The Landscape Performance Series Benefits Toolkit is a searchable collection of online tools and calculators to estimate landscape performance.
The tools can be used to estimate specific landscape benefits for completed projects when actual measurements are not available, or they can be used in the design phase to compare projected benefits among various options. Many tools also allow the user to compare life-cycle costs for conventional and sustainable design features.
Know of additional tools to calculate landscape performance benefits? Help build the database by sending your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Environmental Benefits Calculator
This Microsoft Excel-based assessment tool estimates the environmental benefits of a study area or project, based on the tonnages of materials that are source reduced, reused, recycled, landfilled, or incinerated. Materials include lumber, construction and demolition materials, bricks, aggregate, and various household items. The calculator can also estimate the benefits of recycling or composting landscape waste (trimmings, grass, leaves, branches). Inputs for each material include tons recycled, tons reduced/reused, tons disposed. The user must follow instructions to look up and input state-specific greenhouse gas (GHG) and CO2 emission and energy consumption, expenditure, and generation data. Results are a number of tables and graphs showing emission reductions, energy use reductions, and natural resource savings.Benefits
Excel Decking Cost Calculator
This calculator compares the costs of building a new deck with recycled plastic, recycled wood/plastic composite lumber, cedar/redwood, and pressure-treated yellow pine. Based on the size of the project, the calculator estimates the initial, 3-year, 6-year, 10-year, lifetime, and average annual costs for each of these common decking materials. Costs include maintenance, and waste disposal. Users have the option to input their own cost information.
Excel Erosion Control Calculator
This calculator is designed to help landscape and construction companies estimate the cost of using environmentally beneficial compost filter berms or compost filter socks for erosion control, rather than conventional silt fences. Inputs are: linear feet of erosion control needed, estimated duration of project, and whether or not compost will be removed after the project. The Cost Calculator demonstrates that environmentally preferable erosion control methods are very cost competitive for all project sizes and durations, and that they offer significant savings for projects that run for more than a few months.Benefits
Energy use & emissions
Carbon storage & sequestration
Excel Recycling and Reusing Landscape Waste Cost Calculator
This calculator estimates the cost and environmental benefits of four scenarios for handling hardscape and landscape wastes (concrete and asphalt, brick, lumber, and yard waste): (1) Reusing all waste possible on-site, recycling all waste possible that cannot be reused, and disposing of waste remaining; (2) Reusing all waste possible and disposing of waste remaining (3) Recycling all waste possible and disposing of waste remaining; (4) Disposing of all waste materials. The calculator returns the one, three, six, and ten year costs associated with each of the four disposition methods. Users have the option to input their own cost information. The calculator also estimates the environmental impacts avoided by reusing and recycling landscape materials instead of landfilling them as waste.
Excel Resource Conserving Landscaping Cost Calculator
This calculator compares the cost of converting conventional landscapes to landscapes that require less irrigation and produce less waste. Inputs include: configuration of the current landscape (proportion that is comprised of flowers, turf, shrubs, and ground cover), configuration of landscape retrofit, length of growing season, and area of watering zones based on frequency of irrigation. The calculator estimates the initial, 3-year, 6-year, 10-year, and average annual costs for the original landscape and water-saving retrofit. Costs include water use, maintenance, and waste disposal. Users have the option to input their own cost information.
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