Developing a Calculator for Evaluating Physical Design Characteristics and Whole House Performance: A Preliminary Method Webpage uri icon


  • This Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing report outlines the development of a 'whole house calculator’ that quantitatively assesses choices available in the processes, materials, components and systems of residential construction. The calculator is adapted, for residential construction, from the Environmental Evaluation System developed by Battelle Laboratories for systematically evaluating the impact of alternative projects. The calculator provides a means for calculating a "whole house score." Each characteristic of a house and each design and construction process receive a performance score. These scores are then modified by values of the prospective homebuyer or builder and further modified by the way in which construction materials and processes interact with others to produce a "whole house score." Two sample applications of the calculator are included with this report as MS Excel files. The calculator will make it possible to do "what if" comparisons and to strategically plan residential construction with a comprehensive systems approach. Although this report presents the first steps in the development of the calculator, it is a promising tool for prospective builders, buyers, and other stakeholders that can conceivably be made available online in the future. Five supplemental data reports accompany this report. Each contains background research completed in preparation for developing and testing the whole house calculator.

author list (cited authors)

  • Nowak, M., Obrien, M., & Wakefield, R.

publication date

  • June 2005