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Residential Construction with a Focus on Evaluation of the Life Cycle of Buildings

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The article focuses on highlighting the role of life cycle costing (LCC) in the preparatory and implementation phase of residential projects. It involves the evaluation of several investment scenarios in the pre-investment phase, the choice between variants of the design of the entire building or its parts, and the choice of variants of structures and equipment with acceptable parameters. An innovative method of evaluating the life cycle of buildings is described in the article. This method was tested in selected residential projects realized by Skanska in the Czech Republic. Experience from construction practice shows that the choice of variants, constructions, or equipment of buildings only on the basis of the lowest acquisition costs (lowest bid prices) is wrong. The LCC calculation tool has been designed to model life cycle costs of individual variants of construction designs with different input parameters. It is possible to analyze the components or equipment that have the greatest impact on total life cycle costs. The article presents a tool that evaluates the long-term economic efficiency of the proposed residential buildings in terms of analysis of life cycle costs. The article will also expand the knowledge of the professional and general public about the importance of examining investment and operating costs already in the phase of construction preparation.
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buildings
Article
Residential Construction with a Focus on Evaluation of the Life
Cycle of Buildings
Eduard Hromada 1, Stanislav Vitasek 1, Jakub Holcman 1, Renata Schneiderova Heralova 1
and Tomas Krulicky 2,*


Citation: Hromada, E.; Vitasek, S.;
Holcman, J.; Schneiderova Heralova,
R.; Krulicky, T. Residential
Construction with a Focus on
Evaluation of the Life Cycle of
Buildings. Buildings 2021,11, 524.
https://doi.org/10.3390/
buildings11110524
Academic Editor: Bjorn Birgisson
Received: 16 September 2021
Accepted: 4 November 2021
Published: 7 November 2021
Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral
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Copyright: © 2021 by the authors.
Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
This article is an open access article
distributed under the terms and
conditions of the Creative Commons
Attribution (CC BY) license (https://
creativecommons.org/licenses/by/
4.0/).
1Faculty of Civil Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague, Thakurova 7,
166 29 Prague, Czech Republic; eduard.hromada@fsv.cvut.cz (E.H.); stanislav.vitasek@fsv.cvut.cz (S.V.);
jakub.holcman@fsv.cvut.cz (J.H.); heralova@fsv.cvut.cz (R.S.H.)
2School of Expertness and Valuation, Institute of Technology and Business in ˇ
CeskéBudˇejovice,
Okružní517/10, 370 01 ˇ
CeskéBudˇejovice, Czech Republic
*Correspondence: krulicky@mail.vstecb.cz; Tel.: +420-387-842-159
Abstract:
The article focuses on highlighting the role of life cycle costing (LCC) in the preparatory
and implementation phase of residential projects. It involves the evaluation of several investment
scenarios in the pre-investment phase, the choice between variants of the design of the entire building
or its parts, and the choice of variants of structures and equipment with acceptable parameters. An
innovative method of evaluating the life cycle of buildings is described in the article. This method
was tested in selected residential projects realized by Skanska in the Czech Republic. Experience from
construction practice shows that the choice of variants, constructions, or equipment of buildings only
on the basis of the lowest acquisition costs (lowest bid prices) is wrong. The LCC calculation tool has
been designed to model life cycle costs of individual variants of construction designs with different
input parameters. It is possible to analyze the components or equipment that have the greatest impact
on total life cycle costs. The article presents a tool that evaluates the long-term economic efficiency of
the proposed residential buildings in terms of analysis of life cycle costs. The article will also expand
the knowledge of the professional and general public about the importance of examining investment
and operating costs already in the phase of construction preparation.
Keywords: life cycle costing; residential construction; software; data; environment
1. Introduction
1.1. Construction’s Life Cycle Costs (LCC)
The article deals with the description of the innovative method and LCC calculation
tool for evaluation of construction’s life cycle costs (LCC). Life cycle costing and analysis
are primarily a tool for informed decisions. The analysis is important in finding the
best solution when the environmental and long-term sustainability aspects are taken into
account. Life cycle assessment of investment residential projects is also part of the building
quality assessment system. Life cycle costing should be undertaken for each construction
project (residential buildings, industrial buildings, transport infrastructure, etc.).
From the point of view of LCC, green buildings are also widely discussed at present.
From an economic point of view, however, the reduced costs for the operation of green
buildings are compensated right at the beginning of their construction by increased costs
for their construction. The cost-saving benefits can only be seen from an environmental
point of view thanks to the ecosystem services provided by green buildings [1].
The cost of creating an LCC model is very minor in comparison with the total con-
struction and operating costs of a construction over its lifetime. The chapters of the article
comprehensively describe the method of approach to the issue, which arose in cooperation
between the private and university environment. Bringing new knowledge and innova-
Buildings 2021,11, 524. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11110524 https://www.mdpi.com/journal/buildings
Buildings 2021,11, 524 2 of 20
tive ways of working to solve specific situations in the application of LCC in residential
buildings are gradually clarified in the article and summarized in the final chapter.
The aim is to find the optimal solution of modern residential construction in terms of
technical, economic, and environmental aspects. Life cycle costing is important for both
the construction company and the potential users of the buildings. Both of these parties
are clearly, in advance, informed about the total cost of construction from the beginning to
the end of life of building. It is important to realize that not only investment costs but also
operating costs play an important role in achieving optimal value for money. Finding the
optimum design options will better achieve the desired benefit of the end user.
Authors [
2
] dealt with the determination of construction costs of three different
construction systems. The construction systems considered are reinforced concrete framing,
structural steel framing, and cold-formed steel framing. In terms of LCC, cold-formed steel
framing is 13.4% higher than the other mentioned construction systems.
Authors [
3
] analyzed the construction industry of the Czech Republic and identified
leaders in this industry using artificial neural networks (ANN). In this context, authors [
4
]
carried out an assessment of the economic added value of construction companies using
ANN. Following this finding, value generators of companies operating in the construction
industry were subsequently identified [5].
As authors [
6
] find, the value added in the construction sector behaves very procycli-
cally with sectoral unemployment anticipating the upward trend of overall unemployment
rate in the economy in bad times but lags behind in good times. Workers in theconstruction
industry are significantly more vulnerable to unemployment throughout the economic
cycle than workers in other industries [
7
]. As the construction sector is very sensitive to
institutional shocks [
8
], legal framework and other institutional factors can help sustain the
construction sector stability throughout the economic cycle [9].
1.2. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
To apply life cycle assessment (LCA) and LCC, it is necessary to know the total life of
buildings. Authors [
10
] dealt with the life of the building and for this purpose created a
prediction model based on deep-learning and traditional machine learning. Da-ta on the
lifespan of buildings in South Korea was used to create this prediction model.
The life cycle assessment is also closely linked to the recycling potential and the
environmental impact of materials incorporated in buildings. Authors [
11
] deal with the
demolition of the building, in order to test its applicability at the end of its life and assess
the recycling potential of the existing building.
