Benefits and Costs of Research: Two Case Studies in Building Technology.
Benefits and Costs of Research: Two Case Studies in
Chapman, R. E.; Fuller, S. K.
NISTIR 5840; 109 p. July 1996.
Available from: National Technical Information Service
Order number: PB96-202221
benefit cost analysis; building economics; building
materials; construction; economic analysis; energy
conservation; evaluation methods; research impacts;
The National Institute of Standards and Technology
(NIST) is improving its resource allocation process by
doing "microstudies" of its research impacts on society.
This report is the outgrowth of a series of microstudies
prepared by NIST's Building and Fire Research Laboratory
(BFRL). This report has four major purposes. First, it
examines five evaluation methods for measuring the
economic impacts of research investments. Second, it
establishes a framework for identifying, classifying,
quantifying, and analyzing the benefits and costs of
research investments. Third, it presents a generic
format for summarizing the economic impacts of research
investments. Fourth, it illustrates - by way of two
case studies - how the framework, evaluation methods,
and generic format would be applied in practice. The
first case study provides estimates of the economic
impacts from past BFRL research leading to the
introduction of the ASHRAE 90-75 standard for
residential energy conservation. The energy costs of
the ASHRAE 90-75 standard are compared to those of
pre-1973 oil embargo standards. More than $900 million
(in 1975 dollars) of the energy savings from ASHRAE
90-75 modifications in single-family houses were
directly attributable to the BFRL activities that
promoted the development of ASHRAE 90-75. The second
case study provides estimates of the net dollar savings
from a past BFRL research effort leading to the
development of an improved asphalt shingle for sloped
roofing. BFRL's contribution resulted in a faster
adoption of the longer-lasting 235 shingle, which
significantly reduced roofing costs to building owners.