Building Economics at a Glance

  • Rosalie T. Ruegg
  • Harold E. Marshall


Building owners generally wish to lower costs or increase profits. To accomplish this, buildings must be located, designed, engineered, constructed, managed, and operated with an eye to the economic consequences of these decisions. Owners need to select locations which enhance revenue opportunities, or lower costs, or both. Architects need to consider the owning and operating costs of alternative building designs. Mechanical and structural engineers need to take into account the economy of alternative designs and sizes of building systems and components. Architects and engineers need to work together to make economic tradeoffs between the building envelope and mechanical systems. Construction companies and builders need to select cost-effective materials, equipment, and construction techniques. Building managers and operators need to establish cost-effective maintenance, repair, and replacement policies, and to decide when and what to renovate. In short, those who design, engineer, construct, manage, operate, and own buildings are faced with numerous decisions which affect the economics of buildings. Typical examples of decisions that affect the economics of buildings are presented in Chart 1–1.


Economic Evaluation Cost Curve Consumption Cost Building Owner Conservation Cost 
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  2. Hillebrandt, Patricia M. 1974. Economic Theory and the Construction Industry. London: Macmillan Press, Ltd.Google Scholar
  3. Ruegg, Rosalie T., G. Thomas Sav, Jeanne W. Powell, and E. Thomas Pierce. 1982. Economic Evaluation of Solar Energy Systems in Commercial Buildings. NBSIR 82–2540. Gaithersburg, MD: National Bureau of Standards.Google Scholar
  4. Stone, P. A. 1975. Building Design Evaluation: Costs in Use. London: E. & F. N. Spon, Ltd.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosalie T. Ruegg
  • Harold E. Marshall

There are no affiliations available

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