Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Management


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Diedrich Prigge V, PhD.


Varying legislation and executive orders coupled with needs for energy resiliency have led the United States Air Force to pursue sustainable construction. The limited understandings of initial costs to implement these changes have contributed to poor project cost estimating and changed implementation of legal requirements. A student t-test for populations with unequal variance was accomplished on the final normalized contract cost of 1628 Air Force Military Construction (MILCON) projects executed between 2002 and 2017. Future design considerations for net zero energy buildings were compiled from a net zero energy residential community in Fontana, California. There was no statistically significant difference in final contract costs for fifteen of sixteen building categories between samples from before and post federal sustainability requirements. Furthermore, in a pilot study in Fontana, California, 94 percent of residential homes designed to net zero criteria failed to meet net zero in the following year due to underestimated occupant process loads. The study revealed projects influenced by numerous criteria that impact costs. Showing green standards are a poor indicator of additional project costs. Additionally, when designing net zero energy buildings and other highly sustainable structures, occupant behavior estimates need to be more accurately estimated. This validates similar research and invalidates the Air Force’s two percent increase on project cost for sustainability requirements and each project should be considered on a case by case basis.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number