Saudi Aramco’s Ajyal Community Development Project is First in Middle East to Earn Envision Award

Saudi Aramco’s Ajyal Community of Excellence project located in South Dhahran, Saudi Arabia is the first infrastructure project in the Middle East to earn an Envision award for sustainable infrastructure. This project is the recent recipient of the Envision Silver award—an award that signifies the project delivers a range of environmental, social, and economic benefits to the host and affected communities.

The Ajyal Community of Excellence project, known locally as the South Dhahran Home Ownership Program, includes site planning, selection, preparation, environmental monitoring; and design and construction of the infrastructure for the new Ajyal community.

The overall goals of the Ajyal Community Development project include:

  • Promoting a high quality of life by including pedestrian and bicycle paths, attractive landscaping, and public open spaces for residents;
  • Demonstrating leadership in environmental design by optimizing land use and balancing economic, social, and environmental considerations;
  • Smartly locating and constructing utilities and infrastructure to serve the needs of the community today, while also planning for future growth;
  • Creating opportunities for significant commercial and residential development in an area that was previously barren; and
  • Utilizing resources efficiently—including energy, water and materials—during construction and over the operational life of the project.

Saudi Aramco worked in close collaboration with Nesma & Partners, HOK and IBI to deliver this award-winning sustainable project.

Visit the PROJECT PAGE to learn more.

ENV SP Spotlight: Michael Bloom


Michael Bloom, PE, ENV SP, BCEE, CFM is the Sustainability Practice Manager at R. G. Miller Engineers, Inc., in Houston, Texas.  He is responsible for wetlands, natural resources work, nature-based stormwater management, and surface water quality management projects. He has 28 years of experience in environmental consulting.

ISI staff had the chance to connect with Michael, and he provided the following insights from his career:

Professional Experience

What drew you to your field of work?

I have always had a keen interest in “making a difference” while applying science and engineering knowledge and skills.  I’d read articles in the late 1980s about Superfund clean-ups and a company called Roy F. Weston, Inc. doing projects like that. This piqued my interest, and I got to work for Roy F. Weston, Inc. back in the early 1990s.

What has been your biggest career challenge?

One one project I needed to deliver a complex information technology (IT) solution to a state agency on time, on budget, and while meeting client expectations about how the system would function.  A working IT solution was ultimately delivered, but the client was dissatisfied, the budget was overrun, and the technology team was exhausted. I learned that information technology projects are extremely challenging to deliver and that every consultant sometimes has a project that fails to make a profit.

What has been your proudest career moment?

organized and conducted a pre-conference workshop at a national conference on watershed management.  It was particularly rewarding to have the workshop sell out and generate lots of positive feedback from attendees.

Envision Experience

Why did you decide to pursue an Envision credential?

I saw that it was backed by ACEC, APWA, and ASCE – all large, well established organizations. I thought that adoption would take off and I felt that I needed to get credentialed or I would be left behind.

How are you using Envision?

I have been advocating for its use in the Houston region since 2010.  I helped secure resolutions of support for its use by Houston Wilderness, the North Houston Association, and the West Houston Association.  As an ISI trainer, I’m now among those training private sector practitioners as well as people who work for the Harris County Engineering Department, after the department announced they would be moving forward with its use on projects.  As an ISI trained Verifier, I’ve reviewed two large projects that have completed the entire process.

Could you share some highlights from an Envision project?

I helped teach a class in Advanced Sustainable Design at Rice University. We had the class use Envision to evaluate the sustainability of three different storm surge protection options for the Houston metropolitan area. The total Envision credit score was determined for all three options.  Through this evaluation, the students discovered that the net embodied carbon of all three barrier systems were not insignificant. Student groups used the entire Envision credit system to evaluate the three barrier options and present their findings in a report and in a presentation.

Fun Facts

What are some of your favorite hobbies and interests?

I enjoy science fiction, helping my wife in the garden, the ancient eastern board game of “GO.”

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I am a sucker for almost any type of cat or dog. We currently have 3 cats and 1 dog at home. I drive my wife to a particular garden-supply place in town — that usually has rescue kittens and puppies for adoption – just so I can pet them.

Melissa Peneycad Appointed to Managing Director

Melissa Peneycad

Washington, DC – May 28, 2019 – the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Melissa Peneycad to the role of Managing Director. 

Melissa has been with ISI since 2016 in the capacity of Director, Sustainable Projects. She had been Acting Managing Director since March 11.

