Exclusive Modeling Tool Proves Future Value of Today’s Building Construction Decisions


SmartView by Butler can accurately measure and evaluate building cost drivers – from initial design approaches and process to lighting, HVAC and lifecycle maintenance. The proprietary algorithms of SmartView pull regional data using Department of Energy (DOE) information regarding utility and escalation rates along with tested values of Butler® building assemblies.

The proportional significance of each of these cost-saving drivers depends on many different dynamics and considerations. Never the less, from an owner’s perspective, it is important to estimate the corresponding operation and maintenance costs of each alternative for a proposed facility consistent with your investment objectives. It’s the most reliable way to gauge your best construction strategy.

SmartView analyzes the whole building – the lifetime operating, energy and maintenance expenses, plus offsets for applicable federal tax incentives and energy rebates.

This concept, known as Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), is certainly not new. Many businesses, likely including your own, have relied on this type of measurement for years, especially related to investments in technology, fleets or heavy equipment. But it has not been the norm in building construction. There were too many variables to consider, and it was too costly and time-consuming to crunch the numbers. However, the SmartView building energy-modeling tool is the result of years of construction industry research and technical innovation.

SmartView by Butler is a powerful decision tool.

This innovative, highly robust cost-analysis program can show you in clear, reliable numbers what it would take to make your investment in a new building worthwhile. The input data is based on your own selected building criteria as it pertains to your explicit project parameters. This results in real dollar amounts with the cost of capital factored in.

After discussing your team’s construction goals and criteria with a Butler team member, a simulation can be run to demonstrate the comparative values for different building assemblies and build-outs. These include wall and roof systems, types of materials and insulation, natural day lighting and artificial lighting options with controls, as well as energy-efficient HVAC systems, and more. This enables your project management team to make the most informed, calculated decision by quantifying TCO savings and returns.

Applying the 90-10 rule of construction

The importance of the 90-10 rule is the fact that a building’s lifetime operating, maintenance and replacement costs, on average, account for 90% of total costs. The remaining 10% is the cost of construction. Yet, construction bids are most often the primary, if not the only, basis for construction investments.

The 90-10 rule illustrates the wisdom in spending more time examining factors that potentially equate to several hundred thousand of dollars of savings rather than debating competing construction bids that may be just tens of thousands of dollars apart.

Here’s a peek at how SmartView works.

Reports show side-by-side ROI contrasting your building’s current planned design and specifications with alternative views. These optional building strategies (or views) are collaboratively determined between your team and the Butler team. The data can be viewed from an ROI or Net Present Value (NPV) on your building under consideration. Ultimately, you have everything you need to establish a confident course of action.

Consolidated Reporting - Sample 1

In this first sample chart, you see annual energy cost savings of View 1 and View 2 strategies compared to the current building plan. It shows associated incremental costs, ROI and TCO represented in Net Present Value. The simple payback in View 1 is immediate due to reduced first cost of construction as the result of value engineering.  While View 2 has a higher than planned first cost, a 24.3% ROI is achieved with a payback in less than 4 years.  So, in a shorter-term, View 1 is the best strategy.

Consolidated Reporting - Sample 2

This second chart shows TCO contributing factors after applying the same construction options as before. First-cost figures represent the sum of incremental expenditures beyond the baseline (code or original building plan). You also see total lifetime energy and replacement costs, plus the relative residual values. By taking a longer-term view, in this case a 30-year building lifespan, the TCO savings favor View 2.

These examples are just a partial representation of how SmartView modeling can inform your conclusions. They provide a glimpse into the impact of the design-build determinations you make. The full analysis is much more detailed, allowing you to validate and substantiate every aspect of your building investment.

Real numbers, real results

SmartView brings certainty to construction decisions. Unlike any other tool, it gives you the most realistic view of your building performance to guide you in fitting the best cost-benefit solution to your selected criteria. It provides the means for you and your management team to make smarter choices and save money, ensuring that your initial investment pays off over the life of the building.

10-Second Survey

Which building cost analysis is most important to you?

Accumulated results of surveys will be compiled and shared in a future summary report.

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How much can you save by a total cost of ownership approach? A Butler Corporate Accounts Manager can help you take a smart view. For more information or to schedule a meeting, complete our simple contact form.

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