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eVALUator™

July 31, 2009
 
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eVALUator is an easy-to-use Windows™-based program that calculates the lifecycle benefits of investments that improve building design. It analyzes the financial benefits from buildings that reduce energy cost, raise employee productivity, and enhance tenant satisfaction.

It also provides building owners, developers, tenants, architects, engineers, and facility managers with the financial information necessary to make sound decisions about building improvements.

An eVALUator economic analysis can replace "simple payback" calculations.

What's wrong with "simple payback" analysis? This traditional method focuses only on how quickly an investment can be recovered, rather than on the investment's long-term profitability. This method typically ignores all costs and savings that occur after payback is reached. It does not differentiate between project alternatives that would offer different lengths of service, nor does it weigh the future stream of savings against the initial investment cost.

Consequently, decisions based on simple payback tend to undervalue the benefits of improved building design. In contrast, eVALUator allows building design teams to understand and capture all available benefits.

An eVALUator financial analysis considers the following factors over the life of a project:

  • financing costs
  • tax implications
  • energy costs
  • replacement costs and intervals
  • operation and maintenance costs
  • opportunity costs for money (discount rates)
  • the impact of inflation
  • non-energy benefits (such as improved occupant productivity and tenant retention)


eVALUator produces a set of "bottom-line" economic parameters as well as a year-by-year cash flow analysis. This includes:

  • net present value of lifecycle costs and savings
  • savings-to-investment ratio
  • adjusted internal rate of return


Additional parameters of interest to developers and lenders include:

  • net cash flow (first-year, and average over the life of the project)
  • annual gross profit
  • annual net income
  • project value


The program's data-entry screens are easy to use. Each data point has a default value, which can be customized to fit the financial profile of each user. Once default values are defined, additional data entry is limited to a few key parameters. Program inputs include traditional life-cycle economic parameters such as:

  • energy costs and savings
  • capital costs
  • discount rate
  • inflation rates for energy, operations and maintenance, and general purchases
  • financing rates
  • loan terms
  • period of analysis
  • repair and replacement costs
  • annual operations and maintenance costs


Other input parameters of interest to owners, developers, and financiers include:

  • productivity improvement rate
  • salary costs
  • time on market
  • capitalization rate
  • average lease rate
  • average occupancy


Of course, many of these input parameters are highly uncertain, particularly during the initial stages of design. This leads to some uncertainty of output parameters.

Consequently, eVALUator automatically performs an uncertainty analysis - it expresses bottom-line numbers with an associated "uncertainty band."

Uncertainty analysis provides the user with necessary information for sound decisions, even though there may not be a high degree of certainty for all inputs. For instance, if (according to the analysis) the lower limit of a particular decision criterion is above the economic threshold, then that decision can be made with confidence.

eVALUator's uncertainty analysis also helps quantify the level of risk associated with specific decisions. In addition, the uncertainty values used in this analysis are related to the project design and development timeline, which means that the default uncertainty values will change over time.

The program's online help utility provides line-by-line documentation of program inputs and outputs.

Download eVALUator

System requirements:

eVALUator 4.0 is available only for the PC Platform. You must have a 486 PC or better running Windows 95 ™ or higher, with at least 16 MB of RAM. Download and uncompress the 7.3 MB ZIP file, and run the contained 'setup.exe' file.

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