Orange County Branch Newsletter

May 2011

Sustainability News

It’s Official: New Sustainable Infrastructure Rating System is envision

The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) has announced that its sustainable infrastructure rating system, now in pilot testing, will be called envision. The new rating system is founded on the “triple bottom line” concept of sustainability, which includes environmental, economic and social considerations, and is designed to identify the benefits of sustainable practice for owners, regulators and practitioners. envision will be formally launched in the summer of 2011 as a voluntary, downloadable product. Unlike other tools, envision will include an option for third-party verification, and will provide a uniform means of assessing a wide range of infrastructure projects, from roads and bridges to energy and water systems.

ISI was founded as a joint venture of ASCE, ACEC and APWA. These three partners represent the broadest stakeholder group of owners, consultants and practitioners needed to help move the principles of sustainable infrastructure into practice.  All three national nonprofit organizations realized that concern over the sustainability of the planet transcends any single discipline or field, and is a concept that can only be comprehended through a broad industry and government collaboration.

“As a profession, civil engineers are committed to sustainable practice, so as an organization, ASCE has committed to leading the way forward,” said Kathy J. Caldwell, P.E., ASCE president.  She also added that “Being one of the founding members of ISI is a key part of that commitment, and we are very excited to add it to our roster of sustainability initiatives. Not only will this new partnership allow us to create a product the marketplace is demanding, it will ultimately help us to create an atmosphere of acceptance for sustainable infrastructure solutions.” 

ISI recently announced that Bill Bertera, former executive director of the Water Environment Federation, has joined the Institute as its executive director. ISI membership will be open to individuals, organizations and agencies.  The organization will also be developing certification and continuing education programs for rating system users. The Board of ISI is currently reviewing the rating system spread sheet and the guidance manual. After the Board reviews the rating system, it will be submitted for a general review. More information about ISI and envisioncan be found at at their website.

On another note, the Orange County Renewable Energy Society has a free seminar on “Selling Your Power to the Grid: The Latest on SB 32”. For more info visit at their website.

Related Groups/Committees