Cost-benefit analysis of outfitting the windows of the Henry Hicks Arts and Administration building with more efficient models to improve Dalhousie University campus sustainability
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With its prominent clock tower and classic design, the Henry Hicks Arts and Administration building, which was built in 1955, is probably the university’s most recognizable and symbolic structure. Despite its importance to the university, the Henry Hicks or H&H building is behind in some of the maintenance measures necessary to keep the building in good condition. One of such measures would involve replacing the building’s inefficient single-glazed windows with a more efficient window type. According to Marvin Windows and Doors, windows should be replaced every 20 years. This means that the H&H building is 30 years overdue for a window upgrade. However, the university works on a budget and is reluctant to take any reconstructive measures that are not cost-effective. This study weighs the costs and benefits associated with replacing the single-glazed windows with three types: the Kohler Energlas Plus, Marvin’s Clad Ultimate Double Hung and Marvin’s Casemaster. Each window is compared to the current type to measure energy savings, and carbon dioxide emission savings. These benefits were weighed against the costs associated with the installation using information provided through interviews with the assistant director of Facilities Management and two of the university’s main window manufacturers, Kohler Windows and Marvin Windows and Doors. Although the study results suggest that window replacement cannot prove to be cost effective within 5 years (the university’s standard for cost-effectiveness), the upgrading of windows would produce significant savings in energy costs and carbon dioxide emissions. It is recommended that in order to promote campus sustainability, Dalhousie replace the windows despite this drawback considering that the windows are due for replacement anyhow. With this said, Dalhousie should choose the Energlas Plus window produced by Kohler Windows and wood rather than vinyl stripping. This window type was not only the most efficient but would be able to reach the point of cost-effectiveness within 17.7 years of installation (sooner than the other proposed window types).