Tuesday, April 14, 2015

BSOS Sustainability Task Force: Preparing the Budget

During the BSOS Sustainability’s grant proposal process last semester, the Budget subgroup was charged with the tasks of creating an itemized budget and conducting a cost benefit analysis of a customized solar panel charging station compared to a pre-fabricated design to be included in the proposal.

Making the itemized budget detailing all the specifics and costs of each input we needed in order for the Task Force to construct the charging station and for the project to be a success was in fact the easier of the two tasks. The budget subgroup created a budget “shell” for all the input fields, similar to an outline. They aimed to foresee any costs associated with the project so that when the other groups decided on things like the materials or labor source we would use and how much of any one item, they could easily be entered into each field.

On the other hand, conducting and writing a compelling cost benefit analysis on the pros and cons of the customized design versus that of a prefabricated solar panel charging station was more challenging. Playing devil’s advocate, the group had to weigh the social and economical costs of each design and try to quantify some intangible variables they saw as either benefits or disadvantages to the community, the campus, and the sustainability fund who would be the ones reviewing our grant proposal.