Benefits, not cost, should be key focus of major infrastructure projects

Benefits, not cost, should be key focus of major infrastructure projects

 
More focus should be placed on the benefits of major infrastructure projects and less on cost, a report by the Institution of Civil Engineers has said.

The report, published today, looks at how the built environment sector can reduce the gap between cost estimates and outturns for major infrastructure projects.

ICE’s investigation into infrastructure forecasting shows, globally, that it’s incredibly difficult to forecast time and cost for major projects due to there being many unforeseen issues that can arise during delivery.

Despite these uncertainties, the ultimate measure of success continues to be initial cost forecasts.

The Institution recommended that the success measures for projects should shift from an over-focus on costs towards whole-life benefit. The survey data illustrates support from the general public for such a move.

Miles Ashley, Chair of the report’s steering group, said:

“Infrastructure is a vital part of society, with major assets helping to stimulate economic growth, improve health and well-being of the population and protect communities from the effects of extreme weather and climate change.

“We cannot continue to dismiss from the conversation these important benefits. Industry and government need to work smarter, find ways to reduce the disparity between forecasts and outturns, but also to change the narrative and ensure the wider public, the end users, are also aware of the whole-life benefits these incredible infrastructure projects are bringing to them.”

View a full summary and download the report here.

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