Engineering projects typically require economic analysis of the costs and benefits of alternative actions. However, costs may not be distributed evenly over a project’s life cycle and may include initial capital investments, short-term adaptive management actions, long-term operations and maintenance, and eventually disposal. Engineering economics methods exist to convert costs between present, future, and annualized costs and inform life cycle planning. Life cycle cost analysis is critical when comparing projects with dramatically different investments through time (e.g., an operationally intensive conventional infrastructure system vs. a larger capital investment in natural infrastructure). EngrEcon cost model tool was developed for executing standard engineering economics calculations such as cost conversion, cash flow analysis, and life cycle cost analysis. A set of analytical functions were programmed in the R Statistical Software Language and bundled together in a globally available R package. Additionally, a web application was developed to reduce barriers to entry for users without programming experience. The EngrEcon package uses an exponential discounting model and has possible uses of analyzing fixed and incremental costs, comparing alternatives, and cost estimation. The EngrEcon tools are designed to execute widely used engineering economics methods in the context of project planning for civil infrastructure, nature-based solutions, and ecosystem restoration; however, these basic functions can also be used to perform other economic analyses, including personal finances, investment strategies, and retirement plans.
The Network for Engineering With Nature® (EWN) invites you to the N-EWN Knowledge Series: A Continuing Education Series about Engineering with Nature—Tools for Life Cycle Cost Analysis and Application in Stream Restoration, with Liya Abera, PhD, USACE-ERDC Environmental Laboratory. This 1-hour Zoom webinar took place February 15, 2024 at 12:30pm ET.
For previously recorded seminars, please visit the N-EWN Seminars page.