Sustainability Committee

"As the stewards of society's physical infrastructure, civil engineers must lead the next shift in sustainable planning, design, and construction. ASCE defines sustainability as "a set of environmental, economic and social conditions in which all of society has the capacity and opportunity to maintain and improve its quality of life indefinitely without degrading the quality, quantity or availability of natural, economic, and social resources."   - ASCE National Sustainability Page


With a focus on Orange County-based members, the Sustainability Committee strives to educate and further the state of the practice of sustainability in three broad areas:


  • Provide networking and information exchange opportunities to our members by partnering with sustainable organizations such as USGBC, etc.
  • Engage student members by developing guest lecture topics and course modules on current sustainable practices.
  • Coordinate with other ASCE Orange County Branch Committees and institutes, ASCE OC Younger Member Forum, and with the ASCE LA Branch Sustainability Committee and the National ASCE/TAC Committee on Sustainability.

Rating Systems

  • Advocate and provide resources to support the use of infrastructure rating systems.
  • Recognize sustainability with a Branch award for Sustainable Project of the Year.
  • Provide information and resources to encourage public agencies/owners to incorporate and adopt sustainability standards.


  • Promote and learn about active transportation infrastructure through organizing bike ride activities.
  • Educate our members and the community at large about sustainable practices.
  • Organize field trips to certified sustainable projects.
  • Contribute to the body of knowledge of sustainable practices.
  • Provide resources to ASCE members to obtain sustainability credentials: LEED-AP, ENV-SP, STP, etc.


On January 16, 2008, the National ASCE Technical Advisory Committee on Sustainability published Sustainability Guidelines for ASCE Sections, Branches, and Student Chapters. Many ASCE Sections, including Los Angeles, started the formation of Sustainability Committees and our Branch has also demonstrated leadership in advancing sustainability by creating a committee.


Active ASCE-OC Branch members with genuine interest and experience in sustainability can apply to become a member of the Sustainability Committee. If you would like to be a member of this committee, please send an email to one of the Chairs with a paragraph describing your interest and qualifications (see contact info above on the right). The Committee meets virtually once every month during lunch. Contact committee chair for more meeting information. 
Members of the Committee include (pictured from left to right) taken during the COVID-19 pandemic in one of our virtual monthly meetings:


Envision provides a holistic framework for evaluating and rating the community, environmental, and economic benefits of all types and sizes of infrastructure projects. It evaluates, grades, and gives recognition to infrastructure projects that use transformational, collaborative approaches to assess the sustainability indicators over the course of the project's life cycle.
This rating system is a collaboration between the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) and the Zofnass program for Sustainable Infrastructure at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. ISI is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization founded by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), the American Public Works Association (APWA), and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Click the banner below for more details:




Newport Beach Learning Center - CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS



"Sustainable development is the challenge of meeting human needs while conserving and protecting the natural resource base essential for future development."
As the bridge between science and society, engineers must strengthen and broaden their education and find innovative ways to achieve needed development while conserving and preserving natural resources.

To achieve these objectives, ASCE promotes the following implementation strategies:

  • Promote a broad understanding of economic, environmental, political, social, and technical issues and processes as related to sustainable development;

  • Advance the skills, knowledge, and information necessary for a sustainable future; including habitats, natural systems, system flows, and the effects of all phases of the life cycle of projects on the ecosystem;

  • Advocate economic approaches that recognize natural resources and our environment as capital assets;

  • Promote multidisciplinary, whole system, integrated and multi-objective goals in all phases of project planning, design, construction, operations, and decommissioning;

  • Promote reduction of vulnerability to natural, accidental, and willful hazards to be part of sustainable development; and

  • Promote performance-based standards and guidelines as bases for voluntary actions and for regulations in sustainable development for new and existing infrastructure.



Sustainability Rating Systems
Materials and Processes
  • Coming Soon
State of California


Sustainability Committee Co-Chair
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Nathan Forrest, PE, ENV SP
Sustainability Committee Co-Chair
California Nevada Cement Association
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Committee Files

  • There are no related documents at this moment.

Related News

Summer Bike Rides

My friend, Sam Ali, P.E., recently wrote a story on bike trail connectivity in Orange County. The article was published in the ASCE Civil Engineering Magazine. Since Sam and I share the same passion for cycling, I thought I would seize the opportunity to share a few enjoyable rides in our OC backyard.

Read More

Habitat Restoration and Bike Ride at Upper Newport Bay

ASCE OC Sustainability Committee met twice at Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve in April! First on April 9th for Habitat Restoration, and the second time on April 30th for a bike ride.

Read More

Inflation and Shortage Supply Impacts

We have all been witnessing price inflation, whether it is at the gas station or at the grocery store. Both inflation and material shortage have become part of our design considerations when we select and specify materials for our projects.  The approach has been further emphasized over the last couple of years: the Architectural Engineering and Construction (AEC) community should initiate design and construction projects with a thorough understanding of material availability, fabrication, delivery lead time, projected construction index price, and an evaluation of equivalent alternatives. 

Read More

Complete Streets, CAPTI, and CTP 2050

Orange County Sustainability Committee (SusCom) with a joint effort from the Transportation and Development Institute (T&DI) invited Reyna Baeza-Oregel and Irene Hou from Caltrans District 12 and Sherry Weinmeier from Stantec to speak on the subjects of complete streets and the future of transportation infrastructure in California.

Read More

Sudamericana Water Conservation

Last month, I traveled to Chile for my brother’s wedding and took the opportunity to wander in Patagonia, the Colchagua Valley (wine country), Santiago, and a few other places. I don’t know if the pattern is common across my peers, but as for myself, travels are generally punctuated by a constant evaluation of the local infrastructure, design details, construction means and methods, and an assessment of the infrastructure challenges that each region faces.

Read More


ASCE OC T&DI held another virtual presentation on Tuesday, December 14th with speaker from OCTA, Chief Executive Officer, Darrell Johnson. This presentation provided updates to several on-going OCTA projects, upcoming projects, and the agency’s plan for the funding through the newly passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Read on for highlights of the presentation.

Read More

Related News Archive

CEC {banner_alt}

Stay Connected

Copyright © 2022 ASCE Orange County, California Branch. All Rights Reserved.

Designed and developed by Jub Jub Interactive.