The aim of the owner and real estate management of a residential building is to make
decisions that ensure that the building will always be well traded on the real estate market
(both in terms of long-term lease and possible sale), there will be no excessive degradation
of individual structural elements (especially elements of long-term life), and at the same
time the accumulated funds invested in its maintenance and renewal will be minimized
in the long term. Achieving this state—the optimum of the total costs incurred—is not an
easy task at all. The investor and a construction company are required to use appropriate
LCC assessment tools already in the early construction preparation phase. The owner and
real estate management of a residential building should also have a long-term strategic
plan for maintenance and renovation and a plan for further development of the building,
to which the LCC assessment can make a significant contribution.
Life cycle assessment and life cycle costing is a method that is used to evaluate the
total cost of ownership of a building. LCC is a method to help determine the cost of
construction work and to facilitate decision-making in cases where there are alternative
ways to achieve the objectives for the customer and the future user of the construction and
where these alternatives differ, not only in initial costs but also in subsequent operating
costs. The method makes it possible to compare these alternatives on the same basis [12].
Life cycle costing is particularly useful for estimating total costs at the early stage of
a project. The operating costs that will be incurred during the life cycle of the building
Buildings 2021,11, 524 3 of 20
represent a multiple of the original construction costs. Decisions in the construction
preparation phase significantly affect the total life cycle costs. Key cost factors include,
in particular, the size of the building, the number of structural elements, technical and
mechanical service equipment, and the choice of construction materials [13].
Deciding on the optimal variant of construction is very time consuming and a com-
plex process. This is due to the complexity of the building permitting process and the
complicated technological processes during construction. The ESORD IT tool tries to solve
this problem using computer algorithms with multi-criteria analysis. This IT tool allows to
compare different types of solutions based on mathematical calculations using the Monte
Carlo method. By using this IT tool, the investor and clients can better optimize future
cash flow plans [
14
]. According to study [
15
], investors in residential projects can also be
foreign investors without a negative impact on the economy of the Czech Republic.
Life cycle analysis and life cycle costing methods can be used successfully, for example,
when planning residential heating systems. The article [
16
] describes the use of small
thermostats that will save energy without reducing the user comfort of living. The study
found that heat pumps are now often installed in new well insulated homes and are
considered an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fueled heating systems.
PFI/PPP (Private Finance Initiative/Public Private Partnerships) projects must also
address the long-term financial efficiency and technical performance, given their long
service life for the public and private sectors. The application of whole life costing in
PFI/PPP projects is addressed, for example, by publication [
17
]. Other authors are dealing
with the topic of nearly Zero Energy Building (nZEB), cost-optimal level, reconstruction
and building certifications [1820].
The article [
21
] deals with the search for a cost-optimal level of energy consumption in
buildings. The cost-optimal level should be used to set cost-effective minimum legislative
requirements for newly built or renovated buildings with regard to the lowest possible
total costs and with a minimized impact on the environment, i.e., with the minimum
primary energy consumed. To determine the cost optimum, parameters such as different
values of the heat transfer coefficient of peripheral structures, various heating sources,
methods of water heating, ventilation systems, lighting, etc., are alternatively determined
for reference buildings. This article is followed in a given field of research, for example,
by articles [
21
23
]. In connection with these legislative requirements, many biogas plants
have been built, where energy is obtained from plant biomass. The energy thus obtained
used in buildings then makes these buildings environmentally friendly for a long time [
24
].
The professional literature does not clearly define the evaluation of buildings in terms
of their long-term sustainability. The three basic pillars of building sustainability are
considered: the environmental pillar, the economic pillar, and the social pillar
[2527]
.
Commonly used building rating certification systems (for example, LEED, BREEAM,
WELL, DGNB, SBToolCZ) define a rather long list of criteria [28,29].
The paper [
30
] presents the results of an LCA study comparing the most commonly
used building materials with some eco-materials using three different impact categories.
The aim is to deepen the knowledge of energy and environmental specifications of building
materials. The paper [
31
] highlights the importance of LCA as a decision-making support
tool. It discusses LCA methodologies and applications within the building sector, reviewing
some of the life-cycle studies applied to buildings or building materials and component
combinations within the last 15 years in Europe and the United States.
Many authors examine the life cycle costs of individual building materials, especially
concrete [
32
34
]. They often focus on the link between the energy consumption needed to
produce the building material and the overall environmental footprint [
35
37
] and the use
of this material over its lifetime. These authors strive to find the optimal building materials
and technologies in terms of minimal environmental footprint and reasonable production
and maintenance costs. In this context, it is necessary to mention a study [
38
] that deals
with the use of various environmentally friendly additional cementitious materials in terms
of sustainability, cost, and durability for future implementation in buildings.
Buildings 2021,11, 524 4 of 20
1.3. 3D Printing and Digitization
The combination of 3D printing of buildings and life cycle assessment for many
authors [
39
41
] is becoming an innovative topic. Preparation of 3D building models
requires very detailed planning of all structural elements of the building. This source data
can also be used for life cycle assessment. The created 3D model of the building also allows
to design various variants of the technical and economical solution which also have an
impact on the total life cycle costs of the building. 3D planning can thus apply similar
principles as used by the LCC calculation tool presented in this article. A similar approach
can also be applied to constructions using BIM (Building Information Modeling) [42].
Digitization also has great potential for reducing energy consumption and related
environmental impacts. However, the empirical evidence gathered in the article [
43
]
suggests that this is often accompanied by only small effects. For example, the effects of
energy savings in smart homes and smart metering technologies tend to be modest, in the
low single-digit percentage range.
When calculating the life cycle costs of a construction, it is important to set the correct
time interval. The authors [
44
] state the usual interval of 50 years. The problem is the
different service life of individual structures and materials. The simplified approach may
not fully respect recovery and maintenance cycles.
Table 1shows the usual structure of life cycle costs that are used in the Czech Republic.
Table 1. Structure of life cycle costs.
Cost Section Type of Costs Example of Costs
Investment
(acquisition) costs
Design and other fees Design work
Construction costs Realization of construction
Land Acquisition of land
Secondary costs related to
locating the building
Construction site equipment
during construction
Costs related to machines,
equipment, inventory Object inventory
Operation costs
Power supply costs Electrical energy
Water and wastewater costs Water supply
Waste disposal costs Waste disposal
Service fees, insurance Construction insurance
Security costs Building security
Administrative fees Property tax
Maintenance costs Maintenance costs
Maintenance of building elements
Renovation costs Renovation costs Modernization of building
elements
End of life costs
Liquidation costs Disposal of the building
Cost of recovery of rubble Materials recycling
Landscaping costs Terrain work
2. Materials and Methods
The Life Cycle Cost represents the total costs spent in connection with the product
service life. In case of the building industry, they include the costs of the procurement of
construction and engineering structures, costs of maintenance and renovation of structures
and equipment, operating costs and costs related to the end of the life cycle. Most evaluation
cases address costs spent in the building economic life interval.
