Approved by the Infrastructure and Research Policy Committee on April 6,2023
Approved by the Public Policy and Practice Committee on June 15, 2023
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 22, 2023
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports the establishment and maintenance of incentives at the federal, state, and local levels to foster the use of innovative procurement, financing, project delivery/construction, reuse/decommissioning, technologies, sustainability practices, resiliency, and materials in publicly supported construction and infrastructure projects, including the development of guidelines and standards.
Many current policies represent major barriers to the use of innovation because they emphasize the lowest initial cost, utilize prescriptive standards, restrict the use of new products, and limit collaboration between design and construction professionals.
ASCE’s 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure graded the nation’s infrastructure at a C-. Gaps between identified needs, investments needed to rehabilitate our public infrastructure, and public commitments to meet those needs widen every year. In 2021 ASCE estimated that there was an infrastructure funding gap of $2.59 trillion in the United States. If expansion of the infrastructure to accommodate sustainable performance, resilience and growth is also considered, the gap is greater. A cost-effective method to close the gap is to enhance innovation and sustainability across the construction industry, thus improving the efficiency of available resources.
Examples of innovative practices, technologies, and procurement policies might include: the use of performance based instead of prescriptive based procurement policies; requiring life-cycle costs analysis during procurement; including emphasis on innovation as a selection factor for procurement; including reducing liability exposure with innovation, expanding use of alternative project delivery methods on applicable construction projects, and allowing commercial rights to intellectual property developed during construction projects.
This policy has worldwide applications.
ASCE Policy Statement 456
First Approved in 1997