UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A procedure for analyzing the full costs of development at the community level Moffatt, Sebastian


This thesis begins by outlining reasons why communities need to become much more involved with integrated resource planning (IRP) and full cost accounting. A review is conducted of the existing tools and methods available for use by those communities undertaking IRP. The implications of the review are that new tools are needed, that the tools should be designed to work together, that the models should be designed to provide varying levels of analytical detail, and that the models should allow the user to select a range of resource types, scales, and time periods. The thesis then provides a detailed look at full cost accounting methods. This includes an analysis of all the costs that need to be addressed, and the reasons why residential and commercial building developments are likely to include high external costs. A combination of approaches is suggested for expressing the full, life cycle cost values, including physical and monetary units. Multiple attribute analysis is described, and an argument is made that this approach is necessary to facilitate informed, creative decision making. A conceptual framework is presented for a new method of community IRP, referred to as the Building Block Method. This new method involves the use of archetyping, to cope with the complexity and quantity of data for the built environment. It also incorporates an end use model of the community components, and uses existing software to generate accurate modelling data on the performance of buildings, vehicles, and infrastructure archetypes. A partial application of the Building Block Method is presented, using a case study house in Surrey British Columbia. This example includes the use of software modelling tools to generate accurate and detailed data on all aspects of resource consumption over the life cycle of the house, at various physical scales. This detailed data is then used for full cost accounting. The total internal capital costs for the Base Case house are $106,348, excluding taxes of $35,000 and land costs of $200,000. Life cycle costs total $567,353, at a 4% discount rate over 50 years. The eight monetized external cost categories total $7,693 the first year, and $88,800 over the life time of the house. Life cycle resource flows for the Base Case house include 16,290 GJ of energy, 368,637 kg of materials, 570 tonnes of C02, and 658,000 litres fresh water. This attempt to conduct full cost accounting of housing services shows that it is a complicated process, that needs a clearly defined method, and an ability to cope with different resource flows and impacts, to alter spatial boundaries, to manage complex data, to incorporate transportation energy and to account for community health impacts. The framework and methods presented in this thesis appears to represent a worthwhile approach.

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