, links to case studies and company sites, and acknowledges USGBC-LA’s community of advisors, sponsors, and other partners supporting the accelerator program.
“We’re delighted to present the Kit Switch co-founders a Net Zero Conference 2023 Trailblazer Award,” said Drew Shula, Founder of the Net Zero Conference, and Founder & CEO of Verdical Group. “Start-ups in the climate space are vitally important to finding ways to reduce carbon and transition every industry to a zero carbon future. Kit Switch is doing just that, and we’re glad to see the founding team being nurtured by USGBC-LA’s Net Zero Accelerator, and poised for growth and continued positive impact in the years ahead.” (L-R: Sarah Pilla/Spectrum, Ben Stapleton, Colin Mangham, Candice Delamarre, Armelle Coutant, Drew Shula. Photo by Ling Luo.)
For more information on the Net Zero Accelerator (the companies, and being a pilot location, advisor or supporter), visit https://www.netzeroaccelerator.org/ or contact Colin Mangham at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on USGBC-LA, please visit USGBC-LA.org or contact Ben Stapleton at email@example.com.
About U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles
Founded in 2002, USGBC-LA is a 501(c)3 non-profit and member-based organization whose mission is to transform Southern California’s built environment into a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable region for all. We lead by inspiring leaders throughout our communities to take action on climate change, public health, and environmental justice while educating, developing, and empowering a diverse talent pipeline through our training, mentorship, and direct-to-community programs. We connect by merging interdisciplinary perspectives and collaborations to create positive systemic change. We advocate through promoting innovative, impactful policy solutions addressing the most urgent environmental and social challenges of our time.(www.usgbc-la.org)