Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sustainable Infrastructure Update

The recently revived Infrastructure Working Group (IWG) strives to engage the structural engineering community outside of building designers in an effort to disseminate the fundamental concepts of sustainability that are applicable to all types of structures.

While the LEED rating system has pushed building designers to develop and apply their fundamental principles of sustainability, the lack of such a driver within the bridge, tunnel, dam, levee, and other industries has left a gap in the sustainability fundamentals of its engineers. The IWG is working to fill that gap by raising awareness about sustainability project rating systems such as Envision and Greenroads that are applicable to transportation and other non-building type structures.

Envision is a newly released system developed to help evaluate the sustainability of civil infrastructure. It was created by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) which was founded by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), and the American Public Works Association (APWA). The rating system uses a holistic approach to educate owners and project teams on the aspects of sustainability and offers guidance on how to ensure each aspect receives due consideration. Projects are evaluated based on 55 credits within 5 categories: Quality of Life, Leadership, Resource Allocation, Natural World, and Climate and Risk.

More information about Envision and ISI can be found at

Post submitted by committee member Marty Chorkey.

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