Delivering world class sustainable infrastructure:  Applying best practice Whole of Life Costing

Delivering world class sustainable infrastructure: Applying best practice Whole of Life Costing

Sydney is a city that is experiencing rapid expansion and a significant level of investment from the Government to improve infrastructure as a result. This is to cope with changes in population trends in the future and to support a program of urban renewal for Sydney as a global City. Over the last year, the NSW government as part of its Long Term Transport Master Plan has introduced a number of projects to ensure that the city can accommodate its changing demographics and transport needs.

Examples of this include the North West Rail link (NWRL), Sydney Light Rail and the newly approved WestConnex projects. NWRL is a priority heavy rail infrastructure project that is a rapid transit service connecting Sydney’s global economic corridor with high growth employment and residential centres. Light rail will play an important part in the future of transport in Sydney as well. In December 2012, the NSW Government announced that it would extend light rail from Circular Quay to Kingsford and Randwick, through the heart of the Sydney CBD via George Street. Roads and motorways will also be receiving significant investment and projects include the F3-M2 link and WestConnex. WestConnex is a motorway that will run through the western suburbs of Sydney via the airport and CBD, providing an improved transport system for residents and visitors.

All of these major infrastructure projects face significant sustainability challenges and are required to meet high compliance standards in their delivery and operations. The Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) standard is now gaining traction nationally and is being adopted for all major infrastructure works. This new benchmark is driving change and a greater level of sophistication is required to determine the bottom line value or value proposition for sustainable infrastructure.

Whole of life analysis is ideally undertaken upfront in the Design and bid phases and is particularly relevant for complex PPP arrangements. The purpose of whole of life analysis is to establish the costs, impacts and social considerations of an asset over its complete life cycle. Often assets or project costs and impacts are only considered when they are being acquired or constructed. Whole of life considers the asset during the operation, maintenance and disposal phases as well so that a total cost of ownership model can be calculated. Triple bottom line accounting and measurement with benefits realization over time. This approach enables assets/projects to be assessed properly so that trade-offs can be made upfront in the Design and that assets can be optimized to reduce costs and impacts over their life cycle. This is best practice and it is a leading trend in major infrastructure works.

Edge Environment is specialized in sustainable infrastructure delivery and offers a unique technical and advisory services which include: whole of life, ISCA IS ratings, LCA, CCRA, energy/water modeling, ESD etc.

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