When deciding on the selection of options, only purchasing costs are often assessed
which is a mistake because the operating, maintenance, and renovation costs are not taken
Buildings 2021,11, 524 5 of 20
into account. The costs spent in the building operation phase make up a significant part of
the building LCC.
A general description of the LCC is given in international standards ISO, specifically
in ISO 15686-5 (730951) Buildings and other structures—Life cycle planning, Part 5: As-
sessment of LCC that provides a general guideline for the execution of building, other
structures and components
´
LCC analyses. The LCC assessment should account for the
costs and cash flows resulting from project phases, operations, and other building life cycle
phases until its demolition.
The calculation of the LCC is an economic method of the evaluation that takes into
consideration all relevant costs incurred within a defined time interval whereby it takes
into account also the time value of money (by the calculation of the LCC net present value).
The net present value for the analyzed period is the current value of future costs to be
spent during the project life cycle. As the calculation of the LCC deals with costs rather
than revenues, it is more practical to treat the costs as positive values in this particular case.
The calculation of the LCC indicator can be written as the following general relationship:
LCC =
T
t=0
Ct
(1+r)t(1)
where:
C
t
—annual cost in individual years of the project life cycle in EUR after deducting
positive cash flows.
r—discount rate (p.a.).
t—year of evaluation taking values from 0 to T.
T—length of the evaluated period in years.
The LCC analysis becomes a natural component of the investment project evalua-
tion. Experience from the execution of practical development projects indicates that the
identification of options, structures, or equipment of buildings based solely on the lowest
acquisition costs (the lowest price quotation) is a mistake. The investors
´
activities should
focus on economically sustainable projects. That means projects with the lowest LCC. This
may be achieved by the integration of the LCC analysis to the building design.
The developed solution, the functionality of which is described in the next section, is
a proper tool for the informed decision making.
2.1. LCC Calculation Tool
The LCC calculation tool (application software) was developed by the authors’ team
for optimization of decision making in residential construction. The LCC calculation tool
is used for the calculation of the LCC for ground structures in Microsoft Excel. The LCC
calculation includes the costs of acquisition, maintenance, service, renovation, and energy
consumption for designed development project options.
It is a complex tool, the operation of which is subject to the entry of input values to
several separated topic-related spreadsheets. This separation was chosen for the sake of
better clarity of data entered to the SW. The tool offers the possibility of the entry of several
options of the design. Each option makes it possible to follow up to a 60 year period of the
project including the possibility to postpone the starting date of its operation. This time
shift takes into account a postponement and the lead time of the construction works.
The proposed structure of the LCC calculation tool is based on scientific and business
principles associated with long-term research work of the authors of the article at the Czech
Technical University in Prague [
45
47
], a detailed analysis of available scientific research
work of other researchers (key sources are part of Section 1) and practical experience
from the cooperating multinational construction company Skanska, which was also the
application site of the created LCC calculation tool. Based on these aspects, a clear architect
LCC calculation tool was created. The structure of the LCC calculation tool itself is shown
below (Figure 1), where each part (highlighted in blue) represents a key section of the LCC
calculation supplemented by demands from both the market and academic environment.
Buildings 2021,11, 524 6 of 20
Buildings 2021, 11, x FOR PEER REVIEW 6 of 20
Czech Technical University in Prague [45–47], a detailed analysis of available scientific
research work of other researchers (key sources are part of Section 1) and practical expe-
rience from the cooperating multinational construction company Skanska, which was also
the application site of the created LCC calculation tool. Based on these aspects, a clear
architect LCC calculation tool was created. The structure of the LCC calculation tool itself
is shown below (Figure 1), where each part (highlighted in blue) represents a key section
of the LCC calculation supplemented by demands from both the market and academic
environment.
Figure 1. Structure of the LCC calculation tool.
A benefit of the SW tool is the possibility to model the life cycle costs for individual
design options with different input parameters. That means that the user can choose the
more efficient solution for him/her. For instance, he/she may find out what will be the
impacts of a more expensive but energy saving option like not only on energy costs but
on the total LCC, too. Similarly, if he/she includes a “maintenance” free equipment that
requires higher acquisition costs, there is an apparent impact residing in the reduction of
the maintenance costs but also in the value of the total costs of this project design option.
The following subsections describe individual spreadsheets that are included in the
calculation of the LCC in the designed SW tool.
2.2. Recapitulation
The spreadsheet Recapitulation is used to summarize the basic identifiers of the pro-
ject and a clear summary of the individual variants of the LCC calculation. The software
shows both figures and graphic representation of individual LCC sections and the total
LCC of the project including key parameters of the calculation (the nominal discount rate
and the monitoring period duration).
The following calculation scheme (sum of partial parts) is used for the calculation of
the total present value of the LCC in all project options:
Acquisition costs of structures included in the maintenance, operation, and service
(part 1) (CA1).
Costs of maintenance, service, and operation (CM1).
Renovation costs (CR).
Acquisition costs (part 2) (CA2).
Figure 1. Structure of the LCC calculation tool.
A benefit of the SW tool is the possibility to model the life cycle costs for individual
design options with different input parameters. That means that the user can choose the
more efficient solution for him/her. For instance, he/she may find out what will be the
impacts of a more expensive but energy saving option like not only on energy costs but
on the total LCC, too. Similarly, if he/she includes a “maintenance” free equipment that
requires higher acquisition costs, there is an apparent impact residing in the reduction of
the maintenance costs but also in the value of the total costs of this project design option.
The following subsections describe individual spreadsheets that are included in the
calculation of the LCC in the designed SW tool.
2.2. Recapitulation
The spreadsheet Recapitulation is used to summarize the basic identifiers of the project
and a clear summary of the individual variants of the LCC calculation. The software shows
both figures and graphic representation of individual LCC sections and the total LCC of
the project including key parameters of the calculation (the nominal discount rate and the
monitoring period duration).
The following calculation scheme (sum of partial parts) is used for the calculation of
the total present value of the LCC in all project options:
Acquisition costs of structures included in the maintenance, operation, and service
(part 1) (CA1).
Costs of maintenance, service, and operation (CM1).
Renovation costs (CR).
Acquisition costs (part 2) (CA2).
Costs of service and maintenance costs (CM2).
Property insurance (CI).
The total present value of the LCC in all project options is calculated according to the
following formula:
The total present val ue o f the LCC =CA1+CM1+CR+CA2+CM2+CI(2)
Buildings 2021,11, 524 7 of 20
The components of the calculation scheme are converted to the current value in
individual periods using the discount factor.
To compare the individual investment variants, two additional indicators were
further defined
:
LCC per 1 m
2
of the floor area—the lower the value of the indicator, the more advan-
tageous is the proposed investment variant in terms of LCC.
