Spruce Apartments

Spruce Apartments
Santa Clara County
  • Spruce Apartments
  • Renovations Manager, Matt Dreon, VP of Facilities and Maintenance, Tony DeShaw, Director of Ancillary Services, Mary Nitschke, and Sustainabily Analyst, Tonya Veitch (Santa Clara County) at the Spruce Apartments

Prometheus, a company that owns and manages 55 properties on the West Coast, bought the sprawling 21-acre Spruce Apartment community in 2014. Originally constructed in 1972 as Fair Oaks West, the property’s 16, three-story buildings, multiple pools and common areas were due for an upgrade. Prometheus immediately began renovations with energy efficiency, health, design and comfort in mind.

Thanks to the Bay Area Multifamily Building Enhancements (BAMBE) program which provides flexible rebates and project support, and the programs energy partner, Association for Energy Affordability, Prometheus was able to transform this giant 766-unit property into a welcoming, efficient place to live. The multi-year renovation, which was completed in 2017, included adding ENERGY STAR® washers and dryers, low-E windows, new toilets, appliances and finishes while updating air circulation in hallways, heaters and boilers.   


Prometheus’s goal is to create inspired, healthy communities, so improving airflow and resident comfort is very important to them. Mary Nitschke, Director of Ancillary Services at Spruce Apartments, chose BAMBE because of the flexible rebates. “The beautiful thing about this program is it is setting a target goal and then allowing the property owner to determine what to do to get to that goal,” she said. Spruce Apartments was Prometheus’s  second BAMBE project and by the end of 2017 they will have utilized the program to upgrade three of their properties.


Since the project spanned three years, Prometheus upgraded the shared clubhouse space first to help ease the minds of skeptical residents. “We opened up the space, brought in a lot of natural light, and created big glass doors to open up to the pool so you could have airflow into the space,” said Mary. Once residents saw the new common areas, they were more welcoming of and excited about the other upgrades going on around them.   

BAMBE’s flexible program allowed Prometheus to pick and choose the energy saving improvements that fit best with their project and business. “We’re building for the future. That means very desirable, healthy buildings,” said Mary. The result is a beautiful complex full of happy residents who enjoy healthier indoor air quality, lower energy bills and more natural light.

“The beautiful thing about this program is it is setting a target and then allowing the property owner to determine how to get to it”
Property Profile
# of Units
# of Buildings
Sq. ft.
Year Built
Upgrade at a Glance
Energy Savings

• 15.6 % overall energy savings
• 7,018 Therms saved
• 1,115,704 kWh saved
• 867.2 metric tons C02 emissions reduced

Rebate Amount

$ 574,500

Measures Included

• Low-E Windows
• Improved air circulation systems in
• Retrofit in-unit bathroom, kitchen, and
hallway light fixtures with LEDs
• Converted entire property to LED,
including parking garages, exterior
lights, etc.
• ENERGY STAR® in-unit dishwashers
• Replacced existing electric baseboards
with ENERGY STAR® mini-splits