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 take water for granted and we over-use it and under-price it. It is more valuable than the money we pay to use it.
Consider a data center that uses water for cooling its computers. Saving on its water bill by being more efficient in its water bill will reduce its operating costs. Saving water by installing efficient fixtures, harvesting rainwater, and reusing greywater all save money. Autocase for Buildings uses your local water and wastewater prices to estimate the financial savings of reducing utility water and wastewater.
The data center’s use may reduce the amount available for a nearby town but this increased scarcity is rarely reflected in the price of water the data center pays to the local water utility. When a situation like this occurs, when each user withdraws the amount of water they require without fully taking into account the impact this has on the amount of water available to other users, there is a social cost above the price of water. To be a good neighbor the data center should consider the building’s water use beyond its utility bill.
Saving water is also good for the environment. Autocase uses a social value of water for any water taken from the water table such as using water from a utility or from a well. This is regionally specific.
Water takes electricity to pump it and treat it and the electricity generation, depending on the make up of the local grid, pollutes the air and increases greenhouse gases. Using emission factors and the amount of offset energy from the grid, the societal benefit is monetized in Autocase by applying the social cost to each air pollutant, including: CO2, NOx, SO2, PM2.5, PM10, VOC, and CO.
When you tell Autocase where your building is, it automatically applies the correct water and waterwater rates, water scarcity, and electricity emissions related to water use. All you need to provide is the savings you anticipate or have.
Look for the financial, social and environmental bottom line of water savings, re-use, and harvesting in the upcoming release of Autocase for Buildings.
“Water is both essential and versatile. It is critical to human and ecosystem health, necessary in many industrial processes, indispensable in food and energy production, an important vehicle for disposing of wastes, and integral to many forms of recreation.” – The Marginal Economic Value of Streamflow From National Forests by Thomas C. Brown
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