Evaluating the sustainable performance of public infrastructure projects

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University of New Brunswick


This thesis introduces the Sustainable Efficiency Model (SEM). The SEM is a decision making tool which determines the sustainable performance of public infrastructure projects. The SEM includes economic, environmental, and social criteria as defined by the International Standards Organization 21929-2 framework (ISO 2015). The SEM is unique in that it integrates monetary and non-monetary methods into a single quantitative indicator. Two case studies are presented to demonstrate potential applications of the model. The first application is in prioritizing infrastructure projects of dissimilar typology, where a major city traffic intersection is compared against wastewater treatment plant. The second application is in evaluating design alternatives of a single project, where the modular and off-site construction of a hotel building is compared against a conventional on-site construction delivery method. Following these case studies, the SEM is evaluated for its usefulness, feasibility and usability from a group of decision makers at the City of Fredericton. It was found that the SEM is an understandable and appropriate model for evaluating the sustainable performance of public infrastructure projects. Recommendations for future study are made and lessons learned from the research are identified.