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Selecting Sustainable Infrastructure Projects—A Qualitative Approach to Selecting the “Right Project”

Abstract: Sustainable infrastructure projects must consider and balance the three sustainability responsibilities of environmental stewardship, economic prosperity, and social well-being; focusing on one or two of the three responsibilities does not constitute a sustainable project. A project’s life cycle impacts on each of the three responsibilities are largely cast and fixed because of the project selected. Therefore, owners and engineers must consider each of the three responsibilities closely during project screening and selection to choose the project that has the greatest overall value to stakeholders and one that avoids potential negative impacts. This paper discusses an innovative approach to the project screening and selection process and presents a map for developing a qualitative tool to evaluate and compare the sustainable aspects of alternative projects.

Authors: Wayne E. Bates , PhD, PE, Tighe & Bond, Westwood, Massachusetts

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