LCC per 1m2o f the f loor area =The total present value o f the LCC
The g eneral gross f l oor area (3)
The g eneral gross f l oor area
=net f l oor are a o f a partme nts
+f lo or area o f shared premis es
(4)
LCC efficiency indicator—the higher the value of this indicator is achieved, the
more the investment variant takes into account the principles of LCC. This is a
dimensionless number.
LCC e f f ic iency in dicato r =The total construction costs
The total present val ue o f the LCC (5)
2.3. Acquisition Costs
The spreadsheet Acquisition Costs is used for the calculation of the total acquisition
construction costs of individual project options. Acquisition costs are divided into two
groups. The first group (C
A1
) are the structures
´
acquisition costs included in the mainte-
nance, operation, and renovation. The calculation of service, maintenance, and renovation
costs (C
M1
) for this group of construction elements is based on individual basis. This means
that data on service life, maintenance intensity, service intensity, and operating costs are
entered individually for each element. The other category includes remaining acquisition
costs (C
A2
), where the maintenance, service, and renovation costs are expressed by a lump
sum (CM2).
Principle of calculation of key cost items:
The total acquisition construction costs (C
A
) are calculated as the sum of acquisition
costs of individual structural elements that are compliant with the usual structure of
company budgets.
From the set of structural elements, those for which maintenance costs are calculated
individually (CA1) are excluded.
The calculation of remaining acquisition costs (i.e., for other structures) is the deduc-
tion of the CA1from the total acquisition construction costs (CA).
The calculation of service, maintenance, and renovation costs (C
M2
)is based on a
percent rate defined by the SW user from the basis of acquisition costs (CA2).
The insurance calculation is based on a percent rate defined by the SW user from the
basis of the total acquisition construction costs.
The acquisition construction costs (C
A
) are calculated according to the
following formula
:
CA=CP+CFW +CSUB +CSUP +CIF +CF FE +CS+CEW (6)
where:
CP—Preliminaries.
CFW—Facilitating Works.
CSUB—Substructure.
CSUP—Superstructure.
CIF—Internal Finishes.
CFFE—Fittings, Furnishings, and Equipment.
CS—Services.
Buildings 2021,11, 524 8 of 20
CEW—External Works.
CA=CA1+CA2(7)
The service, maintenance, and operation costs (C
M1
) are calculated according to the
following formula:
CM1=CM+CS+CE+CG+CW(8)
where:
CM—building maintenance and renovation costs,
CS—costs of servicing technologies and equipment,
CE—electricity consumption costs,
CG—natural gas consumption costs,
CW—water consumption costs.
The service, maintenance, and renovation costs (C
M2
) are calculated according to the
following formula:
CM2=CA2IC100 (9)
where:
I
c
—index for calculation of the service, maintenance and renovation costs. In the case
study, an index value of 1 is used.
The insurance costs are calculated according to the following formula:
The insurance costs =CAII100 (10)
where:
I
I
—index for calculation of the insurance costs. In the case study, an index value of 0.2
is used.
The cost items are converted to the current value in individual periods using the
discount factor.
2.4. Model Parameter
The Model Parameters spreadsheet is used for the entry of key inputs for the calcu-
lation of the net present value of total LCC such as the length of the monitoring period,
inflation rate, actual discount rate, anticipated postponement of the project commencement,
and anticipated construction period for designed options. Expected postponement of
construction start and the estimated construction time immediately affects the building
operation starting date and related calculation of maintenance, service, etc., costs.
Other entered inputs that affect the additional indicators are the floor area of apart-
ments, floor area of shared premises, number of apartments, and parking spaces.
Principle of calculation of key cost items:
The general gross floor area = floor area of apartments + floor area of shared premises,
The operation starting date = expected construction works starting date delay +
estimated construction time + 1,
The nominal discount rate is based on the inflation rate and real discount rate:
Nominal discount rate =(1+actual discount rate)
(1+inflation rate)1 (11)
2.5. Structural Elements
The spreadsheet Structural Element is used for the entry of key inputs for the calcula-
tion of the present net value of the total LCC such as the acquisition price, area, service life,
maintenance costs, individual structural element service regularity, and costs.
Moreover, the spreadsheet allows to insert to the structural elements the degree of
maintenance level lu. Maintenance level lu is used to adjust the service life and maintenance
costs (for details see the Table 2below—initial values).
Buildings 2021,11, 524 9 of 20
Table 2. Maintenance level.
Maintenance Level lu Annual Costs Service Life
P Sub-standard maintenance Reduction by 20% Reduction by 5%
S Standard maintenance No change No change
N
Above-standard maintenance
Increase by 20% Increase by 5%
Table 2describes the coefficients of lu, where the basic assumption is the fact that in
the case of sub-standard (P) or above-standard (N) maintenance, the maintenance costs of
the component are reduced/increased by 20%. The selected method of maintenance subse-
quently has an effect on the service life of the given structural element (reduction/increase
by 5%, possibly no change). These proposed values are based on long-term university
research already mentioned [
45
47
]. However, as indicated above, these are design values
that can be adjusted individually for each element.
The worksheet allows the user to enter key and additional inputs, including verbal
characteristics of the project in variants. The service costs per year correspond to one of the
higher values:
The service costs (percent-based derived) = annual maintenance costs (at the standard
maintenance) per a unit of measure (MU)
×
percent of annual maintenance costs per
the MU.
The service costs (the value per the MU is entered manually).
2.6. Operation and Energy
The spreadsheet Operation and Energy is used for the calculation of energy price during
the monitoring period for individual design options. Consumption of three types of energy
is monitored: electricity, gas, and water. In most cases, the proposed technologies (air
conditioning, heating, elevators, or lighting) do not consume water as a source of energy.
However, regarding the consumption of water in the household, throughout the building,
office buildings, and apartment buildings have different water consumption. With a higher
emphasis on ecology, it is possible to design the use of sanitary equipment with reduced
water consumption (toilets, shower heads, irrigation systems, etc.). The cost of annual water
consumption can be compared to the cost of electricity consumed within a
given building
.
The calculations are based on designed energy consumption for individual techno-
logical systems included in the project (usually in the document called Building energy
performance certificate (BEPC)). The calculations are based on the energy price prevailing
at the time of the conclusion of this spreadsheet. To estimate the price in the following
monitored years, a percentage increase in energy prices is used, which can take into account
the development of market prices. This makes it possible to include the current prices in
the calculation at any time as the input conditions. Each option specifies eight pre-defined
technologies that could be included in the project. Moreover, there is a so-called optional
item available that can be used for the entry of any technology whatsoever that has been
added to the project. It is not always necessary to take into account all technologies, but
only those that have a great impact on costs. The last item is the section Others that reflects
the remaining energy consumption from the BEPC.
For the calculation, it is necessary to enter the input information, which are the
annual total energy consumption according to PENB (Energy performance certificate of the
building) (the input value for the calculation of the section Others), the Current Price (the
input value for the calculation in the auxiliary table on the spreadsheet Discount Factors),
and the anticipated price growth.
