A Publicly Available Cost Simulation of Sustainable Construction Options for Residential Houses




Fulton, Lawrence V.
Beauvais, Bradley
Brooks, Matthew
Kruse, Clemens S.
Lee, Kimberly

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Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute


A major consideration for consumers and the residential construction industry is the cost–benefit and break-even of various sustainable construction options. This research provides a publicly available simulation that allows users to compare baseline construction options versus sustainable options and evaluates both break-even costs as well as environmental effects. This R Shiny Monte Carlo simulation uses common pseudo-random number streams for replicability and includes options for solar, rainwater harvesting, wells, Icynene foam, engineered lumber, Energy Star windows and doors, low flow fixtures, aerobic/non-aerobic/city waste treatment, electric versus gasoline vehicles, and many other options. This is the first simulation to quantify multiple sustainable construction options, associated break-even points, and environmental considerations for public use.Using user default parameters, coupled with a 100% solar solution for a baseline 3000 square foot/279square meter house with 2 occupants results in a break-even of 9 years. Results show that many of the sustainable options are both green for the environment and green for the pocketbook.



rainwater harvesting, simulation, solar, construction, Health Administration


Fulton, L., Beauvais, B., Brooks, M., Kruse, C. S., & Lee, K. (2020). A publicly available cost simulation of sustainable construction options for residential houses. Sustainability, 12(7), 2873.


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