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Development of a Green Building Decision Support Tool: A Collaborative Process

Ben Ewing () and Erin Baker ()
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Ben Ewing: Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01002
Erin Baker: Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01002

Decision Analysis, 2009, vol. 6, issue 3, 172-185

Abstract: In this paper, we discuss a collaborative process for developing a decision tool to support decisions around investment in green energy technologies. Our tool was developed specifically for the Hitchcock Center for the Environment, a local environmental education organization, and the development process began as an undergraduate student service learning project. Building on the student projects, we developed an Excel-based tool that allows users to select various combinations of technologies and instantly see the financial, environmental, and educational impacts of their choice. Given our initial parameters and the preferences of the Hitchcock Center staff, the optimal configuration included installing a biomass heating system and a composting toilet, but avoiding investment in other green technologies, yielding an annualized preference-adjusted cost of $5,252.58. Sensitivity analysis indicated that the optimal choice was not sensitive to environmental valuations, and only slightly sensitive to educational values. All participants in the process found the concept and practice of value elicitation to be useful and illuminating.

Keywords: environment; green building; decision analysis; energy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009
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