Tools and Methods

There are a multitude of different tools and methodologies that can be used to assess a building's performance, some are well known such as SAP and BREEAM and others are lesser known being bespoke tools for an individual company. We have tried to collect a list of the tools and methods that are available in the UK and abroad but unfortunately may have missed some, if there are entries not mentioned then please let us know.

Please rate each tool/method below if you have used it. For discussion please use the section to the right. You must be logged in to the Connect platform to rate the tools.

A Whole Life Carbon Management (WLCM) ‘Key'

Whole life, carbon management, early stage, design decisions, software toolkit.

 

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Advanced Design + Optimisation (ADOPT)

Design optimisation tool based on the user's ranking of building performance factors.

 

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Arup Beacon
A set of cost-based supply-chain metrics which convert financial supply chain activity into a carbon footprint. 

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AUDE & UW Guide

A toolkit of good practice on Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) for the use of professionals and staff in the higher education sector.

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BluePrint
Carbon Descent's BluePrint software has been designed to automate and streamline the energy audit process with significant savings on the assessor's time on data collection, analysis and reporting, against a conventional paper based auditing approach. 

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BRE Design Quality Method
A balanced scorecard that measures the whole performance of all building types, at design stage and post-construction. 

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BREEAM
An assessment method that covers a wide range of sectors at the design and post construction stage

 

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Building Agent (BA) 
Developed by the US Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) the Building Agent (BA) application allows occcupants to share feedback via a dashboard on their desktop computers. This information is then fed to the facility managers who can diagnose and adjust for problems

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Building Research Establishment Domestic Energy Model (BREDEM)
BREDEM is the name given to the energy calculation procedure for dwellings. 

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Building Use Studies survey  (domestic)
A paper-based questionnaire survey of the permanent adult users of a building 

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Building Use Studies survey  (transient users)
A paper-based questionnaire survey of the transient adult users of a building

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Building Use Studies survey (non-domestic)

A paper-based questionnaire survey of householders

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Carbon Buzz
CarbonBuzz is an RIBA CIBSE platform for benchmarking and tracking energy use in projects from design to operation. It is intended to encourage users to go beyond compliance of mandatory Building Regulations calculations and refine estimates to account for additional energy loads in-use. The platform allows users to compare design energy use with actual energy use side by side to help users close the design and operational energy performance gap in buildings.
 

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Carbon Calculator
Calculator to estimate embodied carbon

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Carbon Workout

Calculator to estimate embodied carbon

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Carbon4Cast

A carbon management tool to help organisations with large property portfolios to reduce their environmental impact.

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CarbonCritical KnowledgeBase

Web based tool that allows you to calculate embodied and operational carbon

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CarbonCritical Masterplanning tool

Desktop master planning application

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CIBSE TM 22

A systematic way of undertaking an energy survey, reporting the results, and calculating likely savings from changes in use, technology or management. Useful at any stage in a building's life. The method is progressive and iterative, so you get useful results in relation to the effort you put in. A fullassessment (with all the associated fieldwork and enquiries) will typically take up to a person-week for a 10,000 square metre building. Detailed analysis and reporting can take longer, but only needs to be done if it proves important and cost-effective enough to do.

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CIBSE TM 39

Building Energy Metering: an approach to ensuring that metering meets the requirements of Part L of the Building Regulations.

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CIBSE TM54 

TM54 is evaluating operational energy performance of buildings at the design stage. The aim of the guidance is to enable designers to make better estimates of operational energy, identify the range of possible outcomes and therefore show how designs can be improved to deliver better on the predictions. 

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CIC DQI

This is an evaluation tool that consists of an online questionnaire and structured workshops, which are designed to suit a wide range of people at almost any stage in the life cycle of a building.

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Code of Sustainable Homes
The Code of Sustainable Homes is the national standard for the sustainable design and construction of new homes.

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Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS)
The Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) is a national sample survey that collects information on the stock of U.S. commercial buildings, their energy-related building characteristics, and their energy consumption and expenditures

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Concept to Completion Design Tools for Sustainable Buildings
A tool for SMEs, for use at early stage design, based on supplier product data and import of drawings, WLC and carbon impacts, incorporating 3D gaming and mobile computing technologies.
 

