Coming Soon … Daylighting Benefits

A new version of Autocase for Buildings is in beta testing and over the next few posts we’ll share some of the features you can expect to see come October.

We have grown a lot of plants in our office this year. Blessed with large windows facing south and west we have grown flowers and vegetables from seed.

The first batch of Autocase office hot sauce appeared in the office this week. Orders can be placed here (just kidding). A friendly competition has emerged amongst the gardeners.

Plants are moved around the office by doting parents owners to follow the sun from the south-facing windows to west-facing as the work day progresses. Innovative transportation systems have developed – if anyone takes a day or two off they can be replaced by a plant:

Window-sill space is at a premium and Autocasers jostle and pry their progeny into place to make sure they get maximum daylight.

Just like with plants, providing human building occupants access to natural light (daylighting) makes them more productive and healthier. The triple bottom line of increased daylighting is affected by the monetization of occupant productivity and health.

Daylighting

The new Autocase for Buildings will put a dollar value on the productivity and health benefits of daylighting.

For productivity we use a study that finds that increased exposure to daylight leads to increased sleep duration. Autocase quantifies productivity increases from daylighting through the quantification of the benefits of increased sleep hours. Then, using either building-specific average wages or the default local average industry wage (county level in the US, provincial in Canada), productivity increases are monetized by valuing the increase in productive work hours.

For health benefits, Autocase quantifies the change in risk mortality for occupants as a result of gaining additional sleep hours. The health benefits from daylighting are monetized using the value of statistical life set out by Federal guidance.

This is a developing area of research. We have used the best information we have currently and feel that the benefits can be calculated using the above methods. Autocase economists objectively evaluate the research behind this impact as having an “Acceptable” Rating. More information on the evaluation process can be found here. For this methodology we are keeping an eye open for new studies and evidence. The research got an overall evaluation of 1.4 for both productivity and health benefits of daylighting (1=Acceptable – Monitor; 2=Good – Review Periodically; 3=Excellent – Check Occasionally) so we’ll keep our eyes peeled for more evidence.

If you have suggestions or comments please contact us.

Everyone/every plant loves a bright sunny office. Making building occupants happier makes them healthier and more productive. We started investigating this some time ago, now we are ready. Now you can make the case for these investments with Autocase.

Autocase: Making the business case for high performing and sustainable buildings.

Autocase for Buildings is a software tool that models the environmental and social dollar values of building designs and, together with financial costs, evaluates their net, triple bottom line (TBL) benefit over the life of a project using a rigorous cost-benefit analysis (CBA) framework. With Autocase, the cost and time required to compare design alternatives at any stage of a project is a fraction of today’s custom studies. As a result, design firms can easily evaluate and justify different approaches and, in so doing, contribute to the future economic, social, and environmental success of every project.

For more information about how TBL-CBA would assist your high performing and sustainable building project, go to www.autocase.wpengine.com

 

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