“Melissa has been instrumental in growing and developing the Envision verification program – a program which now boasts more than $20 billion of infrastructure development as being Envision verified, and an additional $30 billion of infrastructure registered and under review,” said Anthony Kane, President & CEO.  “Her commitment to ISI in recent years has been crucial to the organization’s development, and I look forward to continuing to work with her and the rest of the ISI team to realize a new vision of further developing the organization and supporting the sustainable infrastructure communities in the U.S., Canada, and overseas.”

In her new role, Melissa will develop and manage strategic partnerships and outreach efforts and will continue to lead the Envision verification program. Her new role takes effect immediately.


Anthony Kane Appointed President & CEO

Washington, DC – The Board of Directors of the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Anthony Kane as President & CEO.  He had been acting in the role since March 5.

John Williams, Chair of the Board of Directors – “The Board is happy to appoint Anthony and believe he is the right choice as ISI looks to grow and support the sustainable infrastructure community. We look forward to his leadership.”

Anthony Kane has been with ISI for many years and most recently distinguished himself in the role of Managing Director. He came to ISI from the Harvard University Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure, and has been instrumental in the creation, launch and growth of the Envision program—ISI’s framework that supports higher performance through more sustainable choices in infrastructure development. ISI has now credentialed over 8,000 Envision Sustainability Professionals and issued Envision awards for over $20 billion in sustainable infrastructure. Another $30 billion in infrastructure projects are registered and pursuing Envision awards.

Anthony Kane, President & CEO – “This is an exciting time for ISI and the Envision community. Having been involved since ISI’s inception I am incredibly proud of all we have accomplished together over the years, and look forward to further growth and development.”

Anthony’s appointment is effective immediately.  Please join me in congratulating Anthony and welcoming him to his new leadership role.

John Williams
Chair of the Board of Directors
Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure

OC Streetcar

The OC Streetcar project, managed by the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), recently earned an Envision Silver rating for sustainable infrastructure. This is the 15th Envision-verified project in the state, and the first modern streetcar project in California to receive Envision recognition.

The project helps OCTA and the cities of Santa Ana and Garden Grove reach their goals to increase transportation options and improve transit connectivity. The $407.7 million project, which is expected to begin operation in 2022, will operate along a 4.15-mile route that connects the bustling Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center (SARTC) — providing regional rail, OCTA bus, and intercity and international bus services — to a new multimodal hub at Harbor Boulevard/Westminster Avenue in Garden Grove.

Learn more about the project by visiting the PROJECT PAGE.

Itinerario ferroviario Napoli-Bari, tratta Frasso Telesino-S. Lorenzo

–English translation follows–

L’itinerario Napoli – Bari è parte integrante del Corridoio ferroviario Scandinavia-Mediterraneo della Rete Transeuropea dei Trasporti (TEN-T). L’intervento di potenziamento in corso di realizzazione consiste nel raddoppio e nella velocizzazione fino a 200 km/h di alcune tratte dell’attuale linea al fine di incrementarne la capacità, la frequenza e la regolarità dei servizi di trasporto, migliorare l’accessibilità del territorio e facilitare gli spostamenti da Bari verso Napoli e Roma: nel 2026, alla conclusione prevista dei lavori, sarà possibile andare da Bari a Roma in c.a. 3 ore e a Napoli in c.a. 2 ore. L’intera opera, realizzata per lotti funzionali che saranno progressivamente attivati all’esercizio, costerà in totale 6,2 miliardi di Euro, in gran parte finanziati dallo Stato Italiano con partecipazione anche di fondi EU. L’opera si pone anche l’obiettivo di piena integrazione del sistema ferroviario con il tessuto regionale costituito da nodi urbani, portuali, aeroportuali e logistici. La linea sarà, inoltre, affiancata da altre infrastrutture lineari in modo da costituire un “Corridoio Multifunzionale”, caratterizzato dalla dorsale ferroviaria, da una dorsale di trasmissione elettrica, che consentirà – nel medio termine – di aumentare il bilanciamento e il carico in tempo reale delle energie rinnovabili e che – nel lungo termine – sarà parte della “European Supergrid 2050”, e da una dorsale digitale che consentirà di connettere con fibra ottica i territori attraversati e le stazioni ferroviarie.