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DECoRuM Carbon Mapping Approach
DECoRuM® is a next generation GIS-based bottom-up model for counting, costing and reducing energy-related CO2 emissions from existing UK dwellings.

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Defence Related Environmental Assessment Method (DREAM)
A ministry of defence specific online environmental performance assessment tool applicable to MoD new buildings and refurbishments

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Design Excellence Evaluation Process (DEEP)
It is a DQI (q.v.) checklist applied to MoD building projects that aims to quantify design standards with the intention of delivering design excellence and minimising risk. It helps to provide assurance that projects comply with government construction policies and are value for money. 

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Display Energy Certificates
Designed to promote the improvement of energy performance of buildings

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DomEARM
An energy survey. Provides tailored benchmarking that itemises equipment such as  electricity -  lighting, fans and pumps, appliances and cooking, hot water and space heating; and non-electricity - heating, hot water and cooking appliances. Assessors at this level require competence in assessing the dwellings' construction, fixed systems and appliances. 

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Dynamic Simulation Model (DSM)
An approved method for undertaking part L2A compliance calculations.

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Embodied Carbon and Energy in Buildings (ECEB)
There are four main aims of this research programme. To develop a robust methodology to calculate who life embodied energy and carbon of buildings. To develop a usable knowledge base in collaboration with industry. Advise policy and industry on specific routes to carbon reduction. And improve understanding of the whole life embodied carbon and energy in buildings

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Embodied CO2 Estimator
Software tool to measure embodied carbon in new developments

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Embodied Impacts - A guide to understanding the embodied impacts of construction products
A guide to improve understanding across the construction industry of the embodied impacts of construction products

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Energy Consumption Guide 19
This is a protocol for assessing and reporting energy consumption with benchmarks for four key types of office building.

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Energy Management Matrix & Energy Management Assessment
Energy management assessment
 

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Energy Peformance Certificates 
An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating.

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Energy Print's Energy Dashboard
A utility dashboard that delivers a macro energy picture compiled in a central instant-read visual display.

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Energy Savings Trust: Monitoring energy and carbon performance in new homes
The Energy Saving Trust's whole-house carbon and energy monitoring protocol.

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Environment Agency Carbon Calculator
DEFRA tool for measuring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions.

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Environmental Reporting Guidelines
DEFRA tool for measuring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions in the UK.

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 EVALOC Heating Controls Questionnaire    
EVALOC is a collaborative 3 year Research Councils UK funded research project which brings together an interdisciplinary team of building science specialists. The research looks at a number of things including how community based organisations best monitor and communicate their own effectiveness at energy demand reduction.

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Greenhouse Gas Protocol
The GHG Protocol Corporate provides standards and guidance for companies and other organisations preparing a GHG emissions inventory.

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Greenstar
Rating tool has been developed to evaluate the predicted performance of office facilities based on a variety of environmental criteria.

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Handover of Office Building Operations (HOBO)
A handover protocol for offices

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Healthcare Design Quality Assessment Method
A triangulated study technique initially designed for the analysis of design quality in health care buildings

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Home Energy Master Plan (HEMP)
Analysis of the energy and carbon saving options in your home.

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Homes and Communities:  Monitoring guide for carbon emissions, energy and water use
Post-occupancy evaluation protocols. Issued to support The Carbon Challenge programme

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Housing Evaluation and Performance Studies (HEAPS)
A methodology comprising a combination of hard and soft techniques which has been used to evaluate one demonstration home against the Code for Sustainable Homes (q.v.) level standards.
 

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iCIM
A design tool that facilitates the assessment of embodied carbon in a building design at any time during the design process.

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Integrated Carbon, Waste and Cost Modelling for Design of Low Impact Buildings
A protocol for transferring information between several existing tools (Footprinter and Designbuilder) and LIDX.

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Inventory of Carbon and Energy
Database that looks at an assessment of carbon

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Knowledge Sharing Toolkit
Handbook on how professional design teams can share knowledge within their practice

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Lancaster DEMAND (Dynamics of Energy, Mobility & Demand)
The research is to focus on what energy is for and highlights a lack of understanding between trends and the dynamics of demand.