For selected components, the energy consumption, the risk of increasing energy
consumption, and the device recovery cycle are entered. Energy consumption is based on
the project design.
Buildings 2021,11, 524 10 of 20
The auxiliary price calculation table on the Discount factor spreadsheet calculates first
the price growth and then the individual measure unit prices are discounted. This way,
calculated prices are entered into summary calculations that are located below the options
on the spreadsheet Operation and Energy.
The total price for each technology is the sum of annual costs of the given energy. The
sum of energy costs within the entire monitoring period is calculated as the sum of all costs
for individual types of energy and technology.
The calculations of all technologies are designed in the same way and, therefore,
only the assignment of the amount of energy consumed to the right input parameters is
important. These parameters are entered for individual technologies or to the section “Op-
tional Item”. In the section Others, chosen technologies are deducted from the total energy
consumption. This guarantees that the entire project costs (not only chosen technologies)
are accounted for.
2.7. Structure
On the spreadsheet Structure, there is a key calculation tool for the partial parameters
of the total net present value of the LCC such as the service life including lu (maintenance
level), number of renovation cycles in the MP (the monitoring period), acquisition costs,
renovation costs, maintenance costs including the lu, the number of service cycles in the
MP and costs of service of structural elements of individual design options.
Moreover, the spreadsheet makes it possible to enable or disable individual structural
elements that are included or are not included in the calculation of the total net present
LCC value.
Principle of calculation of key cost items:
1.
The service life including the lu = the service life
×
maintenance level lu (the service
life according to the standard level).
2. Acquisition costs = area ×measure unit price.
3.
Renovation costs = acquisition costs
×
number of renovation cycles during the LCC
monitoring period.
4.
Maintenance costs including the lu = maintenance costs/year
×
area
×
LCC monitor-
ing period.
5.
Service costs = number of service cycles in the monitoring period
×
service costs/year.
The cost items are converted to the current value in individual periods using the
discount factor.
2.8. Renovation, Maintenance, and Operation
The spreadsheet Renovation, Maintenance, and Operation is primarily designated for
the graphic representation of acquisition costs, renovation costs, maintenance costs, service
costs, and operation costs broken down to individual years converted to the present value
using the discount factor. The spreadsheet includes seven diagrams (one for each option)
that are accompanied with auxiliary calculations. A summary table is available for the
service, renovation, and maintenance with three maximum and minimum cost values for
individual structural elements.
2.9. Discount Factor
The spreadsheet Discount Factor is an auxiliary spreadsheet for the calculation of
discount factors for individual intervals of the entire monitoring period for individual
design options. This also includes auxiliary calculations for the determination of the energy
price measurement unit and it also monitors the development of prices of electricity, gas,
and water.
The input values used for the calculation of discount factors are based on the spread-
sheet Model Parameters and the input values used for the calculation of the energy price
based on the spreadsheet Operation and Energy.
Principle of calculation of key items:
Buildings 2021,11, 524 11 of 20
The following formula is used for the calculation of the discount factors:
Discount factor =1
(1+i)n1 (12)
where:
I—nominal discount rate.
n—relevant period.
The nominal discount rate is based on the inflation rate and real discount rate
(Equation (11)).
The monitoring period, i.e., the number of intervals n, may range from the minimum
value of 0 to the maximum of 65 years. The reduction of inflation rate and the actual
discount rate, i.e., the total nominal discount rate is based on the actual condition of the
national economy and enterprise parameters when assessing projects.
In the energy price development calculation, the growth/drop is considered according
to the previous year value. The discounted price in the period is calculated by multiplying
the price of the period and a discount factor for the same period. Thus, it is calculated for
all energy and all variants of the project.
3. Results
The building with basic parameters specified in the Table 3was entered to the LCC
calculation tool. The building (an apartment house) is located in Prague in the Czech
Republic. The design envisaged five space heating and water heating options. None of the
options will change the civil engineering design of the building.
Table 3. Building basic data.
Built up area (m2)612.76
Number of above ground floors 6
Number of underground floors 1
Number of apartments 22
Number of apartment users 72
Number of non-residential (commercial) units 1
Number of users of commercial units 5
Number of parking places (units) 28 + 5
BEPC category B
For a more detailed breakdown of the gross floor areas (GFA) see the following
Table 4
.
This information is given for the use hereof to better understand the project.
Table 4. Building area and bay data.
General gross floor area (m2)4905.60
Gross floor area of underground floor (m2)3776.20
Basement gross floor area (m2)1129.40
Floor area of apartments (m2)1743.49
Enclosure (m3)15,315.00
Energy/media consumption data was calculated based on the above information on
the building as in the design documentation and energy performance certificates. These
values are assumed in the model presented. The total energy supplied per annum, i.e.,
Buildings 2021,11, 524 12 of 20
227,879 kWh, is to be considered to be the most important value. This value is defined in
more detail in the following Table 5. The average temperatures in the heating season in
the given locality are used for the calculation. Heat losses include all structures, including
additional phenomena such as infiltration and ventilation. The total value of heat losses is
determined from the energy label (BEPC).
Table 5. Building energy balance.
Building thermal loss, power required for heating (kW) 120
Power required for warm water heating in peak hours (kW) 25
Annual energy demand for heating (kWh/year) 157,466
Annual energy demand for warm water heating (kWh/year) 70,413
Total energy supplied (kWh/year) 227,879
Table 5further describes the values found for the power required for heating and hot
water. Here, too, it is clear that water is not taken as a source of energy, but as a medium in
which a certain amount of electricity or gas must be used in order for water to be usable
for ordinary household activities. The exact power to ensure the difference between heat
losses is based on reference variant 1, which is also included in the BEPC. Each technology
has a different performance.
An indicative project budget (building costs) was drawn up based on the design
documentation for the joint building permit and the Czech Republic Customary Pricing
System (the II/2020 price level). For a recapitulation of individual cost groups and total
building costs without assessed space and water heating options, see the following Table 6.
Gas-fired condensation boilers were chosen as the reference option for the LCC analy-
sis. This option envisages the installation of a central boiler room with two series-connected
boilers with the total capacity of 140 kW. In general, this is a very common heating method
in the Czech Republic. The following variants are the most commonly used, available
on the construction market or even state-supported heating and hot water options for
residential real estate. The tool itself does not offer these options. This means that a market
analysis of the offered structures must first be performed, which are then incorporated into
the model.
Investment technological systems and construction works costs related to their pro-
curement and operation were calculated for each option (Table 7). Moreover, the calculation
includes operational costs, i.e., costs of the consumed energy, water, system operation, and
maintenance costs and technological systems renovation.
