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 […]

The Institute of Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) is seeking feedback on the draft credits in its latest version of the Envision sustainable infrastructure framework, known as Envision v3. Here’s some … In the Leadership credit category, for Credit LD3.3 – Conduct a Lifecycle Economic Evaluation in Section 3 (pp.69-71 in the electronic version or pp.64-66 of the print version of the draft) […]

Funding Public Private Partnerships (PPP’s) share the same challenges, whether it’s China or here in North America. Small projects need to be aggregated to reach the scale required for PPP’s. Large projects struggle to convey that the benefits of outweigh their hefty price tags. “China’s Sponge City Plan (SCP) is estimated to cost $1.5 Trillion (USD) for 657 cities. “China’s SCP […]

Join this webinar to learn from our experienced panelists.  REGISTER HERE  Civil engineers and site planners are increasingly confronted with too much or too little water. Municipalities and water authorities are seeking new Low Impact Development (LID) techniques to prevent flooding and contamination by capturing and reusing water onsite. But if these new techniques cost more, how can the near-term […]

Too often infrastructure discourse is focused on the financials of a project. Discussion forms around jobs created, capital spent, or payback periods while missing the main objective of infrastructure: providing value to society. This is a reminder to designers and developers of infrastructure that what we the public want is infrastructure for the public good. “The Higher Standard: Triple bottom line decision making for infrastructure” by John Parker and Derek Ensing Impact Infrastructure, American […]

The Copenhagen Consensus strikes again. In the Boston Globe recently, the intrepid Triple Bottom Line Cost Benefit Analysis (TBL-CBA) wielding economists took on the problem that is Haiti. Shamelessly valuing human life, climate and making trade-offs regarding disparate and seemingly incomparable goals. “In more than 40 new research papers, … researchers have covered everything from improving broadband access, rebuilding the […]

Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) provides infrastructure decision-makers with information on what to build, how to design, build, and finance a project and how to prioritize when funds are scarce. What more could we ask from this over 100-year old tool? As we rush headlong towards possible infrastructure asset sales, public private partnerships, tax credit incentives, and other get-someone-rich-quick schemes we […]