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Landlords Energy Statement
The landlord's energy statement (LES) is a tool that helps landlords understand their buildings' energy efficiency, compares the performance of common services (heating, lighting and ventilation supplied by the landlord) against similar buildings with similar uses, identifies any areas for improvement and illustrates where year on year improvements have been made.

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Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
LEED promotes a holistic approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health, which include sustainable site development, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials selection, indoor environmental quality. Credits and Prerequisites are organized into these five categories. LEED Certification is based on the total point score achieved in these five areas, following an independent review.
 

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Learning from Experience
Handbook on how teams can learn from experience

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Leesman Index
A commercial tool developed to analyse how well office environments support employees in their work. The Leesman 'Lmi' is q benchmark performance satisfaction and effectiveness score. Graded from 0 - 100 it is an indicator of the ability of a workplace to support the activities of the employees it accommodates.

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Low Energy and Sustainable Solutions Online kNowledge System (LESSONS)
On-line lessons-learned resource, free to use with manufacturers paying to link products to case studies.

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Medical Architecture Research Unit (MARU) Evaluation Studies
Post occupancy assessment mainly for briefing and strategy development.

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National Energy Audit Tool (NEAT)
A computer program designed for use by the state agencies and utilities to determine the most cost-effective retrofit measures for single-family and small multi-family homes to increase the energy efficiency and comfort levels.

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National Home Energy Rating
 A method of assessing the energy performance and fuel cost of a dwelling. It uses a similar data set to SAP but includes more detail on occupancy, location and appliance use to give a more accurate calculation of CO2 emissions and running costs for a specific dwelling.

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OBU Pre-retrofit Survey
This retrofit project in Oxford targeted reductions in energy consumption of 85% by using an optimum mix of energy demand-reduction measures and well-proven zero-carbon technologies.

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Occupant IEQ Survey
Cost effective web based survey, creates reports based on the survey results. Includes LEED credit for thermal comfort.
 

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Office Productivity Network Survey
It is a questionnaire that asks building occupants to rate aspects of their work setting such as environmental conditions and office facilities. The main premise of the questionnaire is to determine how the variables listed might affect occupant productivity in the workplace. Has been condensed now due to the natural evolution of the technique. Each section contains a number of questions that asks respondents to rate variables against a scale. A detailed breakdown of time and task requirements is also asked for. The results are presented in a report with 'spider graphs'.

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Operation and Embodied Carbon Calculator
Calculator to measure carbon in new buildings.

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Optimise
A simulation-based optimisation tool for the minimisation of building carbon emissions.

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Overall Liking Score
An occupant survey method that measures how people feel about their work environment. It consists of the OLS occupant survey, the OLS fingerprint and a report with analysis of results and recommendations.

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PACES: Building Occupant Survey
PACES (the Program for the Assessment and Certification for the Environment and Sustainability) looks at Building Occupant Survey: (5-10min) sends out an electronic survey to all building occupants to evaluate attitudes, behaviours, and understanding of current policies.

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Passive Housing Planning Package (PHPP)
The Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) is the design tool used by the Passivhaus Institute.

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Pearl Rating System
Pearl aims to address the sustainability of a given development throughout its life cycle from design through construction to operation.

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PROBE
A relatively thorough examination of both hard and soft performances of a building by combining the techniques of walk-through survey; energy survey, occupant survey, discussions with occupants and management, and a pressure test. The published Probes were intended to look through the buildings surveyed and to disseminate findings to the industry, its clients, government and academe. The techniques are also applied in private consultancies to evaluate and improve both newly-completed and older buildings.

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R-2000
The R-2000 Standard (R-2000) is an industry-endorsed technical performance standard for energy efficiency, indoor air tightness quality, and environmental responsibility in home construction.

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Rapid Prototyping and Analysis Tool for Environmental and Cost Performance Improvement and Emissions Reductions in Low Impact Buildings (RAPIER)
RAPIER is a software tool for rapid testing of strategic design decisions, like glazing ratio and type, construction type and insulation levels, ventilation strategy, environmental control systems, optimum energy delivery including renewables, etc., while evaluating their impact on energy, emissions and costs over the building lifecycle. It will initially target office, residential and mixed–use buildings.

