Making sustainable, long-term, life cycle energy, cost and carbon decisions is a challenge for universities and other occupiers of large estates. There is consequently a widely-recognised need to develop decision supporting ‘tools’ that address recognised limitations of building energy modelling and support decision makes to think beyond capital costs.
UCL appointed us to review the decision-making process and decision support tools they use in the context of their commitment to a 15% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2020 while reducing operating costs.
We designed and developed a tool for UCL – the UCL Cost and Carbon Tool – to predict energy, carbon and cost performance over a 25 year period and then to calculate payback periods for small building changes, major refurbishments or even whole buildings.
The tool provides important functionality not offered by mainstream building energy modelling software, features we identified during a number of tool design workshops. Users can compare different options and then select the best, long-term, option for the building, in line with UCL’s Carbon Appraisal Methodology.
The tool also helps UCL’s consultants to undertake calculations quickly and in a consistent and transparent way.