Approved by the Engineering Practice Policy Committee on March 25, 2021
Approved by the Public Policy and Practice Committee on May 6, 2021
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 16, 2021


The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recommends the appropriate use of Life-Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) principles in the planning and design processes to evaluate the total cost of projects. The analysis should include life-cycle cost associated with planning, funding, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning of projects. The analysis should also include impacts associated with innovation, resiliency, and sustainability as well as regulatory, environmental, safety, and other costs anticipated during the life of the project, whether borne by the project owner or other stakeholders.


Life-cycle costs are one of the most significant considerations in evaluating project alternatives during the planning and design of infrastructure; however, in some cases LCCA is not sufficiently considered. The use of LCCA will raise the awareness of owners, clients, and the public to the full cost of infrastructure and the need to plan for this total cost. The systematic use of LCCA will promote innovative, resilient, sustainable, and cost-effective engineering solutions. 


The ASCE Grand Challenge asks civil engineers from all backgrounds and at every career stage to implement performance-based standards, resilience, sustainability, innovation, and LCCA in all projects. The goal is to significantly enhance the performance and value of infrastructure projects over their life cycles and to foster the optimization of infrastructure investments for society.

ASCE’s 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure calls for smart investing by, among other methods, planning for the cost of building, operating, and maintaining the infrastructure for its entire lifespan.  

This policy has worldwide application
ASCE Policy Statement 451
First Approved in 1997