The Green Infrastructure Co-Benefits Calculator was designed to estimate costs and benefits using user-input project details. The calculator is intended to be used as a tool to calculate and compare the social, economic, and environmental benefits of green infrastructure against the costs. This calculator uses some of the newest research findings available to date on green infrastructure costs and benefits, and although geared to some extent toward the New York City region it is generally applicable to medium and high density developments in New Jersey.
Note: The NYC Green Infrastructure Co-Benefits Calculator is only compatible with Windows computers and is designed to launch from Internet Explorer.
The calculator uses predictive equations developed through analysis of New York City monitoring data (such as field measurements of temperature, observed insects/pollinators, bloom periods, plant coverage, and soil sampling) as well as an extensive literature review of over 100 quantitative studies and a life-cycle evaluations of energy and materials needed for construction and maintenance.
Specific cost and benefit estimates are provided for different types of green infrastructure. Costs are separated into construction costs and annual maintenance costs. Users may create and compare portfolios of different green infrastructure projects using different input tabs. In addition to cost information, the following benefit data is calculated for each project:
- Economic benefit
- Property value increase
- Savings (to municipality) in stormwater treatment cost
- Inferred economic benefits associated with decreased pollution
- Social Benefit
- Annual jobs supported
- Social benefits score (associated with aesthetic improvement and educational opportunities)
- Environmental benefit
- Pounds of pollution produced and removed by building the green infrastructure practice
- “Ecosystem services” score, which is an index of the environmental benefit of the project
In order to estimate these costs and benefits, users must input a variety of site-specific variables such as the footprint, planting density, location, visibility, and more. Try the calculator here. Note: The NYC Green Infrastructure Co-Benefits Calculator is only compatible with Windows computers and is designed to launch from Internet Explorer.