assumptions, alling costs, and growing environmental concerns has been the increased use o sustainablebuilding interventions, particularly in the commercial/industrial and high income residential sectors. However,there has been little uptake o these interventions in the low income, mixed income and subsidised housingsectors. There is thereore a pressing need or tools that can enable government ocials, developers, andhousing contractors to measure the viability o more sustainable methods o construction, particularly in theselower income sectors. A signicant step in this process was taken with the lie cycle assessment case studythat was previously published in the rst edition o the Sustainability Institute’s “Sustainable NeighbourhoodDesign Manual” (SI, 2009). It demonstrated that even a development that included a ull range o sustainableinterventions would be cost eective when measured over a 30-year lie cycle. By its very nature o being acase study, its ndings were directionally very important, albeit somewhat limited due to the use o data roma particularly expensive case. The next natural step in the process o dening nancial viability in settlements was to nd ways o ecientlycalculating the true costs o sustainable interventions over the ull lie cycle in a variety o unique situations. The need or such a tool led to the creation o the Sustainable Housing Calculator, which we will introduce laterin this paper. The rst section o the paper repeats the background inormation on the need or sustainablebuilding materials and the lie-cycle cost assessment methodology used in both the original case study andin the new sustainable housing calculator. The second section provides an overview o the unctioning o thecalculator and a section on how to use it. Finally, the paper will conclude with some o the key ndings thatwere generated by the calculator when tested with live data by the Sustainable Neighbourhoods Programmeat the Sustainability Institute in 2010.
seCtion 1BaCkground and methodology
There is now
an emerging global consensus that unsustainable resource use (global warming, thebreakdown o eco-system services and the depletion o key renewable and non-renewable resources) willthreaten the existence o large numbers o human and non-human species. These threats have been welldocumented in several major international reports, including inter alia the impact o human-induced globalwarming (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 2007), the breakdown o the eco-system services thathumans and other living species depend on (United Nations. 2005), the depletion o oil reserves (InternationalEnergy Agency. 2008), the ecological threats to ood supplies (Watson et al., 2008), the threat o waterscarcity (Gleick. 2006; United Nations Development Programme. 2006), and the negative impacts on thepoor o the global crisis o unsustainability (United Nations Development Programme. 2007). The result is aglobal consensus that the continuation o unsustainable modes o development will need to be replaced by