OpenFRM toolkit

what is OpenFRM? The Open Financial Review Model is a toolkit that gives insight into the financial aspects of multi-apartment buildings. It will tell you how much it costs to develop such a building, provides insight in the financial ‘mix’ required for the investment, and it tells you how much apartments cost (monthly contribution or ‘rent’). OpenFR is based on a spreadsheet, so anyone with some knowledge and experience with such a tool can adapt it to the specific requirements of their own projects.

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why OpenFRM? Developing a building is a formidable challenge. However, more and more groups and initiatives emerge that want to realise affordable alternatives to the current offer (and economic reality) of housing. For, it is not just essential to get a detailed insight into the costs of the initial investment, but also the long-term costs of inhabiting such buildings. And breaking ground with such initiatives, in-depth insight into the financial aspects of housing is required when negotiating projects with future inhabitants as well as capital providers (friends, commercial banks, …). OpenFRM is developed to equip groups and initiatives with the tools to do so.

what can OpenFRM do? OpenFRM offers a scalable approach to understanding the financial aspects of developing a multi-apartment building. It will allow you to do quick ‘sketches’ of such an undertaking on the base of a few key parameters, giving insight in the initial viability of a specific housing concept. For this, a condensed ‘inputs/outputs’ section is provided. However, OpenFRM delivers much more than that. Beyond the quick sketch functionality, it gives very detailed insight into the precise costs of investment, financing and operation. For that, it has Design, Build, Finance, Maintain & Operate sections, in which you can enter specific data about your project. In turn, the tool will provide detailed feedback on the financial consequences of individual decisions you make regarding your project.

how to start

download latest version including the Quickstart Guide (zip)

>> optional: see the extended manual (GitHub Wiki page)

Finally, you can review the financial performance (and feasibility) of your project with the built-in Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA), that tells you everything about all the incoming and outgoing flows of finance (cash-flow) over a period of up to 35 years.

disclaimer OpenFRM is provided as-is. It is an open-source development, relying on the commitment and inputs of its community of users to fix bugs, improve its usability and add new functionality. Since developing multi-apartment buildings is a capital intensive and lasting endeavour, it is wise to double-check the insights taken from any calculation model.

contributing OpenFRM is developed and maintained on the platform GitHub. If you have suggestions, improvements or new functionality to add to OpenFRM, you can submit them there.

credits The Open Financial Review Model is initiated by STEALTH.unlimited and the team of Ko Gradi Grad (Who Builds the City, Belgrade), and collectively tested and reviewed within the MOBA network. Creative Industries Fund NL has provided funding to develop it as a tool for the wider community of emerging housing initiatives and co-operatives.