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New Triple Bottom Line Analysis Tool Available for Civil Infrastructure

Social, environmental and financial analysis of infrastructure projects is now more accessible and affordable through a cloud-based tool for Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite users

Triple Bottom Line [TBL] analysis is rapidly becoming an important factor for building and infrastructure professionals as they must compete for scarce financing and convince stakeholders of the long term return on a new or retrofit project investment.  Triple Bottom Line analysis goes beyond exploring only the engineering aspects of a design to embrace an accounting framework with three parts: social, environmental and financial.   Increasingly, designers of bridges, roads, water/wastewater and transportation projects using Autodesk solutions to support a Building Information Modeling [BIM] workflow are being asked to factor in TBL considerations. 

To date, providing clients with TBL analysis to evaluate a design has been prohibitively costly and very limiting when it comes to exploring design options.  The traditional approach involves hiring an outside analyst service; with fees as high as $100,000 for a single project, resulting in static reports that don’t support exploring “what if” alternatives on-the-fly.   The bottom line: custom economic and risk-assessment studies are usually one-off studies, have limited value, and are too costly for widespread industry use, especially for smaller firms.

Introducing AutoCASE for Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite

All this changes today with Impact Infrastructure’s announcement of its AutoCASE cloud-based TBL analysis solution, the first in a series of tools designed for Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite Premium and Ultimate.  Starting with a stormwater module — users can now take advantage of a flexible, monthly subscription to install a plug-in for AutoCAD Civil 3D.  The new tool allows users to input 3D model spatial information directly to the AutoCASE cloud-based TBL analysis service.  

With AutoCASE, infrastructure professionals can analyze an Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D project design for such factors as public benefits of improved water quality, increased recreational, and property value.  And, as a software and cloud-based solution, modifying input criteria becomes a flexible, timely and affordable option.

“Autodesk’s support has helped us achieve our goal to automate business case analysis by combining two global standards – Cost-Benefit Analysis with Building Information Modeling,” said John Williams, Impact Infrastructure Chairman and CEO. “AutoCASE will help dramatically reduce the cost of comprehensive business cases making them routine components in project planning, design and development.”

  1Tag low impact development features in AutoCAD Civil 3D to determine the full value of the design.  Image courtesy of Impact Infrastructure.

“With direct access to AutoCASE from within AutoCAD Civil 3D, it’s like bringing an economist, ecologist and public health expert to your desk to help prioritize alternative planning scenarios based on societal value,” said Emma Stewart, Head of Sustainability Solutions, Autodesk. “Users will be able to plan, design and finance proposals, placing emphasis on achieving optimal financial, economic, social and environmental returns. AutoCASE generates TBL business cases quickly, so when changes occur, teams can see the impact immediately and use this information to increase their chances to win financing and buy-in from community stakeholders.”

Industry Reactions

"The architecture and engineering industry have grappled for years with the challenge of articulating the full value of the projects they are planning,” said Martin Janowitz, VP Sustainable Development at Stantec. “AutoCASE combined with BIM enhances our ability to evaluate and make the case for projects in a complex stakeholder and competitive funding environment."

"As we work at future-proofing the cities we serve, we need to make a dollars and cents case for the investments required,” said Rick Cunningham, Senior Project Director, Atkins Global. “Impact Infrastructure and Autodesk are responding to our need with tools that will really matter."

 

Pricing and Availability

Announced today at a launch event held in the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco, the new AutoCASE cloud-based TBL service and tool for AutoCAD Civil 3D is now available from Impact Infrastructure. The initial plug-in module for AutoCAD Civil 3D, AutoCASE for Stormwater, is available in English, with data to support projects in the United States. AutoCASE for Stormwater is available for free trial usage from today through February 1, 2015.  For more availability and subscription pricing information visit www.autocase.com.

Impact Infrastructure plans to continually enhance AutoCASE, including AutoCASE for Stormwater for other regions of the world, and future modules for other infrastructure asset types, such as transit, roads and highways, as well as for buildings.