Orange County Branch Newsletter

August 2011

Branch News

Luncheon Presentation on Sustainability

The envisionTM Rating System

with Timothy G. Psomas, P.E.

By Penny Lew, P.E.

We were happy to have Mr. Tim Psomas, chairman emeritus of PSOMAS, as our guest presenter at the July 19th luncheon.  Mr. Psomas was recently appointed chairman of the board of directors of the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) and was here to speak about the envisionTM, a rating system for sustainable infrastructure.

envisionTM is currently being developed by ISI with members that consist of public agencies and corporations. The American Public Works Association (APWA), the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) have joined together to form a stand alone, independent not-for-profit, 501 c (3) organization to promote a rating system for civil infrastructure.  The system would include a larger membership that “puts engineers in front of the parade” so that guidelines can be developed for sustainable infrastructure. As a nation, we have to address the deficiencies in our infrastructure and need a common way to discuss its sustainability.  Currently there are 900 rating systems published by agencies and jurisdictions worldwide, but they do not provide a viable framework.

Mr. Tim Psomas, P.E. Chairman of the Board of Directors of ISI

The goals for the new rating system are economic, environmental, and social in that sustainability must be affordable, have the support of policy makers, communities and stakeholders. It hopes to be recognized as the National Standard for Sustainable Achievement.  ISI also hopes to make the system practical, simple, and adaptable. 

Features of the system will apply to all stages of a project including its planning, design, construction, and operation.  Scores will range from conventional to sustainable, to restorative. The rating system criteria will include pathway, project strategy and management, long and short term effects to the community, land use and restoration, landscapes, ecology and biodiversity, water and resources environment, energy and carbon, resource management including waste, and transportation. 

Stages 1 and 2 Rating System Version 1.0 Beta-test was launched on July 5, 2011 with a 4 to 6 month public comment period.  Stages 3 and 4 will be developed in Early 2012/2013.

For more information on the proposed rating system and participation in ISI, see Tim Psomas’ presentation and the ISI website that was currently updated with content and tools.

Tim Psomas, P.E. with Sam Ali, P.E. Sustainability Committee Chair and Josh Nelson, P.E., ASCE OC Branch Vice President at the July Luncheon

We had 39 in attendance at the July luncheon held at the UCI University Club and we hope to see more of you at our September event.

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