The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) defines sustainability as a set of environmental, economic, and social conditions – the “Triple Bottom Line” – in which all of society has the capacity and opportunity to maintain and improve its quality of life indefinitely, without degrading the quantity, quality, or the availability of natural, economic, and social resources.
Envision® is a rating system and best practice resource that was developed to help successfully implement sustainability into infrastructure projects. Envision® is a holistic rating system that measures the sustainability of an infrastructure project from design through construction and maintenance for all types and sizes of civil infrastructure including: roads, bridges, pipelines, railways, airports, dams, levees, landfills, water treatment systems, and many other components. It can be used by infrastructure owners, design teams, community groups, environmental organizations, constructors, regulators, and policy makers to:
- Meet sustainability goals.
- Gain public recognition for high levels of achievement in sustainability.
- Help communities and project teams collaborate and discuss, “Are we doing the right project?” and, “Are we doing the project right?”
- Make decisions about the investment of scarce resources.
- Include community priorities in civil infrastructure projects.
Projects can benefit in numerous ways by using Envision® including:
- Long-term viability through increased resiliency and preparedness.
- Lower costs through management and stakeholder collaboration.
- Reduced negative impacts on the community and the environment.
- Potential to save owners money over time through efficiency.
- Credibility of a third-party rating system.
- Increased public confidence and involvement in decision making.
Envision® was developed in joint collaboration between the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). ISI is a not-for-profit education and research organization founded by ASCE in partnership with the American Council of Engineering Companies and the American Public Works Association.
About the Author
Andrew W. Burt, P.E.
Senior Project Engineer
Andy joined Ruekert & Mielke, Inc. (R/M) in 2008. He has worked as a project engineer and project manager on numerous municipal projects including
road reconstruction, wastewater collection and conveyance system design, wellhead protection planning, water distribution system and storage design,
water and wastewater treatment facility rehabilitation and upgrade design, site development, planning/feasibility studies, grant applications, and general municipal