La certificazione Envision ottenuta da RFI è relativa alla tratta Frasso Telesino – Telese – S. Lorenzo dall’estensione di c.a. 21 km: essa collegherà le aree dei Comuni beneventani di Frasso Telesino, Telese e San Lorenzo Maggiore, attraverso una serie di interventi di raddoppio, in variante e in affiancamento della linea esistente, di realizzazione di nuove stazioni ferroviarie, ma soprattutto di potenziamento dell’accessibilità alle aree interessate dal progetto.

L’orientamento della progettazione e della realizzazione delle opere verso la sostenibilità contribuisce a mitigare gli impatti sulle comunità interessate dal progetto e sull’ambiente, a ridurre i costi a vita intera dell’opera, inclusi quelli di realizzazione, di gestione e manutenzione della stessa, e ad aumentare l’efficienza del progetto conseguendo importanti risparmi in termini economici e temporali. Tale impegno è stato ratificato dal raggiungimento del livello massimo di certificazione “Platinum”, al termine di un processo condotto con successo da RFI grazie anche alle sinergie attivate con la Regione Campania attraverso un tavolo tecnico di coordinamento dei numerosi attori coinvolti con gli obiettivi di  identificare gli elementi di sostenibilità del progetto e di massimizzare gli effetti di sviluppo territoriale indotti dall’opera e dalla sua integrazione con le altre infrastrutture lineari.

Tra i fattori che hanno contribuito al raggiungimento del massimo livello di certificazione conseguibile, figurano:

•      la condivisione con gli Stakeholder: infatti la nuova linea AV/AC Napoli – Bari è stata concepita come un’opera che connette e non attraversa soltanto i territori. La connessione con le aree industriali e produttive permetterà di generare importanti iniziative logistiche nelle aree del Sannio e dell’Irpinia. Uno degli aspetti che abbiamo curato maggiormente con il protocollo Envision è stato quello di elaborare un quadro condiviso e trasparente verso l’esterno con tutti gli Enti Locali per realizzare un progetto che avesse ricadute concrete per le comunità locali. In questo modo è stato possibile promuovere e valutare sinergie, opportunità ed efficienza dell’opera e dell’intero contesto infrastrutturale, ambientale, economico e sociale. Inoltre, accorciando notevolmente le distanze tra le grandi aree metropolitane del Sud e riducendo i tempi di percorrenza tra Bari, Napoli e Roma. L’opera potrà avere anche l’effetto di rivitalizzare le aree oggi soggette a fenomeni di spopolamento.

•      la salvaguardia degli elementi peculiari del territorio: la progettazione dell’intervento è stata, infatti, elaborata secondo il principio fondamentale di tutela dell’ambiente e nel rispetto degli ambiti territoriali ed ambientali interferiti. Il progetto del tratto Frasso Telesino – San Lorenzo preserva la qualità paesaggistica ed ecologica dei luoghi, prevedendo il riutilizzo e il recupero della maggior parte dei materiali di scavo, minimizzando al tempo stesso le interferenze con il territorio attraversato e assicurando elevati standard tecnico-qualitativi in fase realizzativa. La scelta del tracciato, tra le diverse alternative e varianti possibili, ha anche privilegiato soluzioni con impatti minori sugli habitat esistenti, salvaguardando ad esempio le aree di esondazione dei principali corsi d’acqua presenti sul territorio e cercando di minimizzare gli impatti sulle aree di produzione vinicola locale. Sono state privilegiate scelte progettuali come lo spostamento del tracciato, la disposizione delle pile dei viadotti esterne all’alveo, o la rimozione di alcuni tratti esistenti, sostituiti da parti in galleria, e da interventi di mitigazione come la rinaturalizzazione delle aree, il ripristino di fasce ripariali e delle attività agricole.

•         l’importanza della resilienza: la progettazione ha affrontato anche temi come la resilienza dell’opera ferroviaria nei confronti delle possibili minacce e vulnerabilità legate alle variazioni climatiche, alle condizioni geomorfologiche delle regioni interessate, ma anche alla variazione delle condizioni socio-economiche.


The Naples-Bari route is an integral part of the Scandinavia-Mediterranean railway corridor of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). The expansion work currently being carried out consists of doubling and speeding up to 200 km / h of some sections of the current line in order to increase the capacity, frequency and regularity of transport services, improve the accessibility of the territory and facilitate travel from Bari to Naples and Rome: in 2026, at the expected completion of the works, it will be possible to go from Bari to Rome in about  3 hours and in Naples in about 2 hours. The entire work, carried out for functional lots that will be progressively activated during the year, will cost a total of 6.2 billion euros, mostly financed by the Italian State with participation also of EU funds. The work also aims to fully integrate the railway system with the regional context  made up of urban, port, airport and logistics nodes. The line will also be flanked by other linear infrastructures in order to constitute a “Multifunctional Corridor”, characterized by the railway backbone, by an electric transmission backbone, which will allow – in the medium term – to increase the balancing and the load in real time of renewable energies and that – in the long term – will be part of the “European Supergrid 2050”, and of a digital backbone that will allow to connect the territories crossed and the railway stations with optical fiber.