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RCUK Centre for Energy Epidemiology
A proposal for an End Use Energy Demand (EUED) Centre focused on Energy Epidemiology to be located at the multidisciplinary UCL Energy Institute (UCL-Energy), which undertakes research on energy demand and energy systems. Energy Epidemiology uses data and modelling to study energy use in the real world, with the aim of understanding the interactions of policy, technology, infrastructure, people and culture. The Centre for Energy Epidemiology (CEE) will: undertake primary data collection; advise on data collection; provide secure and ethical curation of a wealth of administrative, commercial and research data; link, develop and use innovative research methods; and support a structured research programme on energy demand intended to achieve a major reduction in UK carbon emissions. CEE will provide key research and policy insights at city, regional, national and international levels.

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Reality-checking (Pitstopping)
A process for undertaking reality-checking throughout a construction project.

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Research Centre on Innovation & Energy Demand
Aim of this project was to develop an interdisciplinary understanding of the emergence, diffusion and impact of low energy innovations looking at new technologies and modes of behaviour.

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Responsible Retrofit Guidance Tool
An interactive, on-line tool that enables users to explore retrofit options for heritage buildings, the associations between systems, and the possible interaction effects.
 

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RICS Ska Rating 

Operated by RICS, Ska Rating is an environmental assessment tool for sustainable fit-outs. Project teams interested in fitting out spaces in an environmentally sustainable way can use the method to carry out informal self-assessments of the environmental performance of their fit out, commission quality assured assessment and certificates from an RICS-accredited Ska assessor as well as other activities.

 

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School Building Assessment Manual
A collection of survey and discussion tools to help understand how school buildings work.

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SIGMA Home
The first house in the UK designed to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5, the Sigma Home benefits from modern methods of Construction
 

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Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM)
Energy calculation model for estimating the carbon emission rate of new buildings, demonstrating compliance with the requirements of Part L of the Building Regulations.

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sMeasure
An energy management tool to help identify and improve the energy performance of properties including detecting your energy waste, quantifying the before and after of your energy saving efforts and meeting your carbon reduction goal

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Soft Landings
A Framework to help the transition of a project from design stage, construction and aftercare

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SPeaR (Sustainable Project Appraisal Routine)
Undertaken evaluation upon project completion and during operation

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Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP)
The government's implementation of BREDEM, for use in demonstrating compliance with the Building Regulation requirements and the Green Deal assessment procedure

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Superior Energy Performance
Superior Energy Performance is a certification program that provides industrial facilities with a transparent, globally accepted system for verifying energy performance improvements and management practices.

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Tenants Energy Statement
The tenant's energy review (TER) is a tool which allows tenants to assemble information on the energy and emissions attributable to the energy they purchase directly from suppliers.  It also records 'stress' factors (such as high densities of occupation, long hours and intensive energy uses, like dealing rooms and data centres)  

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The Cambridge Housing Model
The model uses English Housing Survey 2009 data, coupled to a SAP-based energy calculator, to estimate energy use and CO2 emissions for all homes in England, broken down by final use.

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Thermal Comfort Diary

In-use comfort survey

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Transient Systems Simulation Program (TRNSYS)
TRNSYS (pronounced 'tran-sis') is a flexible graphically based software environment used to simulate the behaviour of transient systems.

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T-Zero
T-ZERO is a project initiated by some of the UK's leading organisations in the fields of energy conservation and housing (see right). It is supported by the Technology Strategy Board with a brief to develop novel ways to reduce the environmental impact from existing housing, working towards a future goal of a zero carbon built environment. T-ZERO provides an interactive web-based tool that puts energy and environmental performance expertise in the hands of the householder, housing stock manager, designer or builder.

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VALiD (Value in Design)
A cradle-to-grave tool for the consideration of value delivery, largely as it is evaluated by project stakeholders.  Structured around a three-part framework: Understand values, Define value, and Assess the value proposition. Stakeholders identify benefit, sacrifices, and resources.

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Comments

We'd like you to assess the tools you have used and come across by commenting on each below and rating them on their usefulness and efficiency.

The comments and ratings are not the views of the Technology Strategy Board. Nor do we endorse any particular tool or methodology.

 
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Building Performance Evaluation