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Building Level Triple Bottom Line Cost Benefit Analysis Used to Justify Efficiency Investments

Fairfax, VA

Dewberry, a leading architecture, engineering and design firm in Fairfax used software to automate the triple bottom line cost benefit analysis needed to justify making a series of retrofit investments that would help them achieve LEED certification and contribute to broader community energy efficiency goals.

Topics Covered

Redevelopment & Brownfields
Air Quality, Health, Noise
Energy Efficiency


Initial: 5 Thousand USD


General Fund/Existing Public Funds

Project Status

Operational since 2017

Problem Addressed

While the USGBC certification program provided sustainable strategies, in order to move forward with the retrofit the team needed to understand the return on investment in terms of dollars over the 30-year lifespan.

Solutions Used

Using an automated software solution, the firm was able to clearly justify the investment in terms of the social, environmental, and financial impacts for each of the seven prioritized LEED renovation areas.

The software only needed to input the same data required for LEED credit submission, it then calculated the net present value (NPV) of benefits for the company, its employees, and the broader community. Created value translated into dollar value included a range of diverse metrics, from energy and water savings to improved productivity and reduce absenteeism. According to the generated analysis, the total benefit per square foot was $19.98, which far outweighs the incremental sustainable investment of $6.81/square foot.



Verified data showed that the retrofit would create $30.66/ square foot of value, such that for every $1 invested in LEED-compliant upgrades resulted in $5.50 of value for all stakeholders.


Investment created value of $923,000 in social and environmental benefits.

Who Should Consider

Any community with an older building stock that is looking to renovate their own government buildings or encourage community members to retrofit in order to meet environmental, energy and sustainability goals.

Last Updated

May 2nd, 2018
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