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The Economic Decision Guide Software (EDGeS) Tool: User Guidance



Jennifer F. Helgeson, Shannon A. Grubb, David H. Webb


The EDGeS (Economic Decision Guide Software) Tool version 1.0 implements a rational, systemic methodology for selecting cost-effective community resilience alternative strategies. The methodology is based on guidance provided in the NIST “Community Resilience Economic Decision Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems” (Economic Decision Guide). The decision support software is aimed at those engaged in community-level resilience planning, such as community planners, and resilience officers, as well as budget officers. It provides a standard economic methodology for evaluating investment decisions aimed to improve the ability of communities to adapt to, withstand, and quickly recover from disruptive events. The EDGeS Tool is designed for use in conjunction with the NIST “Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems” (CRPG). The methodology used in this software decision support tool frames the economic decision process by identifying and comparing the relevant present and future streams of costs and benefits—the latter realized through cost savings and damage loss avoidance—associated with new capital investment into resilience to those future streams generated by maintaining a community’s status-quo. This methodological approach aims to enable the built environment to be utilized more efficiently in terms of loss reductions during recovery and to enable faster and more efficient recovery in the face of future disasters. It encourages users to consider non-disaster related benefits (co-benefits and co-costs) of resilience planning. Topics related to non-market values and uncertainty are also included. The methods employed are based on best practices in building economics and the economics of community resilience planning. The EDGeS Tool is meant to be practical, flexible, and transparent, as the methodological approach can be applied across a wide range of community types and project types.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 1214
Report Number


Benefit-cost analysis, buildings, communities, constructed facilities, resilience, economic analysis, economic decision tool, life-cycle costing, resilience dividend, software


Helgeson, J. , Grubb, S. and Webb, D. (2017), The Economic Decision Guide Software (EDGeS) Tool: User Guidance, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 18, 2024)


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Created November 20, 2017, Updated November 10, 2018