In order to make better management decisions about assets – when to continue to repair an asset versus when to replace an asset – cost data on an individual asset basis is needed. This data could include initial cost (if known,) operation and maintenance costs, repair costs, and rehabilitation costs. Additional costs such as fines or legal fees associated with an asset failure can be included if they are known and the inventory program is sophisticated enough to contain this data. For more detailed information on tracking and utilizing cost data see the information provided in the Life Cycle Costing sections.

To determine the value of an asset, the system should analyze the replacement cost of the asset, using the expected technology and materials that will be used at the time of replacement. Identifying the projected replacement costs for an asset may not be straightforward. The system should use recent project data to estimate replacement costs. This data can come from within the system or from nearby systems that have recently replaced assets. When this information is not available, the system may need to estimate the value or wait for better data to become available before completing this data entry.

A resource is being developed for green assets to assist systems with becoming more familiar with the asset categories, how they work, ease of construction compared one to another, types of maintenance required, maintenance intensity compared one to another, design considerations, benefits and costs compared one to another. This resource can be used by systems to help understand relative costs for green assets

If estimation is done, the possible approaches include:

  • Organizations that complete a large number of construction projects per year may be able to provide estimates.
  • Some organizations, such as large cities, periodically publish unit costs for construction. These costs can be used as a starting point and revised as necessary to cover costs in other areas. If costs are typically higher in a particular area than the published guide, they can be increased. If costs are typically lower, the prices can be decreased.
  • There are calculators that allow for the comparison of green infrastructure to gray. Some of these calculators are linked in the resources.