Check Out the Envision Certification System and WEF Envision Manual

The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) Envision rating system as been around for about five years and is gaining traction as the premier sustainability rating system for the wastewater industry. ISI was founded by the American Public Works Association (APWA), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) and operates under their oversight. ISI collaborated with the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design to develop Envision. 

Envision is a rating system for sustainable infrastructure. It measures a project’s impact on the surrounding community and environment plus technical considerations regarding materials and processes while providing a framework for discussing sustainability decisions with project stakeholders and community.  Not only is it a planning and design tool, it also is a means of evaluating completed infrastructure projects. 

These ISI and HDR fact sheets provide good overviews of the Envision rating system. Note that the HDR fact sheet is a few years old so the certification costs are outdated, but the other information remains accurate. One of the best features of Envision is that its rating system can guide the sustainable design of wastewater infrastructure without the requirement of paying fees (if an owner or project team is not interested in undergoing verification to received an official certification rating).

To date, 29 projects in the United States have received Envision certifications, including the highest platinum certification. Three of those projects have been wastewater treatment or pump station projects.

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) recognizes the significant of the Envision rating system. WEF’s Envision Taskforce developed a WEF Envision guidance manual to help project teams utilize this important sustainability rating system on wastewater projects. Check it out and propose using Envision on your next project!

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