On the usefulness of a cost-performance indicator curve at the strategic level for consideration of energy efficiency measures for building portfolios
Journal article, 2016

There is an increasing desire by managers to reduce the amount of energy consumed by the buildings in their portfolio. Energy efficiency measures on existing buildings, however, are often economically feasible only if executed at the same time as the execution of necessary maintenance and refurbishment measures. At the strategic level it would be useful to be able to better plan the costs and benefits of energy efficiency measures so that decisions could be made to execute them when the opportunity arises. In this paper, a Cost-Performance-Indicator (CPI) curve is proposed to indicate additional costs and benefits of energy efficiency measures at a strategic level, and evidence is given that corroborates the hypothesis that energy efficiency measures follow the law of increasing relative costs. The usefulness of the CPI curve is demonstrated through two case studies. An example is provided and the potential is discussed for using this curve for the planning and budgeting of refurbishment and energy efficiency measures, and as a tool to explain the relation between costs and benefits of measures enhancing building energy efficiency, including the production of renewable energy, to investors.

energy efficiency measures

Cost-Performance-Indicator CPI-curve

law of increasing relative costs


renewable energy

sustainable construction

Strategic building portfolio management



Markus Christen

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETH)

Bryan T. Adey

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETH)

Holger Wallbaum

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Building Technology

Energy and Buildings

0378-7788 (ISSN)

Vol. 119 267-282

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)


Subject Categories

Construction Management

Environmental Management



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