differences between an actual building and a prototypical building used by R.S. Means in the square foot tabulations that are not attributable to water, energy, or green systems. If the specifics of the actual building are unknown, the comparison can be significantly skewed.
Second, to conduct the analyses of cost effectiveness for ASHRAE standards 189.1-2011 and 90.1-2010, the data provided by ASHRAE were the same data used in the models run for the development of those standards. The source of the data, therefore, did not allow for an independent verification of the cost-effectiveness of those standards. Given the recent release of those standards, there are few if any buildings that have actually been built to those standards, and no actual measured data were available to test the accuracy of the predictions of the models. The committee was particularly concerned about the estimated NPV benefits attributable to water savings associated with ASHRAE 189.1-2011, which the committee believes would be very difficult to achieve absent extraordinary measures that may not be cost effective for DOD. As buildings are constructed and operated in accord with the ASHRAE standards, validation of actual building performance will become possible.
Third, the consultant used estimated data assembled by ASHRAE staff for the ASHRAE standards analysis. The consultant used a combination of data from actual buildings and estimated data (R.S. Means square foot data) for the analysis of the green building certification systems. The use of data from such different sources makes it difficult to compare the cost-effectiveness of the ASHRAE standards to the cost-effectiveness of the LEED and Green Globes green building certification systems.
The lack of actual incremental cost data calls into question the consultant’s findings related to incremental costs, and, therefore, it calls into question the consultant’s findings related to NPV benefits. Several of the studies analyzed in the committee’s review of the literature (Chapter 4) indicate that the incremental construction costs for LEED-certified buildings are significantly lower than the incremental construction costs estimated by the DOD consultant. The NPV benefits calculated by the consultant would likely have been higher if the consultant had used the average incremental construction costs from those studies.
Therefore, the committee cannot support the absolute net present values calculated by the DOD consultant for ASHRAE standards 90.1-2010 or 189.1-2011 or for the LEED and Green Globes green building certification systems.
Applicability of the Consultant’s Analytical Approach to the DOD Operating Environment
The DOD consultant proposed an analytical approach for use by DOD in making investment decisions for the construction and renovation of buildings today, understanding that future conditions for the value of money, the cost of energy and water, and the cost of solid and hazardous waste disposal is uncertain. The approach recognizes the importance of economic efficiency as one factor in decision making and recognizes that DOD owns and operates most of its facilities for 30 years or longer. It also recognizes that total net savings resulting from an investment will vary by the type of building, by time period, by location and climatic condition, and by the price of resources and services. The proposed approach could potentially be useful as part of an array of decision support tools to be used by DOD. However, as clearly presented by the consultant and reiterated by the committee, effective use of the approach first requires clearly established baselines and accurate, reliable data for the various analyses and may require other refinements to DOD processes and practices.
Gathering and analyzing data related to the costs of energy and water use, operations and maintenance, and hazardous and solid waste disposal for DOD’s portfolio of existing and new facilities could provide a valuable base of information when making decisions about building-related investments. However, to use such data effectively for benefit-cost analyses across the military services and other