Standard Active Last Updated: May 06, 2020
ASTM E964-15(2020)e1

Standard Practice for Measuring Benefit-to-Cost and Savings-to-Investment Ratios for Buildings and Building Systems

Significance and Use

5.1 The BCR and SIR provide measures of economic performance in a single number that indicates whether a proposed building or building system is preferred over a mutually exclusive alternative that serves as the base for computing the ratio. It may be contrasted with the life-cycle cost (LCC) method that requires two LCC measures to evaluate the economic performance of a building or building system—one for each alternative.

5.2 The ratio indicates discounted dollar benefits (or savings) per dollar of discounted costs.

5.3 The BCR or SIR can be used to determine if a given building or building system is economic relative to the alternative of not having it.

5.4 The BCR or SIR computed on increments of benefits (or savings) and costs can be used to determine if one design or size of a building or system is more economic than another.

5.5 The BCR or SIR can be used as an aid to select the economically efficient set of projects among many competing for limited funding. The efficient set of projects will maximize aggregate net benefits or net savings obtainable for the budget.


1.1 This practice covers a procedure for calculating and interpreting benefit-to-cost ratios (BCR) and savings-to-investment ratios (SIR) as an aid for making building-related decisions.

1.2 A basic premise of the BCR and SIR methods is that future as well as present benefits and costs arising from a decision are important to that decision, and, if measurable in dollars, should be included in calculating the BCR and SIR.

1.3 Dollar amounts used to calculate BCR and SIR are all discounted, that is, expressed in time-equivalent dollars, either in present value or uniform annual value terms.

1.4 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to SI units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.6 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 04.11
Developed by Subcommittee: E06.81
Pages: 14
DOI: 10.1520/E0964-15R20E01
ICS Code: 91.010.20