Significance and Use
4.1 Why This Guide Is Needed—The lack of information on economic consequences discourages the introduction of new technologies permitted under performance standards. The economic information needs are further complicated because decisions to adopt or accept a new technology are made by different types of stakeholders (for example, building materials manufacturers, home builders, and home owners). Thus, the type of economic information treated in this guide and the associated standard classifications, practices, adjuncts, and computer programs covers the information needs of the entire group of key stakeholders.
4.2 Use of This Guide by Specificers and Providers—To make efficient choices, decision makers require factual information on both how a particular alternative addresses the relevant performance statements and how much it costs. The O-C-E-C framework enables the specifier to develop the performance statements that satisfy one or more user needs and incorporate them into a request for proposals. Providers respond to the request for proposals by offering designs, materials, products, components, subsystems, or systems for acceptance. Because cost is one aspect of each provider's response, the specifier has an opportunity to request information from the provider that may be used in evaluating economic performance. This guide is intended as a resource from which the specifier compiles lists of information to be collected as part of each provider's response to the request for proposals. It is also intended for use by providers in preparing their response to the specifier. The generic types of information that the specifier may request from the provider in their response to the request for proposals are described in Appendix X1 for benefits and Appendix X2 for costs. A detailed example based on the durability attribute is given in Appendix X3.
4.3 Use of Economic Tools for Evaluating New Technologies—Having a package of economic tools (methods and software) that helps decision makers identify and evaluate benefits and costs when choosing between traditional alternatives and new-technology products, systems, materials, and designs will accelerate the introduction and acceptance of new technologies which are cost effective.
4.4 Use of ASTM Standards on Building Economics—Standard practices for using life-cycle costing (LCC), E917, and the analytical hierarchy process (AHP), E1765, to measure the economic and overall performance of investments in buildings and building systems have been published by ASTM. Two computer programs3,4 that produce economic measures consistent with these practices are available. The Building Maintenance, Repair, and Replacement Database Program and the Discount Factor Tables have been published (Adjuncts to E917) by ASTM to facilitate computing measures of performance for the LCC practice. The economic tools described in this guide apply to the evaluation of all the building elements as described in the series of performance standard guides as well as in the UNIFORMAT II elemental Classification E1557.
1.1 What This Guide Does—This guide helps designers, builders, home owners, and other stakeholders to identify and evaluate benefits and costs in order to make efficient choices between two or more traditional alternatives and between traditional alternatives and new-technology products, systems, materials, and designs. It directs the users to ASTM classifications, practices, adjuncts, and computer programs that implement the appropriate economic method to evaluate these benefits and costs in making technology choices. The focus, however, is on a nine-step process for using two ASTM practices—life-cycle costing (LCC), E917, and the analytical hierarchy process (AHP), E1765—to measure and evaluate the economic and overall performance of investments in single-family attached and detached dwellings. This guide contains three appendixes. The first two are designed to help users identify and evaluate benefits and costs. Appendix X1 contains a classification of benefits and a methodology for estimating these benefits. Appendix X2 contains a classification of costs and a methodology for estimating these costs. Appendix X3 illustrates how to evaluate the economic performance of three alternative carpet materials, two traditional products and a new-technology product, when considering the guide for durability.
1.2 Purpose of This Guide—The purpose of this guide is to help users make cost-effective choices between traditional alternatives and new technologies permitted under performance standards. This guide (1) explains how the lack of economic information discourages the introduction of new technologies; (2) helps decision makers to identify and classify the key types of benefits and costs associated with both new technologies and traditional alternatives; (3) shows how to select alternatives that meet the performance standards, but cost less than traditional alternatives; and (4) shows how to incorporate nonfinancial information into the decision-making process, enabling performance to be defined and using costs and other criteria.
1.3 Relationship of This Guide to Other Performance Standards Guides—In this guide, economic analysis is used to evaluate and compare the economic performance of traditional alternatives and new technologies permitted under performance standards for single-family attached and detached dwellings. Use this economic analysis guide in evaluating alternatives permitted under any of the other 15 performance attributes, either singly or in combination. The objective of economic analysis in this guide is to identify cost-effective choices among traditional alternatives and new technologies permitted under performance standards. The other 15 performance attributes define the scope of the economic analysis. That is, cost-effectiveness derives from better economic value while providing comparable or better technical performance for each attribute's O-C-E-C performance statements. Consequently, to evaluate the economic performance of alternative residential designs, materials, products, components, subsystems, or systems permitted under performance standards, the user of this guide must first select one or more attributes, use the O-C-E-C framework to develop and present the corresponding performance statements, and identify the alternatives to be evaluated. Appendix X3, for example, evaluates carpeting with respect to the durability attribute and the economics attribute.