Southeast Treatment Plant Headworks Project in San Francisco Earns Envision Gold

The Southeast Treatment Plant New Headworks Facility Project owned by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) in San Francisco, California is the recent recipient of the Envision Gold award for sustainable infrastructure.

“Being the first public infrastructure project in the City and County of San Francisco to earn an Envision Gold Award is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Harlan L. Kelly, Jr., SFPUC General Manager. “This achievement affirms our agency’s long-standing sustainability policies and procedures and is a reflection of our commitment to the well-being of the communities where our facilities are located.”

SFPUC is working in close collaboration with Carollo Engineers, Inc. (Design Engineer) and Sundt/Walsh (General Contractor) to deliver this award-winning sustainable project.

Learn more by visiting the PROJECT PAGE.

ENV SP Spotlight: Ryan Prime of Skanska USA

Ryan Prime is the national Sustainability Director for Skanska USA’s civil construction business. In addition to leading sustainability initiatives across Skanska’s operating regions, Ryan is responsible for implementing the ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 certification process to ensure Skanska’s Environmental, Health and Safety Program is compliant with these international standards for Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety management. Ryan has been with Skanska since 2008 and has worked on some of the largest and most complex infrastructure projects in the New York metro area including the LaGuardia Terminal B Redevelopment Project, Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Program and the Second Avenue Subway Tunnels Project. During his time with Skanska, Ryan has worked extensively in risk management, environmental compliance and contracts administration. Since taking the role of Sustainability Director, Ryan has served as chair of the Construction Industry Workgroup for the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure and has provided his expertise in the development and review of the Envision framework, both v2 and v3. In addition, he lectures at Columbia University on sustainable development for the Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics. Ryan is a frequent speaker at Harvard University’s Zofnass Program Workshops and was recently invited to be a member of American Society of Civil Engineers’ Committee on Sustainability. Ryan holds a B.S. degree in Environmental Geoscience from Boston College and a M.E. degree in Ocean Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.

ISI staff had a chance to connect with Ryan to learn more about his work and how he uses Envision.

Professional Experience

Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI): What drew you to your field of work?

Ryan Prime (RP): From a young age I have always been drawn to natural systems and how we as a society interact with our surroundings through the built environment.  As my knowledge expanded and my experiences multiplied I connected the delicate balance between what must be built to ensure a high quality of life with what must be conserved to ensure future generations have the same opportunity.

(ISI): What has been your biggest career challenge?

(RP): There have been many challenges but the toughest, and one I have yet to overcome, is reaching a point where the entire life cycle of an asset is taken into account when making project decisions.  To start, it’s important to define what lifecycle means and understand that different entities within project development team have different perspectives.  For example, a lender may interpret lifecycle differently from the contractor’s perspective who in turn has a different viewpoint than the operations and maintenance folks.  Decisions are often made with only one slice of the pie in view.  The biggest challenge I’ve faced in creating sustainable infrastructure is taking the time to understand the lifecycle impact of the decisions made on a project.

(ISI): What has been your proudest career moment?

(RP): I like to think that the best is yet to come. If I had to choose something at this point in my career I would say being selected as a committee member of ASCE’s Committee on Sustainability. Not only is it an honor to be recognized in the industry through such an appointment, the group is tasked with drafting a standard to be used as a rubric for sustainable infrastructure. Measures like these are the building blocks on which future infrastructure projects will be delivered in the USA and directly contribute to a strong and vibrant economy.

Envision Experience

(ISI): How did you learn about Envision?

(RP): In 2012 I researched “How to build a ‘green’ bridge?” I stumbled upon the Zofnass Program at Harvard and ISI and what was then a very early draft of Envision. At that time, I was a LEED AP and I knew that if the infrastructure sectors followed the same path with Envision as the commercial/residential sectors did in terms of LEED certification the opportunity was massive.

I then became an ENV SP to learn ISI’s definition of what it means to build “sustainable infrastructure” and to support this endeavor in the industry.

(ISI): How is Skanska using Envision?

(RP): Skanska is building six projects that have been verified and have earned Envision awards. The use of Envision supports Skanska’s values. We see these awards as a way to highlight the effort that goes into to planning and constructing projects sustainably that may otherwise be overlooked because it is often challenging to communicate this without a third-party certification like Envision.

(ISI): Can you share some highlights from an Envision project?

(RP): I am very proud of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Expo Line Phase 2 (Expo 2) Light Rail project award we earned in 2017. This project provided a critical piece of infrastructure that did not exist before and was one of the first projects Skanska had verified using Envision.  The client – Metro – was an excellent partner in the award and through the verification process they were able to demonstrate a leadership position in sustainability.

Fun Facts

(ISI): What are some of your favorite hobbies and interests?

(RP): Not surprising I love anything outdoors. Hiking, trail running, surfing, mountain biking and camping – and always with my family.

(ISI): What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

(RP): I’m a car guy.  I know working in the sustainability field implies that I have to despise anything that consumes fossil fuels but I am very much into all makes and models of cars, trucks and vans – essentially anything with wheels and an engine.  In my defense nearly all of the work I perform on cars is maintenance related so the goal is to keep things operating safely and efficiently.