The monitoring period was set to 20 years taking into account the service life of the
technology systems assessed as their standard service life is maximum 20 years, as a rule,
if not subject to a major renovation investment. After 20 years, the utility control center
is considered obsolete, and it is supposed to be refurbished. The monitoring period of
20 years is recommended also by local legal regulations reflecting mainly the Directive
2010/31/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of the European Union on the
energy performance of buildings [
48
] and other European legislative documents dealing
with LCC and energy performance. The heat source is supposed to be partly renovated; it
resides in the replacement of the most stressed component of each system. A 4% discount
rate was considered in the LCC calculation model. The discount rate is set the same for
all variants so that the result is comparable. The change in discount rates can be changed
when creating scenarios of economic development. The issue of combining the discount
and inflation rates is addressed using the real and nominal discount rates. The values then
enter into all calculations of dynamic economic indicators.
Buildings 2021,11, 524 13 of 20
Table 6. Building costs of the concerned project.
Buildings Costs Recapitulation Price Ex VAT (EUR)
Ground works 483,671.23
Foundation structures 428,790.66
Vertical and complete structures 496,146.35
Horizontal structures 626,364.59
Finish, floors, and installation of windows and doors 581,251.15
Tubing—connection line 31,543.71
Other structures and works, demolition 179,531.29
Floor covering 63,139.59
Thermal insulation 75,725.79
Lighting structures 257,088.09
Carpentry structures 44,243.80
Dry work structures 6845.76
Tinsmith0s structures 4104.45
Locksmith0s structures 165,674.70
Floors 216,201.56
Finishing works 83,478.01
Sanitary systems—internal sewer system 58,944.74
Sanitary systems—internal water pipeline 68,768.86
Sanitary systems—fittings and fixtures 93,329.17
Central heating—distribution pipelines 49,120.61
Central heating—fittings 24,560.31
Central heating—floor heating, bathroom electric ladders 143,132.94
Electric installation and heavy current systems 186,658.33
Electric installations—communication systems 29,472.37
Ventilation—forced air extraction 34,384.43
Total price ex VAT (EUR) 4,432,171.20
Table 7. Description of options.
Space Heating and Warm
Water Heating Energy Carrier Heat Source
Option 1 (reference) Gas 2 gas-fired condensation boilers
Option 2 Gas, solar energy
2 gas-fired condensation boilers,
16 plate photothermic collectors
Option 3 Ambient energy, electric energy
from the distribution network
1 thermal pump, 1 electric boiler
Option 4 Energy from air, electric energy
from the distribution network
2 thermal pumps,
1 electric boiler
Option 5 Biomass 2 pellet boiler
Buildings 2021,11, 524 14 of 20
For an economic comparison of individual options see the following Table 8. The
option 1 is the most beneficial from the point of view of investment costs. Neverthe-
less, from the point of view of operating costs, it is not an advantageous technology for
the residents or operator, as the case may be. On the other hand, the low investment
costs can counterbalance the high operating costs and this makes this option one of the
most acceptable.
Table 8. Results resulting from the model.
Space Heating and
Warm Water Heating Option 1 Option 2 Option 3 Option 4 Option 5
Investment costs
(EUR) 28,127.93 67,103.04 110,177.54 98,903.9 35,327.84
Energy costs
(EUR/year) 9973.74 8895.1 5481.62 7375.36 9244.54
Total energy
costs (EUR) 199,474.71 177,902.01 109,632.43 147,507.23 184,890.89
NPV energy
costs (EUR) 135,546.32 120,887.32 74,497.02 100,233.57 125,636.38
Operating costs
(EUR/year) 12,147.41 11,068.78 7655.3 9549.04 11,418.22
Operating costs
(EUR/kWh) 0.053 0.049 0.034 0.042 0.05
Total operating
costs (EUR) 242,948.27 221,375.57 153,105.99 190,980.79 228,364.45
Total operating costs
including the energy
price energy
increase (EUR)
283,578.2 257,611.48 224,520.17 287,066.49 228,364.45
NPV operating
costs (EUR) 165,087.31 150,428.31 104,038.02 129,774.57 155,177.37
NPV operating costs
including the
energy price
energy increase (EUR)
189,098.96 171,843.16 145,648.32 185,760.02 155,177.37
Maintenance and
renovation costs
(EUR/year)
732.94 1457.78 1284.6 2793.98 1123.33
Total maintenance and
renovation costs (EUR)
14,658.87 29,155.63 25,692.01 55,879.58 22,466.62
NPV maintenance and
renovation costs (EUR)
9997.73 19,852.39 17,378.32 37,915.75 15,340.58
LCC costs including
the energy price
energy increase (EUR)
326,365.00 353,870.15 361,146.18 441,849.97 286,158.92
In the last variant, an increase in pellet prices was not considered, due to low price
fluctuations on the market for this fuel. Short-term fluctuations occur in the pellet market,
of course, but in the long run the model and results are not fundamentally affected. The
fact of relative price stability is substantiated by a study focusing on the prices of this
heating source [
49
]. Thus, Table 8shows the same values in the rows Total operating costs
and Total operating costs including the energy price energy increase.
Buildings 2021,11, 524 15 of 20
Compared to other options that are based on the exploitation of renewable sources,
the reference option has significantly higher operating costs. They account for up to 83 %
of the total cost of the life cycle as can be seen in Figure 2.
Buildings 2021, 11, x FOR PEER REVIEW 15 of 20
Figure 2. Comparison of the results of all options.
In spite of this, it is the cheapest option for the monitored period (without the predic-
tion of the energy price increase) mainly because it is related to significantly lowest in-
vestment costs. Life cycle costs are similarly high for the option 5, where the energy carrier
is biomass. When predicting the energy price increase, this option is favored as no price
increases are assumed for pellets. This makes this option the best one when assessing the
energy price increase. Unfortunately, it is the only option exploiting renewable energy
sources that can compete with costs spent in connection with the use of fossil fuels even
without government support. Natural gas costs can be reduced by the installation of pho-
tothermic collectors. High acquisition costs of this technology make this a disadvantage.
Thermal pumps show the worst results in spite of significant reduction of operating costs.
If we account for the relatively high anticipated increase in the price of electric energy, the
ground-to-water thermal pump option is less favorable than the solar collector option.
What is an advantage of these options is the possibility to reverse the operation of the
thermal pump and its use as a source of cooling. This reversed function can be used, for
example, on the top stories of a building where local cooling units are supposed to be
installed. However, heat pumps generally proved to be more suitable for buildings that
have high requirements to both heating and cooling. An advantage of all technologies
assessed that make use of renewable energy sources is the possibility of government sub-
sidies but they are not the main topic of this paper.
The options are compared also based on an index when the life cycle costs as shown
in the Table 8 are divided by the gross flow area of the building taken from Table 3, see
Figure 3.
Figure 2. Comparison of the results of all options.
In spite of this, it is the cheapest option for the monitored period (without the pre-
diction of the energy price increase) mainly because it is related to significantly lowest
investment costs. Life cycle costs are similarly high for the option 5, where the energy
carrier is biomass. When predicting the energy price increase, this option is favored as no
price increases are assumed for pellets. This makes this option the best one when assessing
the energy price increase. Unfortunately, it is the only option exploiting renewable energy
sources that can compete with costs spent in connection with the use of fossil fuels even
without government support. Natural gas costs can be reduced by the installation of pho-
tothermic collectors. High acquisition costs of this technology make this a disadvantage.
