A Year in Review: The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure

February 20, 2015
Anthony Kane Vice President, R&D Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure

With the creation of the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, co-founded by ASCE in 2011, civil engineers finally have a way to measure the sustainability of infrastructure projects. ISI developed Envision™, a sustainable infrastructure rating system, that utilizes a comprehensive analysis framework incorporating 60 different criteria for use across many different types of infrastructure.

In the years since ISI’s founding, the nonprofit has made great strides. ISI estimates that nearly 350 projects are using Envision as a guideline, be they large projects like water treatment and sewage facilities, airports, power plants, roads, and wind farms, or smaller projects like municipal parks, compost facilities, and rainwater harvesting projects. An increasing number of infrastructure owners are using Envision to improve their project design process or to earn awards that recognize projects that meet the needs of their communities. To date, five projects have completed the verification process using Envision. Those include the William Jack Hernandez Sports Fish Hatchery, the Snow Creek Stream Environment Zone Restoration, the South Los Angeles Wetland Park, the Sun Valley Watershed, and the Tarant Regional Water District Line J, Section 1 pipeline.

ISI also began a training program to credential professionals in the use of Envision. ISI has a database with over 2,700 Envision Sustainability Professionals (ENV SPs) and nearly 1,500 of those individuals earned that designation in 2014. A long list of  companies are getting engaged as well. Burns & McDonnell and Arcadis each have over 100 employees certified as an ENV SP.

Envision is making a difference. “The design, planning, construction, and operation of infrastructure is absolutely critical to achieving a state of sustainability,” explains Anthony Kane, Vice President, R&D, at the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure. Doing so effectively involves bringing in a wider group of individuals and disciplines. Frameworks like the Envision sustainable infrastructure rating system can help in providing the tools engineers, developers, and other stakeholders need to create sustainable infrastructure now and into the future.”

What are your experiences with Envision? Has it been used in your community?


  • To fulfill the needs for a sustainable world major shifts of the current producer/consumer habits must take place . The present exploitation/consumption patterns of the world natural resources by the economy and society , which are the real driver of climate change , are first priority to deal with. Technical measures are the easy part of the issue.

  • Avatar 4 James e sawyer

    Wonderful patht for benefitof our great grandchildren hurrah for ASCE and sustainable development thanks ASCE ! Tom sawyer

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