Approved by the Infrastructure and Research Policy Committee on June 7, 2022
Approved by the Public Policy and Practice Committee on August 31, 2022
Adopted by the Board of Direction on October 22, 2022


The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) encourages the owners of all public and private civil infrastructure, to utilize performance-based methodology for owners of infrastructure through: 

  • Use of performance-based standards for the procurement, design, operation, maintenance, and reuse/decommissioning of infrastructure. 
  • Use of infrastructure rating tools, such as the Institute of Sustainable Infrastructure’s Envision, that encourage sustainable engineering practices and life-cycle performance of infrastructure projects. 
  • Inclusion of a comprehensive life-cycle cost analysis in project decision-making processes.
  • Encouraging the use of innovative technologies and the consideration of infrastructure resilience. 

ASCE believes that broad adoption of the principles of performance-based methodology for infrastructure owners will lead to reductions in life-cycle cost for all infrastructure, increased public safety, and improved sustainability. 


Performance-based methodology for infrastructure owners emphasizes the desired characteristics of the final system, structure, component, material, product, service, or activity rather than the processes and other inputs required to produce it. The benefits include fostering innovation, encouraging new technology development, transparency, efficiency, and a focus on life cycle performance.

Life-cycle performance is a methodology for assessing the total cost-to-benefit cost of ownership of an infrastructure asset. It takes into account all costs for acquiring, planning, permitting, engineering, procuring, constructing, owning, operating, maintaining, rehabilitation, and any decommissioning of the asset. This methodology highlights that capital costs are only one facet of life-cycle cost. 


As the profession most responsible for the built environment, civil engineers have a responsibility to make the most efficient use of public and private infrastructure investments. This is accomplished by performance-based methodology for infrastructure owners of civil infrastructure assets. 

This policy has worldwide application
ASCE Policy Statement 543
First Approved in 2014