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Policy Statement 456 - Incentives for Implementing Construction Innovation


Approved by the Infrastructure and Research Policy Committee on March 16, 2017
Approved by the Public Policy Committee on June 5, 2017
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 29, 2017


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


Current procurement policies and practices do little to encourage the use of innovation.  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. If expansion of the infrastructure to accommodate sustainable performance, resilience and growth is also considered, the gaps are even wider. The most cost-effective method to close these gaps is to enhance innovation throughout the construction industry, thus improving the efficiency of available resources.

Examples of innovative practices, technologies, and procurement policies might include: the use of performance instead of prescriptive criteria in procurement policies; emphasis on life-cycle costs during procurement; emphasis on innovation as a selection factor for procurement; reduced liability connected with innovation; and maximization of commercial rights to innovative intellectual property developed during construction projects.

ASCE Policy Statement 456
First Approved in 1997