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It's More Than Present Worth

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Present worth is often the controlling criteria when selecting alternatives to solve a public works problem. This is adequate if the options are technically equal and operations and maintenance costs are controlling. What is overlooked with this approach are intangible criterion such as social impacts, meeting the design criteria, construction, traffic, and utility impacts, constructability, as well as service life and reliability.

Use of the “paired comparison” technique allows a comparison of intangible criterion selected as having potential influence on a project. The paper will present case histories detailing the use of the “paired comparison” process. It will present an assessment of the impact intangibles such as construction and traffic disruption, etc. have on selecting and ranking alternatives, the problems that can be associated with the process, and lessons learned in implementing the process. The impact of a good owner⊘consultant relationship is also explored. The paper should benefit owners and consultants involved with similar politically sensitive projects.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2001

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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