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Version 1.3

Why and When would I Score a Project?

INVEST can be used as a tool to retrospectively evaluate the sustainability of a completed project; proactively incorporate sustainability into ongoing projects; anticipate meeting new requirements; or programmatically find and remove barriers to incorpor

INVEST can be used to show the benefits of sustainable practices to decision-makers to help justify decisions and show the social, environmental, and economic benefits of moving towards more sustainable practices. FHWA hopes to provide agencies the rationale and guidance for incorporating sustainability into their transportation projects by providing a framework for discussion and self-reflection. It is not expected that many projects will achieve most of the PD criteria right now. It is designed to be an "above and beyond" tool that should foster excitement by showcasing opportunities for action and progress. Agencies should not become discouraged when they do not receive points for meeting regulatory requirements in INVEST; rather they should see this as an opportunity to focus efforts to progress the sustainability of their projects.

INVEST can be used at any time to evaluate a project. It is both a prospective tool and a retrospective tool; INVEST can be used to evaluate where a project is today, to set goals for incorporating sustainability into its transportation project, and to chart the agency's progress toward meeting its sustainability goals now and in the future. As INVEST is a self-evaluation tool, agencies can choose when to utilize the scoring feature. Scores are never "final" but are more of a snapshot in time of the sustainability of a project. Agencies can save and update their scores as their project evolves and the tool allows you to save snapshots of scoring at different points in time so that you can see the progression of sustainability within your project.

INVEST can be used in a number of ways throughout project development, including:

  • Retrospectively evaluating the sustainability of a completed project or portfolio of projects.
  • Proactively setting goals, providing guidance, and measuring the sustainability of an on-going project. INVEST can be used as a tool at this point to encourage broad participation, evaluate sustainability tradeoffs, communicate benefits and goals, and reward excellence. The user can choose to what extent to measure success against the absolute scale of how many overall points are achieved by a given project or set an achievement level they'd like to reach and use this tool to meet those goals.
  • INVEST does not include criteria for meeting current expectations and regulations, like NEPA. However, many of the criteria included in this system include meeting requirements that are above and beyond the normal standard of practice. As such, familiarity with the tool can assist owners, stakeholders and project teams to understand new technologies and best practices in sustainability and help them anticipate new, related requirements that may emerge.
  • Measuring the performance of project or portfolio of projects can facilitate the project owner to identify programmatic barriers that they are encountering so they can be addressed and removed. These barriers might be the result of policies, design standards and specifications, or stakeholder agency policies.
  • Evaluating the sustainability of a portfolio of potential improvement projects at a statewide, regional or local level to facilitate the decision-making process.

Using INVEST early in a project will provide the maximum opportunity to incorporate sustainable best practices into the project. Using INVEST early in a project also means, early on you can score your intents and plans and then use INVEST to validate as you complete the project. Using INVEST after project completion will serve to identify areas where the project is performing above and beyond with regard to sustainability best practices. The results from this self-evaluation can be used to find opportunities to incorporate sustainability into future projects.


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