The Envision-verification obtained by RFI relates to the Frasso Telesino – Telese – S. Lorenzo section of the extension of about 21 km: it will connect the areas of the Benevento Municipalities of Frasso Telesino, Telese and San Lorenzo Maggiore, through a series of doubling interventions, in variant and alongside the existing line, of the construction of new railway stations, but above all of strengthening the accessibility to the areas affected by the project.

The orientation of the design and construction of the works towards sustainability contributes to mitigating the impacts on the communities affected by the project and on the environment, to reduce the lifetime costs of the work, including those of construction, management and maintenance of the same , and to increase the efficiency of the project achieving important savings in economic and temporal terms. This commitment was ratified by the achievement of the maximum level of “Platinum” certification, at the end of a process conducted successfully by RFI thanks to the synergies activated with the Campania Region through a technical coordination table of the numerous actors involved with the objectives of identifying the elements of sustainability of the project and to maximize the effects of territorial development induced by the work and its integration with other linear infrastructures.

The factors that contributed to the achievement of the maximum achievable certification level include:

• sharing with stakeholders: in fact, the new AV / AC Naples – Bari line was conceived as a work that connects and does not cross only the territories. The connection with the industrial and production areas will allow to generate important logistic initiatives in the areas of Sannio and Irpinia. One of the aspects that we have taken care of the most with the Envision protocol has been to elaborate a shared and transparent framework outwards  with all the Local Authorities to carry out a project that had concrete repercussions for the local communities. In this way it was possible to promote and evaluate synergies, opportunities and efficiency of the work and of the entire infrastructural, environmental, economic and social context. Furthermore, by considerably shortening the distances between the large metropolitan areas of the South and reducing travel times between Bari, Naples and Rome. The work may also have the effect of revitalizing the areas now subject to depopulation.

• safeguarding the peculiar elements of the territory: the planning of the intervention was, in fact, elaborated according to the fundamental principle of environmental protection and in respect of the interfered territorial and environmental areas. The project of the Frasso Telesino – San Lorenzo section preserves the landscape and ecological quality of the places, foreseeing the reuse and recovery of most of the excavated materials, minimizing at the same time the interferences with the territory crossed and ensuring high technical and qualitative standards in implementation phase. The choice of the route, among the different alternatives and possible variants, has also favored solutions with minor impacts on existing habitats, safeguarding for example the areas of flooding of the main waterways present in the territory and trying to minimize the impacts on the local wine production areas. Preference was given to design choices such as the displacement of the route, the arrangement of the stacks of viaducts outside the riverbed, or the removal of some existing sections, replaced by tunnel parts, and mitigation measures such as the re-naturalization of areas, the restoration of riparian strips and agricultural activities.

• the importance of resilience: the project has also addressed issues such as the resilience of the railway work towards possible threats and vulnerabilities linked to climatic variations, the geomorphological conditions of the regions concerned, but also the variation of socio-economic conditions.


Credential Maintenance: Required Courses for 2019

As a part of the Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP) credential maintenance program, ISI prescribes two courses annually that all ENV SPs are required to complete. These courses ensure all ENV SPs have the same foundational understanding of Envision and the current trends within the sustainable infrastructure sector.

Required courses are added to all ENV SPs’ accounts at the beginning of the renewal period. The following two courses were published and are available as the 2019 required courses for ENV SPs whose credential maintenance renewal period began in 2019.

ISI Required Course 2019: The Envision Framework

The purpose of this course is to examine the six components of the Envision framework. Each of the components are presented in detail, providing a comprehensive look at the framework. This course describes the interrelatedness of the components, illustrating how they optimally support the framework together.

ISI Required Course 2019: Sustainable Infrastructure and the Role of Envision

This course provides an overview of the trends impacting the implementation of sustainable infrastructure. Envision is detailed as a framework that can be used to address challenges in the infrastructure sector.

