New Recreation Benefit – Open Space Project Goal

Forest bathing. A walk in the park. Having your lunch under a tree rather than at your desk. All are good for you. As such, we’ve has added Open Space as a project goal for your building project. If your design includes green space that allows for recreational activities, Autocase will calculate the benefits to the building occupants and/or the broader community.

When you start a project you can now add Open Space as a project goal:

For an existing project, click on General Inputs and then Edit Project Goals to get to this page:

Activities include walking, picnicking, and various sports and other recreational activities.

Autocase then will calculate the recreation benefits associated with your open space design:

Investments made in open space can provide an opportunity for building occupants and community members to participate in recreation activities. The direct use values people put on recreational opportunities are derived from studies that have used the cost people actually pay to travel to these activities and surveys of users willingness to pay under hypothetical circumstances. Direct use values do not cover the value of living near an open space or simply knowing that the space exists. Autocase puts a dollar value on the occupant benefit (or cost if opportunities are lost) of recreation in an open space using the following approach:

  • The Autocase user selects the recreational activities, the number of building occupants and/or community users as well as the availability of other open spaces with the same recreational opportunities.
  • Direct use values for the recreational activity are taken from studies that have surveyed people on how much they would pay or how much they actually pay to use open space facilities. Autocase then applies a scarcity premium. This scarcity premium allows us reflect a higher value for an activity in areas that lack these amenities. Autocase further localizes the results by applying the city’s cost of living index and inflation to the activity values.
  • We are working on improving the Autocase-supplied default number of users to take into account the weather. We’re already adjusting for the number of sunny days in the building location. We’ll soon also be adjusting recreational use down by the number of extreme heat warnings (using climate change scenarios) as well as up if the temperature is above average (but not rainy or too hot but just right).

Calculating the value of recreation provided by an open space really is easy; you could say it is a walk in the park.

 

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