LIFE CYCLE COST ANALYSIS OF AN ENERGY EFFICIENT RESIDENTIAL UNIT
The residential building sector is one of the most energy intensive sectors in today’s civilization. With population growth and a rise in number of homeowners the effect is bound to worsen. A wave of green and sustainable strategies is on the rise hoping to moderate some of the negative effect on the environment. From embracing renewable sources of energy as an alternative to fossil fuels, to improving existing home systems to become more efficient, the construction industry is evolving into becoming more energy conscious. One of the biggest obstacles to this wave is a lack of awareness and a fear of initial costs among contractors, homeowners and clients alike. This research will use Life Cycle Cost Analysis on a varying combination of residential energy systems and the researcher hopes to establish the trade-off between initial investment and long-term benefits. The case being considered is a residence located in Indiana, US. Using past and current utility bills and energy simulation data of different energy consuming systems in the residence over its lifetime, economic models are generated. This research establishes that a combination of passive and active energy conservation measures results in the lowest life cycle cost. The study will be beneficial for further research and as a framework for residential life cycle cost analysis.