DesignBuilder Cost Module

Assess the economic impact of your building designs
Assess the economic impact of your building designs
Construction cost reports provided in standard formats

Assess the economic impact of your building designs including construction cost, utility tariffs and life-cycle analysis, all integrated within the main energy analysis model. DesignBuilder is the only tool to provide advanced cost-benefit design optimisation in an easy to use package.

Key features

Construction costs

  • Costs are calculated using standard procedures and reported using a choice of standard report formats, with full flexibility in inputs and detailed tabular outputs.
  • The construction cost tool is suitable for use with early design stage level 1 and level 2 cost planning, life-cycle analysis and cost-benefit optimisation studies.
  • Options are provided for NRM1 (RICS, UK) and UNIFORMAT II (ASTM, US and Canada) as well as a rapid building only approach.
  • Calculations are based on model surface areas and component cost rates along with the extra data required for the RICS NRM1 and UNIFORMAT II standards.
  • Output reports break down the costs according to the selected standard.

Utility costs

  • Calculate building operational costs using standard procedures.
  • Even the most complex utility tariff structures can be modelled using EnergyPlus with options to buy or sell (using a feed-in tariff) and including flat charges, fixed rates and options for ratchets, qualifies and variables.

Life Cycle Cost (LCC)

  • Provides data on the long term cost of the building construction, operation and maintenance. This can help the design team to weigh up the cost of construction for design features against the corresponding impact on long term utility and maintenance costs.
  • Life cycle cost analysis applies standard procedures includes consideration of:
    • Recurring costs such as maintenance and repair
    • Non-recurring costs such end of life salvage
    • Discount rates
    • Tax
    • Depreciation
    • Inflation
    • Price escalation
    • Use adjustment


Cost is included in the Architectural Plus and all Engineering packages.


The Cost module can be used standalone for pure construction cost modelling, but the Simulation and HVAC modules are both required for calculating utility and life-cycle costs. For cost-benefit optimisation studies the Optimisation module is also required.