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Do you typically perform a LCCA or simple payback analysis? If you do LCCA, what tool do you use? Where do you get the cost and maintenance data?

asked 2018-09-15 12:16:41 -0500

crduggin gravatar image

updated 2018-09-15 15:59:10 -0500

I don't have an LCCA tool that I'm satisfied with and often end up doing simple payback analysis if any cost analysis due to lack of quick availability of cost data. I'm curious what everyone else does. Thanks!

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answered 2018-09-17 17:28:30 -0500

updated 2018-09-17 21:12:56 -0500

  1. Not typically, but we have depending on the client/project.

  2. I prefer to use EnergyPlus to do the LCCA, which is similar enough to BLCC (uses NIST's methodology) but allows me to automate some of the steps (with eppy or the OpenStudio API for example). I've used OpenStudio (with measures) for combined energy and LCCA results and EnergyPlus for LCCA results using annual energy results from elsewhere (see below).

  3. I've used a trial version of RS Means in addition to estimates from the design team's estimator. The ASHRAE Service Life and Maintenance Cost Database is another resource to consider.


Using EnergyPlus for LCCA

  1. The ~/ExampleFiles/1ZoneUncontrolled.idf file has the minimal objects needed to run a sim.
  2. Add the following objects for annual energy and water use (from elsewhere). These objects just need a energy/water use rate and a schedule to produce the annual value.

    • Exterior:Lights
    • Exterior:FuelEquipment
    • Exterior:WaterEquipment
  3. Add the following objects to calculate the annual utility costs using the blended rates (from elsewhere).

    • UtilityCost:Charge:Simple
    • UtilityCost:Tariff
  4. Add the LifeCycleCost:* objects for the LCCA.

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answered 2018-09-17 09:48:00 -0500

To answer your second question: I think several simulation programs include some form of life-cycle cost analysis. I know that EnergyPlus does. I have used a stand alone program called BLCC and I'm sure there are others also.

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Thanks, I've used BLCC before. I knew HAP and Trace have something built in. I didn't realize EnergyPlus did though. Any advice other than RS Means on the cost info?

crduggin gravatar imagecrduggin ( 2018-09-17 10:44:59 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2018-09-15 12:16:41 -0500

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