Log in to your ISI account to access these courses. For additional information on how to complete these courses and use the other credential maintenance features of your ISI account, please reference the illustrated Web Tutorial: ENV SP Credential Maintenance.

New Online Course for ENV SPs Available

We are 6 months into our new credential maintenance program and Envision Sustainability Professionals (ENV SPs) are eager for more courses to continue learning and to meet their credential maintenance requirements.

To meet growing demand for new courses, ISI has recently published a new course titled Beyond the Basics: Envision Verification. This course provides a detailed look at the verification process allowing for a streamlined project review. The first of many new courses to be added to the online library, this course qualifies for one elective, or “user’s choice”, education hour toward maintaining the ENV SP credential. The course is available for purchase in ENV SPs’ accounts. ENV SPs may use their continuing education credit to purchase the course.

Log in to your ISI account to access this course. For additional information on how to purchase this course and use the other new credential maintenance features of your ISI account, reference the illustrated Web Tutorial: ENV SP Credential Maintenance.

It is not too late for ENV SPs to enrol in the credential maintenance program. The enrollment grace period for ENV SPs who originally earned their credential prior to 2018 ends on June 30th, 2019. Enroll today to access the Beyond the Basics: Envision Verification course and other informative courses that will be made available soon.

First Envision Conference and Envision Award in Europe

On May 7th, 2019 in Milan ICMQ along with supporters Stantec, and Civiltà di Cantiere were joined by speakers from RFI (Italian Railway Network), Intesa Sanpaolo, NET Group, e2i, Terna, and the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure.

Lorenzo Orsenigo, Managing Director of ICMQ, led the conference with discussing the value of Envision for local communities:

“The infrastructure project must first of all take into account the primary objectives of the community, defining what and how many long-term benefits it can really derive, while improving the liveability of the community. It must also evaluate and integrate the needs, objectives and values ​​of the community, ie it must be able to enhance those characteristics that make it unique and exclusive. However, the analysis of the sustainability of an infrastructure must not be left to chance, but must be carried out with a methodology that takes all aspects into consideration and produces an objective assessment of its impacts”.

The highlight of the event was the presentation of the first Envision award in Europe to RFI (Italian Railway Network) for the Frasso Telesino–San Lorenzo Maggiore section of the Naples–Bari Railway Line. Speaking of the diffusion of the Envision Protocol in Italy, Giulia Costagli, Head of Studies and Innovative Projects of the Italian Railway Network, said:

“The Envision certification for the Frasso Telesino–San Lorenzo Maggiore section–the first in the world for an extended railway line, obtained with the highest level achievable, Platinum–is the confirmation of the attention and commitment of the Italian Railway Network  for sustainability, an essential value that directs the strategies and the development of the company’s activities. The teamwork carried out in synergy between RFI and the Campania Region has allowed us to refine some aspects of the design, directing it to be more and more “respectful” of the environment and the territory. RFI will try to apply the Envision protocol also on other projects with the aim of enriching the transport value of its interventions also with greater value for the communities, through savings and the efficient use of the natural resources of the territory crossed ”.

In 2015 ISI partnered with ICMQ to administer Envision in Italy. The ICMQ institute for certification and quality branding for products and services for construction is a non-profit association that encompasses numerous sector associations operating in every part of the construction industry. ICMQ operates in compliance with international, European and Italian standards which regulate the activities of certification bodies, and strives to provide an extremely high quality service. Follow the link to learn more about the Envision Italia initiative.

Left Image, from left to right: Lorenzo Orsinigo, Managing Director ICMQ; Emanuela Sturniolo, South Europe Operations Director Stantec; Anthony Kane, President and CEO ISI; Giulia Costagli, Head of Studies and Innovative Projects RFI; Professor Giuseppe Marotta, University of Sannio.


Eagle Creek Airpark Taxiway B

The Eagle Creek Airpark Taxiway B project in Indianapolis, Indiana is the recent recipient of the Envision Bronze award for sustainable infrastructure. This project involves the rehabilitation, widening and relocation of Taxiway B at Eagle Creek Airpark, a General Aviation airport owned by the Indianapolis Airport Authority. The main objectives of the project are to meet the Federal Aviation Administration’s design standards, improve the condition of the pavement, and achieve required separation standards. The project also involves the replacement of existing lighting with LEDs.

The project design was led by Woolpert with C&S Engineers, Inc., serving as Envision Administrator.  The team worked in close collaboration with the IAA to deliver this award-winning, sustainable project.

To learn more about this project, visit the PROJECT PAGE.