Approved by the Infrastructure and Research Policy Committee on February 13, 2020
Approved by the Public Policy Committee on April 6, 2020
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 11, 2020


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, construction, reuse/decommissioning, technologies, sustainability actions, and materials in publicly supported construction and infrastructure renewal activities, including the development of guidelines and standards.


Traditional procurement policies and practices do little to encourage the use of innovation. Many present policies represent major barriers to the use of innovation because they emphasize lowest initial cost and prescriptive standards and restrict the use of proprietary products.


ASCE's 2017 Infrastructure Report Card graded the nation's infrastructure at a D+. Gaps between identified needs, investments needed to rehabilitate our public infrastructure, and public commitments to meet those needs widen every year. In 2017 ASCE estimated that there is an infrastructure gap of $2 trillion in the United States. If expansion of the infrastructure to accommodate sustainable performance, resilience and growth is also considered, the gaps is greater. The most 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; and allowing commercial rights to intellectual property developed as an innovation during construction projects.

ASCE Policy Statement 456
First Approved in 1997