Thermal pumps show the worst results in spite of significant reduction of operating costs.
If we account for the relatively high anticipated increase in the price of electric energy,
the ground-to-water thermal pump option is less favorable than the solar collector option.
What is an advantage of these options is the possibility to reverse the operation of the
thermal pump and its use as a source of cooling. This reversed function can be used, for
example, on the top stories of a building where local cooling units are supposed to be in-
stalled. However, heat pumps generally proved to be more suitable for buildings that have
high requirements to both heating and cooling. An advantage of all technologies assessed
that make use of renewable energy sources is the possibility of government subsidies but
they are not the main topic of this paper.
The options are compared also based on an index when the life cycle costs as shown
in the Table 8are divided by the gross flow area of the building taken from Table 3, see
Figure 3.
Buildings 2021,11, 524 16 of 20
Buildings 2021, 11, x FOR PEER REVIEW 16 of 20
Figure 3. LCC/GFA building costs (EUR/m2).
What stem from this comparison at first glance are the costs in EUR per 1 m2 of the
building. This index may be operatively monitored when optimizing future building de-
signs. Changes in the design and the building size may not always have an impact on the
total costs per 1 m2.
4. Discussion
When deciding on the choice of investment options, often only the costs of acquiring
the construction are considered, but the costs of operation and maintenance of the con-
struction are often neglected. The presented software tool calculates the life cycle costs of
buildings so that the user cannot ignore the individual components of these costs. This
comprehensive tool accompanies users from the initial entry of input values to the defini-
tion of various variants of an investment project. The software offers modeling of the life-
time costs of individual project variants in relation to different input parameters. The user
is therefore able to choose an effective solution for him.
These approaches are also confirmed by the authors of this article [50]. This paper
compares two main economic evaluations which mainly could use LCCA (Life-cycle cost
analysis). To indicate the effect of economic evaluation a case study was examined also.
In this research LCCA comprises three main components which are direct costs, indirect
costs, and salvage value.
The investor must be aware that the LCC also covers the cost of demolishing the
building. Authors [51] dealt with the influence of the use of wooden structural elements
on the overall LCC of buildings. As a result, the LCCs of timber structures can be lower,
as at the end of their service life (60 years) the costs of their demolition are much lower
than for reinforced concrete structures.
In a similar way, the authors used the LCCA in the article [52] to examine the level
of comparison of road treatment costs. The road treatment simulation uses road deterio-
ration models. Based on the LCCA, the NPV analysis showed that the rigid pavement
treatment cost ratio is more economical than the flexible pavement.
An investor who wants to optimize their project can become a user of the LCC calcu-
lation tool. For example, in order to obtain a better energy assessment or even a certificate
proving the degree of impact of the implementation and operation of the construction on
the environment. These are therefore designers, project managers, and budgeters. On the
other hand, the tool can also be used by a general contractor. However, this depends on
the type of contract concluded. An example could be a situation where the general con-
tractor participates in the savings of the project, where they are subject to life cycle costs.
The most advantageous type of contract will be Integrated Project Delivery, where the
Figure 3. LCC/GFA building costs (EUR/m2).
What stem from this comparison at first glance are the costs in EUR per 1 m
2
of the
building. This index may be operatively monitored when optimizing future building
designs. Changes in the design and the building size may not always have an impact on
the total costs per 1 m2.
4. Discussion
When deciding on the choice of investment options, often only the costs of acquir-
ing the construction are considered, but the costs of operation and maintenance of the
construction are often neglected. The presented software tool calculates the life cycle
costs of buildings so that the user cannot ignore the individual components of these costs.
This comprehensive tool accompanies users from the initial entry of input values to the
definition of various variants of an investment project. The software offers modeling of the
lifetime costs of individual project variants in relation to different input parameters. The
user is therefore able to choose an effective solution for him.
These approaches are also confirmed by the authors of this article [
50
]. This paper
compares two main economic evaluations which mainly could use LCCA (Life-cycle cost
analysis). To indicate the effect of economic evaluation a case study was examined also. In
this research LCCA comprises three main components which are direct costs, indirect costs,
and salvage value.
The investor must be aware that the LCC also covers the cost of demolishing the
building. Authors [
51
] dealt with the influence of the use of wooden structural elements
on the overall LCC of buildings. As a result, the LCCs of timber structures can be lower, as
at the end of their service life (60 years) the costs of their demolition are much lower than
for reinforced concrete structures.
In a similar way, the authors used the LCCA in the article [
52
] to examine the level of
comparison of road treatment costs. The road treatment simulation uses road deterioration
models. Based on the LCCA, the NPV analysis showed that the rigid pavement treatment
cost ratio is more economical than the flexible pavement.
An investor who wants to optimize their project can become a user of the LCC
calculation tool. For example, in order to obtain a better energy assessment or even
a certificate proving the degree of impact of the implementation and operation of the
construction on the environment. These are therefore designers, project managers, and
budgeters. On the other hand, the tool can also be used by a general contractor. However,
this depends on the type of contract concluded. An example could be a situation where the
general contractor participates in the savings of the project, where they are subject to life
Buildings 2021,11, 524 17 of 20
cycle costs. The most advantageous type of contract will be Integrated Project Delivery,
where the investor, designer, and general contractor have a common goal, and that is
the implementation of a quality building. The use by small investors in family houses is
beneficial, but the implementation is complicated to control, as these investors are often
not in the field of construction or do not have enough funds to hire consultants, etc.
Sustainable development and environmental protection are key issues for today’s
society. According to [
53
], LCC can be used to optimize the investor’s decision-making
process regarding the selection of individual structural elements of various materials. This
is another advantage of the model we use.
One of the aims of the study was to determine the most suitable source of heating and
hot water preparation already in the design phase of the building. One of the results of this
study is the finding that energy calculations can be performed at different levels of project
preparation and at different levels of information. It turns out that energy calculations
in the very early stages of a building design, when only a small amount of information
is available, should only be used to compare different energy alternatives. However, the
results show that even these early estimates can outline the right direction regarding how
to achieve significant energy savings in the long life cycle of a building. At the moment
of more advanced design phases of the building it is already possible to perform energy
calculations at the level of individual rooms of the building and finally the result of energy
consumption will be significantly more accurate. However, the use of more sophisticated
methods for calculating energy consumption is time consuming and errors can occur
because the amount of input data is significantly higher.
5. Conclusions
The paper investigated the potential role of LCC calculations in planning, construction,
and operation phases of residential development projects. The paper tested the impact of
five variants of heating and hot water preparation on life cycle costs (LCC). The LCC tool
developed by the co-authors of this article was used for testing.
