Figure Simplified diagram developed at Sandia National Laboratories of CASoS engineering application space as a simplified network. The diagram illustrates how CASoS engineering considers the relationships of the CASoS, the goals of engineering (termed aspirations), and elements that can Influence the system (perturbations). Items in black represent existing applications for a specific CASoS and those in red represent those in development. SOURCE: Glass et al., 2011.
In the past century, acceptance of underground utility installation has evolved to be based on a combination of environmental, cost, and performance issues. Long-term performance of underground facilities has yet to be quantified or demonstrated, yielding a source of uncertainty and unknown risk for decision makers. Triple-bottom-line cost estimates—analyses of social, environmental, and economic costs and benefits—for underground facilities may provide persuasive justification for underground installation, but direct and indirect impacts need to be considered for a true lifecycle engineering design.
Higher costs of underground utility installation may make the underground less attractive to the private sector, and government stakeholders often display mixed acceptance to underground installations, sometimes depending on their relationships with utility providers. The long-term outlook of community decision makers has a role in the acceptance of underground utilities. A decision to bury utilities is best made based on real costs and experience, rather than whether stakeholders “like” underground facilities. Technological advances in underground installation processes, system monitoring, and in the development