Climate attribution scientists using “fingerprint studies” are now able to detect man-made climate change. Not so long ago, this kind of analysis would have been impossible but climate scientists are now able to separate out the natural from the man-made influence. Cities face downgrades from credit rating agencies if they are not deemed resilient to climate change. They are also increasingly […]

Number 5 in our TBL-CBA traps series. 5.      Asking “Are We Doing the Right Project?” but Forgetting “Are We Doing the Project Right?” Once the project has been greenlighted, a million and one design decisions remain to be made by engineers, architects, sustainability professionals, planners, project manager, and designers that determine what exactly gets built and how. TBL-CBA should be […]

Number 4 in our TBL-CBA traps series.  4.      Letting the Loudest Voice Win While the TBL-CBA analysis often points out trade-offs between people, planet and profits and highlights distributional effects across affected stakeholder groups, don’t fall into the trap of implicitly weighting one group or sector more than another.  Cost-benefit analysis does the weighting for you. For example, a quantity […]

Number 3 in our TBL-CBA traps series. 3. Double Counting By avoiding the trap of being too narrow, people often fall into this trap. In particular, benefits are more likely to be double counted than costs. Take, for example an infrastructure or building project that lowers the cost of a product for consumers. There will also be a rise in […]

Number 2 in our series of TBL-CBA traps. 2. Forgetting Certain (Increasingly Vocal) Stakeholders When conducting a Triple Bottom Line – Cost Benefit Analysis (TBL-CBA), a common trap is thinking too narrowly about the project. By definition, a triple bottom line approach avoids thinking only in financial terms – the narrowest thinking of all. Assigning a dollar value to environmental […]

Before we created the Autocase family of TBL-CBA software, our team of economists, along with engineers and architects conducted numerous custom assessments as consultants. Our collective knowledge is now reflected in Autocase, but, we have to admit, there were some moments along the way when we were caught off-guard and ran into some tricky traps: practices, policies and thinking that […]

The City of Phoenix wanted to weigh up the broader costs and benefits of implementing various Low Impact Development (LID) features across the city to help inform capital planning going forward. To do this, they enlisted the help of Stantec, Autocase, and Watershed Management Group (WMG) to perform a triple bottom line cost benefit analysis (TBL-CBA). Using Autocase’s online TBL-CBA […]

  How should engineers and builders get involved in their client’s evaluation of sustainable design alternatives? With a range of approaches to consider, how can the lifetime value be measured in a way that helps prioritize options, justify choices and communicate value to all stakeholders? How do new P3 financing models incorporate more sustainable investments? Join ASCE for this presentation from […]

Back in 2015, it came to our attention that Moody’s had evaluated the effect of flood reduction efforts on municipal debt levels and tax bases in Virginia’s Hampton Roads metropolitan region. Moody’s Investors Service noted that “Coastal cities in southeastern Virginia’s Hampton Roads region are becoming more vulnerable to flooding risk caused by weather-related and tidal flooding, and will require […]

One of the most highly-attended sessions at GreenBuild 2017, entitled “Cost-Justifying Green Buildings to Skeptics”, was moderated by Emma Stewart, USGBC Director and Chair of the Advisory Council, with presentations by Anthony Bernheim of The Allen Group, LLC,  responsible for program management at San Francisco International Airport’s Terminal 1, and Jack Rizzo, a Managing Director at Prologis responsible for development […]