ISI Publishes Online Course on Infrastructure Economics in Collaboration with Autocase by Impact Infrastructure

ISI is pleased to announce the addition of a new course to our online library. Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure Economics introduces business cases and triple bottom line cost benefit analysis for sustainable infrastructure. The lessons provide an overview of the fundamentals of business case development: financial and economic concepts; cost benefit analysis and an introduction to valuation of ecosystem services; and making the case for sustainability and resilience investments. Case studies are used to contextualize the concepts. An overview of new Envision v3 credit LD3.3 Conduct a Life-Cycle Economic Evaluation is included as well as a presentation of returns on investment for sustainable infrastructure.

About the Author

This course is the first online course developed in collaboration with an ISI member company. ISI congratulates Autocase by Impact Infrastructure and thanks primary course author, Eric Bill, for their contributions to this valuable course.

Eric Bill is an applied economist and vice president of Economics at Impact Infrastructure. He leads the economic research program and advisory practice, and he helps optimize the company’s automated business case evaluation tools, Autocase. His firm’s primary goal is to create a standardized suite of business case analysis tools to promote the development of more sustainable and resilient communities.

Credential Maintenance

This course qualifies for 2 elective, or “user’s choice” hours in fulfillment of your ENV SP credential maintenance education requirements. Find this course by logging in to your ISI account, and don’t forget to check out these other great offerings:

  • Beyond the Basics: Envision Verification
  • Using the Envision Pre-Assessment Checklist: A Case Study

Log in to your ISI account to access these courses. 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.

Enroll in the credential maintenance program today to access the Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure Economics course and other informative courses.


Upcoming Event: Sustainability Workshop Presented by ASCE Arizona Section Phoenix Branch


ASCE Arizona Section Phoenix Branch Presents Sustainability Workshop

Sustainable Infrastructure, Access, and Mobility

The ASCE Phoenix Branch will be holding a series of presentation briefs on sustainable infrastructure, access, and mobility on August 29, 2019. Presenters from the ASCE Phoenix Branch, Psomas (representing the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure), ADOT, City of Phoenix, and Arizona State University will speak.

Event Details

When: Thursday, August 29, 2019 from 7:00 AM to 12:00 PM MST

Where: Maricopa County Dept. of Transportation, 2901 West Durango Street, Phoenix, AZ 85009

For further information or to register, click HERE.

Alliant Energy’s Upland Prairie and English Farms Wind Farms Earn Envision Platinum

Two of Alliant Energy’s Wind Farms – Upland Prairie and English Farms – located in Everly and Montezuma, Iowa respectively are the recent recipients of the Envision® Platinum award for sustainable infrastructure.

Alliant Energy, a Midwest energy company engaged in electric generation and the distribution of electricity and natural gas, expects to increase its renewable energy capacity from 20% in 2018 to 33% by 2024. Completion of the Upland Prairie and English Farms Wind Farms with the projected combined energy capacity of 470 megawatts, is a significant contributor to meeting this goal. The electricity generated by these two wind farms will be enough to power approximately 168,000 Iowa homes per year.

“These two projects are part of a larger expansion of wind energy for our customers. We’re using advanced wind turbine technology to provide emission-free and cost-effective energy for our customers for decades,” said Terry Kouba, President of Alliant Energy’s Iowa energy company. “We are continuing to transition our generating fleet to cleaner, more cost-effective sources, which will promote a 40% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and an 80% reduction by 2050.”

Alliant Energy worked in close collaboration with General Electric Renewable Energy, Black & Veatch and White Construction to deliver these award-winning sustainable projects. Alliant Energy previously earned Envision awards for their Marshalltown Generating Station and Dubuque Solar projects.


Port Authority of New York & New Jersey’s Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Program Earns Envision Silver

The Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Program of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ or PA) is the most recent recipient of the Envision Silver award for sustainability.

The Port Authority worked in close collaboration with the design joint venture (HDR and Parsons Brinkerhoff/WSP, with AECOM as the sustainability consultant) and the construction joint venture (Skanska and Kiewit) to deliver this award-winning sustainable project.

The Bayonne Bridge is the fourth-longest steel arch bridge in the world and was the longest in the world at the time of its completion in 1931. This historic engineering landmark, designed by American-Swiss structural engineer (and former Port Authority Chief Engineer) Othmar H. Ammann, spans the Kill Van Kull tidal strait, the narrow water body that connects New York Harbor to four of the Port Authority’s five major container terminals.

Built prior to the era of containerized freight, the bridge was originally constructed 151 feet above water. As a result of the bridge’s limited height, in recent years shippers had been forced to use smaller, less-efficient and less environmentally-preferable ships to bring goods into the region.  To solve this problem, in 2010, the PANYNJ announced its decision preserve the Bayonne Bridge while raising its roadway deck to 215 feet to permit the passage of larger, more efficient vessels.

In addition to preserving a landmark structure, this project benefits the New York-New Jersey region in many ways. Critically, larger, more efficient ships calling on PA ports yields better air quality for the region.  The project also includes wider lanes, shoulders, and median dividers, which together make the bridge safer for drivers, and features a new bikeway and an ADA-compliant walkway.  The bridge was also designed not to preclude future mass transit service.

Learn more by visiting the PROJECT PAGE.