Life cycle costing should be made for each construction project (residential buildings,
industrial buildings, transport infrastructure, etc.). LCC analysis becomes an important
basis for the investor’s decision to find the best variant of the building design, taking into
account also environmental aspects and long-term economic impacts. LCC calculation can
be used as an important marketing tool for future users of the building. It can be expected
that in the future, clients will take much more into account both environmental aspects
and the circular economy. The LCC model also provides relatively accurate information
on future costs of operation and maintenance of the building, which will increase the
credibility of a planned investment project.
The cost of creating an LCC model is very minor in comparison with the total construc-
tion and operating costs of a construction over its lifetime. At the same time, the savings
achieved can be huge if the right decisions are made regarding the technical solution of
the building. The sooner the LCC model is designed, the sooner and more efficiently it is
possible to control the total investment and operational costs.
The created LCC model is an essential tool for determining the total cost. However,
there are several pitfalls that must be calculated when working with the tool. This is
a preset structure of building sections, which corresponds to the customs in the Czech
Republic. For further use, it is possible to use prepared editable items. A general limitation
is the need for a large amount of data and accurate information on the project design in
order to avoid a large number of scenarios with a large variance of variables. The results
would then be incomparable. Due to the different options for setting up the model, it is
important that its management does not become a static calculation before starting the
project, but changes over time and is updated. The update is a fundamental factor of
success at a time of uncertain development in the prices of building materials and energy.
The tool is set up primarily for buildings and residential buildings, due to the high
energy consumption during the operation of the building. However, it is also possible
Buildings 2021,11, 524 18 of 20
to use it for industrial buildings, because building sections do not differ as much. The
operation of industrial buildings is also high in terms of cost. On the other hand, the
model does not include the costs of operating production facilities located in this type of
construction. Therefore, only the construction is always assessed, not the user appliances
and equipment. In order to be used for the assessment of transport structures, the structure
of the construction sections would have to be extended in terms of construction costs and
the calculation of energy consumption would have to be adapted, as transport structures
do not have the energy performance certificate. Research should be extended to this type
of construction and the current state of the building tool should be further developed to
eliminate limitations.
The tool can be considered innovative for several reasons. It is a tool enabling a variant
solution of LCC calculation with dynamic interconnection for costs associated with the
consumption of electricity, gas, and water. For these items, it is often difficult to predict
the evolution of both consumption and costs themselves. For this reason, it includes not
only the discount factor, but also the rate of growth of energy prices in the relevant energy
markets, including the prediction of changes in consumption itself. The tool can therefore
also be used in the case of the sale of real estate, when it is appropriate to know the future
costs related to the operation adapted to the new owner. The basic innovative benefits
of the tool are interconnection of data across individual calculations, adaptability of the
calculation method according to project needs (costs, consumption, etc.), applicability to
public and private projects and real functionality of adding new arbitrary technologies to
the calculation, e.g., at the level of other energy sources (hydrogen, core, etc.).
The applicability of the presented methodology and the LCC calculation tool was veri-
fied on the example of a life cycle cost analysis for a building (an apartment house) located
in Prague. On the basis of documents obtained from the engineering organization and on
the basis of project documentation, a preliminary LCCA was prepared for the purposes of
strategic decision-making, which confirmed the correctness of the decision to acquire the
building in the proposed low-energy standard. Based on the project documentation for
the building permit, expert estimates, and information from the engineering organization,
a detailed LCCA was prepared for one of the key components—the heating system. The
result is one of the bases for completing the subsequent stage of project documentation.
Further analyses and refinements of the life cycle costing are planned after the completion
of the project documentation for the construction assignment.
Author Contributions:
Conceptualization, R.S.H. and E.H.; methodology, S.V.; software, S.V. and J.H.;
validation, T.K.; investigation, R.S.H.; resources, E.H. and T.K.; data curation, R.S.H.; visualization,
J.H.; supervision, R.S.H. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.
Funding:
This research was funded by the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic, Project ID
TN01000056, title “Centre of Advanced Materials and Efficient Buildings CAMEB”.
Institutional Review Board Statement: Not applicable.
Informed Consent Statement: Not applicable.
Data Availability Statement: Not applicable.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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... In passive systems, studies specifically modify the main design variables of the opaque and transparent envelope structures and materials, e.g., the thicknesses and thermal properties of the insulation and walls, as well as wall-window ratios (WWR), orientation, materials, structures, and shading, for instance [14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21]. Another group of studies concentrates on the design variables of the HVAC and energy system and the combination variables of active (mechanical) systems and passive (architectural) strategies, e.g., envelope material properties, and operation and control [14,[22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36]. In urban contexts, the optimization of the façade PV-panel system density and arrangement is carried out for maximizing solar energy usage and level of visual comfort (sDA) in a city district with diverse dense and high building arrangement [37]. ...
... Though comprehensive, no optimization is carried out here, and the impacts of geometry were not fully studied: shapes and U-values were randomly generated in a large number to detect a general trend, rather than to understand energy-based relationships to specific geometries. Moreover, increasing the thermal properties of the envelope requires extra investment cost and LCA impact [22] and neglects the significant energy intensity of the building shape [6,7,26,[43][44][45][46][47][48]. Other work investigates the impacts of urban neighbor building morphology on cooling load and natural ventilation potential of a 12-story target building in a hot-arid climate [56]. ...
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... Unaffordable housing and inadequate household energy represent a new dimension of poverty. They have an important role to play in this context the role of life cycle costing (LCC) in the preparatory and implementation phase of residential projects (Vitasek, S., 2021). Experience from construction practice shows that the choice of variants, constructions, or equipment of buildings only on the basis of the lowest acquisition costs (lowest bid prices) is wrong. ...
... Rising energy prices are reflected not only in the cost of energy consumption in households, but also in the prices of building materials and construction work [16]. Construction is a sector that consumes a significant amount of energy produced as quantified by Schneiderova-Heralova [17] or Karasek [18] thus energy prices create pressures at the supply side of property market [19]. Housing and energy poverty are two sides of the same issue, increasingly reflected in research papers and expert analyses. ...
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... In the construction sector, the life cycle cost (LCC) is a method used to analyze the overall cost of a construction project [68][69][70]. The costs of design, construction, maintenance, and disposal are all considered in this calculation [71][72][73], which is used by project stakeholders to assess the economic feasibility of construction projects and select the optimal alternatives. For example, a project's high initial construction cost might be justified by the subsequent lower maintenance costs of the building based on a customized cost list for the project developed during the life cycle cost analysis [2,72]. ...
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... Regarding these effects, there has been mixed evidence. Shimer (2001) found out that an increase in the youth share of working age population reduces the youth unemployment rate and that the effect on the prime age unemployment rate is even larger in magnitude, having crutial impact on life style changes and influencing other sectors of the economy (see Hromada et al. 2021, for real estate market implications or implications for regional disparities on the labour market in Čermáková et al., 2019). One possible explanation is that young workers migrate to regions with low unemployment rates (Kaderabkova et al., 2020). ...
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