523 – Alternatives Analysis

Document 523 – Alternatives Analysis Report

Instructions for Report Preparation

Please go to the EWB-USA website to make sure that you are using the most current version of this document.

The purpose of the alternatives analysis is to document the thought process that the chapter should go through to determine which alternative solution is best for a given situation.  There is sufficient information presented in this analysis to justify the choices made by the chapter for the project.  For example, if there are a number of different water sources that may be used for a water supply, the alternatives analysis would describe how the preferred source was chosen.  There is no prescribed methodology for carrying out this analysis.  Any method that the chapter finds useful can be used.

The alternatives analysis can be submitted with the post-assessment report, with the preliminary design, or at any time between these two submittals. However, the 523 – Alternatives Analysis Report will follow the same review cycle as the pre-trip reports and will be processed and reviewed within one month of the submittal deadlines listed on our website. For example, if a 523 – Alternatives Analysis Report is submitted on the Monday one day after the monthly Sunday deadline, the report will be processed and reviewed after the following month’s deadline.

Formatting – Please ensure correct page numbering in your document, and include a Table of Contents.  Also, please minimize the number of documents submitted.  Multiple documents are unprofessional and confusing.

Size Limit (10MB) – Please limit the size of the reports submitted to the National Office to a maximum size of 10MB. If you compress the photos within the document, this will help reduce the size of the entire document. If you do not know how to compress photos, please see our website for instructions. Please contact projects@ewb-usa.org if you have special circumstances that may require a larger report submittal.

There are two parts to the alternatives analysis report: Part 1 includes the administrative information for the trip and Part 2 includes the technical information.

Part 1 is a fill-in-the-blank exercise that provides the EWB-USA National Office with specific information about the chapter and project.  The information should be provided in the exact format requested without deviation.  If you have questions about completing Part 1 of the report contact your Chapter Relations Manager (CRM) at the EWB-USA National Office.

Part 2 of the report is not a fill-in-the-blank exercise.  This is the portion of the report where your chapter provides all the technical information about the alternatives analysis that you carried out to determine the preferred alternative for implementation.  The outline of this portion of the report can be modified by the chapter if necessary to present the project more clearly.  It is your chapter’s responsibility to clearly and thoroughly present your project and the alternatives analysis.  Note that you may need to include additional information that is not listed depending on the specifics of your project.  If you have questions about completing Part 2 of the report, contact one of the Project Managers (PM) at the EWB-USA National Office.

Part 1: Administrative Information – Instructions

1.0              Contact Information – Fill in the table completely with updated contact information for current project leaders.  This information will be used by EWB-USA National Office staff to contact your project team throughout the review process.

2.0              Travel History – Show every trip that your chapter has taken for this program.

3.0              Project Discipline(s) – The headings in bold are project types, the subheadings are project disciplines. Check all project disciplines addressed in this report. Note that each project type needs to be approved by an EWB-USA Project Manager. If this is a new project that has not previously been approved, your chapter may need to submit a 501B – New Project Within Existing Program Application.

4.0              Project Location – Provide the longitude and latitude of the project location so that the project site can be located using Google Earth.

Part 2: Technical Information – Instructions

1.0              Introduction – Explain the purpose of this document and list the alternatives being analyzed for the particular project.  A table or schematic might be helpful.

2.0              Program Background – Provide the background of the project updated to include the information provided in the post assessment document.

3.0              Description of Comparison Methodology – Describe a rational method of comparing the alternatives.  EWB-USA does not recommend any one method of carrying out this comparison.  Your method should include a clear list of factors of comparison.  A partial list of these factors includes: complexity of the facility, cost of the facility, issues related to long-term operation and maintenance of the facility, constructability, availability of construction materials, social acceptance of the technology and many other factors.  Project sustainability must be included as a factor of comparison.

4.0              Description of Alternatives – Describe the various alternatives under consideration in sufficient detail to allow comparison of alternatives.  Sketches or mapping should be used if appropriate to help describe the alternatives.  A feasibility level engineering design and analysis may be required in order to describe the alternatives.  The description should include those attributes of the alternative that are relevant to the comparison.

5.0              Analysis of Alternatives – Present the results of applying the methodology in Section 3 for the alternatives described in Section 4 in a clear manner.  Tables can be an effective tool for clearly illustrating your results.

6.0              Description of the Preferred Alternative – Present the chosen alternative along with the reasons why this alternative was chosen.

7.0              Mentor Assessment – The Professional Mentor (for student chapters) or Technical Lead (for professional chapters) should write a short assessment of how the project team prepared this alternatives analysis document. This assessment should include individuals involved, studies and designs carried out and project management tasks. You should discuss the requirement in this section with your Professional Mentor/Technical Lead ahead of time to accommodate their schedule in anticipating the submittal deadline. This section is required for review.

7.1              Professional Mentor/Technical Lead name – List the name of the Professional Mentor/Technical Lead who wrote the assessment.

7.2              Professional Mentor/Technical Lead Affirmation – The Professional Mentor/Technical Lead should write one sentence here acknowledging their involvement in the alternatives analysis and their acceptance of responsibility for the course that the project is taking.