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Policy Statement 451 - Life-Cycle Cost Analysis


Approved by the Engineering Practice Policy Committee on March 15, 2018
Approved by the Public Policy Committee on May 6, 2018
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 13, 2018


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 reasonably anticipated during the life of the project, whether borne by the project owner or other stakeholders.   


Overall life-cycle costs are one of the more most significant considerations in evaluating project alternatives during the planning and design of infrastructure.   


The ASCE Grand Challenge asks civil engineers from all backgrounds and at every career stage to implement performance-based standards, resilience, innovation and life cycle cost analysis 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 Infrastructure Report Card calls for smart investing by, among other methods, planning for the cost of building, operating, and maintaining the infrastructure for its entire lifespan.  

The use of LCCA will raise the awareness of owners, clients, and the public to a more accurate cost of infrastructure. The systematic use of LCCA will promote innovative, resilient, sustainable, and cost-effective engineering solutions. 

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