Price is Not Value

by | Jun 16, 2020 | Economics, Infrastructure, News, Resiliency, Sustainability

You buy something because you value it more than the price you pay.

This is not a difficult concept. But it is a deep concept. The pandemic has highlighted some important price/value mismatches and I’d like to explain how what we, at Autocase, do and how it fits into the post-pandemic world.


As a society, we are realizing that we, and the market, have undervalued some important aspects of the economy and the environment.

  • Clean air is an example where the pandemic has people seeing its value.
  • The pandemic also has made us re-evaluate who adds value and who is a critical worker. We have realized that for some their wages are less than their value.

Sometimes, the opposite is the case.

  • A few months ago, the price of resiliency was seen as too high. Redundant lab infrastructure, excess hospital capacity, and inventory stockpiles of medical equipment were seen as too pricey. Now we understand their value.

When prices don’t reflect value, we make bad decisions. We under- or over-invest.

Green Roofs, Low Impact Development, and Green Infrastructure

Autocase values the many benefits of green infrastructure

Autocase gets beyond the market determined price to the value we, as a society, place on critical infrastructure, buildings, the environment, and people.

Recreational Benefits

Autocase values the non-priced benefits of recreational opportunities

With value correctly estimated, we can make the right investment decisions – decisions such as the correct amount of excess capacity to achieve resilience.

  • Autocase values building design based on the value of the health and productivity of the occupants not just the price to construct the building.
  • Autocase does this by valuing, for example, the health, productivity, and absenteeism benefit of increased air filtration and the productivity benefits of better ventilation for workers and students (as well a thermal comfort, daylight, recreation, access to nature, low carbon, and clean air and water benefits).
Building Views

Autocase values views from a building and the value of indoor plants

Because price is not value, Autocase is needed to value infrastructure and buildings to people, resilience, and the planet.


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