July 9 2008

An Overview of SPeAR by ARUP

SPeAR Tool

SPeAR, the Sustainable Project Appraisal Routine, is a sustainability performance evaluation tool developed by ARUP for use in their projects. The software was developed by ARUP as a way of breaking down sustainability into constituent parts so that issues could be dealt with on a discrete per instance basis rather than as a conceptual ideal. ARUP has used SPeAR on several projects including the Chongming Dongtan City development and the National Aquatics Center in Beijing. Increasingly the tool is being used to supply project planning and management guidance as well as to influence the design process toward sustainability.

The example SPeAR document above shows the basic setup of an evaluation. The four quadrant model uses Environment, Societal, Natural Resources, and Economic macro categories to gauge sustainability. Within each quadrant are a number of subcategories which are chosen to specifically represent the project being evaluated. Each subcategory is rated and the aggregate of all the subcategories gives an overall score to the quadrant. It is clear at first glance that this is a very sophisticated metric for the already established definition of the Triple Bottom Line or sustainability of Social Equity, Economics and Environment.

ARUP touts the many advantages to using SPeAR as an evaluation tool including:

  • Highlights strengths and weaknesses and points to future areas of opportunity
  • Provides management information to aid decision making
  • Provides auditable information for assurance and verification purposes.

Follow the links for more information on SPeAR or to the work Ove ARUP is doing in the field of environmental sustainability.

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November 18th, 2008 at 9:13 AM

Serf Serfontein

Any chance of obtaining the complete software? I am doing a M thesis in Wildlife management and i would love to see what is in this tool. It appears as if it can be applied very well in Wildlife Management. I will obviously give credit to your company if it is mentioned or discussed in the thesis. Kind regards, Serf.

January 26th, 2009 at 3:50 AM


Serf- I doubt they would give you the software (ARUP). You might try contacting them. I suspect that SPEAR is a strategy that uses several actual software packages and the assembles the data using some sort of compiler database or script to produce a SPEAR number.

June 10th, 2009 at 3:01 AM


Serf, Yes you can access the software on Arups software company's website, Oasys: http://www.oasys-software.com/information/universities.shtml It is a student only version, and I believe it has to be run the first time from a educational IP address. I have installed and run it and it works fine, even in Ubuntu (linux) with Crossover. It also includes user manual & evaluation procedures!! jonasrisen - I agree as usuall companies are very greedy / selfish with their software but Arup is a very progressive & ethical company, and therefore very sought after as a consultant or employer!! Kudos to them for making it avialable to every school and university in the world.

June 12th, 2009 at 11:50 AM


Great. I had no idea it was even available to students. I was recently a graduate student so maybe I can still slide in under the wire for a testdrive. On another note... Arup is amazing...

August 9th, 2010 at 7:11 AM

Quantifying Sustainability - TheEnvironmentSite.org Discussion and Information Forums

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