UBC Undergraduate Research

A comparison of upstream costs and downstream costs in green building systems Hoghoughi, Parisa


Organizations are searching for strategies that best suit their customer’s needs and are environmentally sustainable (Nalewaik and Venters, 2009). These strategies can further enhance their communication with customers and their profitability in the long run (Nalewaik and Venters, 2008). To achieve this goal, companies can invest in intelligent building systems and low environmental impact technologies to reduce energy consumption and improve the overall performance of the building (Helgeson and Lippiatt, 2009). The following research paper investigates the financial justification for choosing “green” or high-performance buildings rather than a conventional building design. The agency partner for this project is Canem Systems Ltd, who has developed a suite of Building Performance Services to deliver optimal solutions to building sustainability challenges. An important component of this practice is the financial justification of “green” solutions. Canem must be able to prove the value of new technologies and integrated design approaches to building owners and operators in order to make their service offering appealing (Nalewaik and Venters, 2009). As the researcher on this project, I have been asked to provide research support for the lifecycle cost benefit analysis for sustainable buildings. The research is contained within the topic of bringing an economic justification perspective to the value of green building. Analyzing the tangible and intangible benefits of building green will further lead this research to investigate the costs and benefits of building green (Nalesaik and Venters, 2008). The research explores how a building “lifecycle” is defined and what the best practices are in the marketplace for constructing buildings that are managed and maintained to their optimal capacity over time (Langdon, 2011). Core metrics for success should be identified and analyzed within a Lifecycle Cost Benefit Analysis (LCBA), which will serve as the outcome of the project and targets financial priorities of building owners, operators and tenants. (Theriault, 2008). The main priority of this research paper will be to find solutions and provide recommendations for the Canem team to aid with the internal process of performing a Life Cycle Cost Benefit Analysis (LCCBA). According to Canem’s standards, the details of the research will focus on three primary components when contemplating the lifecycle costing of a building: 1. Capital costs: This component considers all repairs, upgrades, and replacements of systems over the lifecycle of a building. 2. Operational and behavioral costs: This component overviews organizational structures, tenant and building owner behaviors over time, and further assists sustainability development based on organizational structures that rule and administer a building. 3. Energy costs: This component analyzes the costs of fuel over time and energy savings that can be optimized through lifecycle services and energy management planning. There are a few lifecycle tools and frameworks available for assessing existing building stock, retrofits and new buildings in order to address and model lifecycle costing for Canem Systems Ltd. There is a wide range of software that is available online to enable strategic planning on energy management. This particular software assesses energy consumption and identifies energy potentials. Further, they help set energy efficiency targets and the best practices to identify projects with the highest return on investment. As a result this represents the ultimate goal of this research paper as to find solutions for Canem to implement in their strategies for new incentives and technologies toward a successful return on their customer’s investments.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International