ENV SP Spotlight: Nicoletta Antonias of Italferr S.p.A

ENV SP Spotlight: Nicoletta Antonias of Italferr S.p.A

For this month’s ENV SP Spotlight, we are delighted to feature an Envision Sustainability Professional in Italy: Nicoletta Antonias. (Italian translation to follow.)

Mrs. Antonias is the focal point for Innovation and Sustainability for Italferr S.p.A., the engineering company belonging to Gruppo FS (Ferrovie dello Stato), the Italian state railway company. Italferr is responsible for the construction of all high-speed rail in Italy.

Mrs. Antonias has more than 15 years’ experience in the development and application of environmental management systems and environmental monitoring, acquired in the construction of railway infrastructure. Her role is crucial in defining and developing policies, guidelines, methodologies, and operating models for the correct implementation of innovative initiatives, and the development and application of sustainability systems, frameworks and methodologies such as LEED, Envision, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), and carbon footprint. Mrs. Antonias studies and develops new methodologies aimed at integrating sustainability into the design of infrastructure, and she is engaged in research and development for innovative solutions by collaborating with universities, authorities, startups, and other companies that focus on open innovation—a more distributed, participatory and decentralized approach to innovation. 

ISI connected with Nicoletta to learn more about her work and experience using Envision.

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

Nicoletta Antonias (NA): Driven by an intuition that it would become increasingly necessary to have specialized skills for environmental protection, I chose to specialize in the field of environmental engineering.  My sensitivity and conviction around sustainable development reinforced my commitment that each of us can contribute, guaranteeing a better planet for future generations. 

In facing global challenges, I believe it is necessary to create a vision for the future that focuses on sustainability. I believe sustainability is the engine and key driver, a way of designing and building modern, efficient infrastructural networks. 

ISI: What has been your biggest career challenge, thus far?

NA: Understanding the strategic importance of sustainability to promote a new engineering model has been my biggest career challenge. I feel highly satisfied helping other companies of the Gruppo Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane and other construction companies develop, propose, and realize projects that contribute to the sustainable development of cities and territories. 

ISI: What has been your proudest career moment? 

NA: Becoming recognized as a reference point for Italferr and Gruppo FS for sustainability issues. I feel part of a change movement.  I am also proud of helping Gruppo FS become widely known for Italian excellence in sustainable mobility.

ISI: How did you first learn about Envision?

NA: I heard about Envision for the first time while participating in an international fair on the circular economy and sustainable development. I knew from that moment on that it was a perfect fit for me, and I’m excited about using it to enhance sustainability.

ISI: Why did you decide to pursue an Envision credential? 

NA: Italferr’s expertise and experience in the design of sustainable works has led to the identification of the Envision framework as a useful tool that strengthens the company’s commitment to finding effective designs, sustainable solutions, and holistic approaches to infrastructure design and management. We have developed, in collaboration with ICMQ S.p.A., the first guideline for the application of the Envision protocol to railway infrastructure that has been validated by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure. This guideline became a point of reference on a national and international level for that specific sector. The guideline is adapted to the Italian regulatory environment and the railway sector. I became an Envision Sustainable Professional because I believe in the application of Envision as a means to enhance sustainable-design choices. I also enjoy identifying new spaces where a resilient-engineering model can be implemented. 

ISI: How is your organization using Envision? 

NA: My organization is using Envision to evaluate the sustainability of a specific infrastructural project and to objectively outline the benefits related to the realization of that work. 

ISI: How are you putting your ENV SP credential to use?

NA: Envision helps me communicate objectively, clearly, and comprehensively, so that a territory or community fully understands how a specific transport infrastructure project will be more sustainable. I am also using the ENV SP credential for submitting projects to the verification body.

ISI: What does sustainable infrastructure mean to you?

NA: For me, sustainable infrastructure identifies the RIGHT project. It is ‘right’ because it considers the needs of the community and because it fits better into the regional context.

(In Italian)
ENV SP Spotlight: Nicoletta Antonias of Italferr S.p.A

Per lo Spotlight ENV SP di questo mese, siamo lieti di presentare un Envision Sustainability Professional in Italia: Nicoletta Antonias.

L’ing. Antonias è il riferimento per l’Innovazione e la Sostenibilità di Italferr S.p.A., la società di ingegneria del Gruppo FS (Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane). Italferr cura la progettazione e la fase di realizzazione delle opere infrastrutturali, in Italia ed all’estero. Oltre 30 anni di esperienza nei grandi progetti infrastrutturali per il settore ferroviario convenzionale e per quello ad Alta Velocità, nel trasporto metropolitano e stradale, nella progettazione di ponti, porti e stazioni.

L’ing. Antonias ha oltre 15 anni di esperienza nel campo dell’ingegneria ambientale, nello sviluppo e nell’applicazione di sistemi di gestione ambientale e monitoraggio per la fase di realizzazione di infrastrutture di trasporto. Il suo ruolo è cruciale nella definizione e nella diffusione di politiche, linee guida, metodologie e protocolli di sostenibilità (LEED, Envision, Life Cycle Assessment, impronta di carbonio). L’ing. Antonias studia e sviluppa nuove metodologie volte a integrare la sostenibilità nella progettazione e realizzazione delle infrastrutture ed è impegnata nella ricerca e sviluppo di soluzioni innovative in collaborazione con università, enti, start-up e altre società attive nell’open innovation, valido approccio di cooperazione sui temi dell’innovazione.

ISI si è rivolto a Nicoletta per saperne di più sul suo lavoro e sulla sua esperienza in relazione a Envision.

ISI: Cosa ti ha spinto a operare nel tuo ambito lavorativo?

Nicoletta Antonias (NA): Spinta dall’intuizione che sarebbe diventato sempre più necessario disporre di competenze specialistiche per la tutela ambientale, ho scelto di specializzarmi nel campo dell’ingegneria ambientale. La mia sensibilità ed attenzione ai temi dello sviluppo sostenibile hanno rafforzato la consapevolezza che ciascuno di noi può fornire un contributo concreto per disegnare un pianeta migliore per le generazioni future.

Nell’affrontare le sfide a livello globale, ritengo sia necessario creare una visione per il futuro incentrata sulla sostenibilità. Credo che la sostenibilità sia il motore e il driver chiave per poter progettare e costruire reti infrastrutturali moderne ed efficienti.

ISI: Qual è stata la tua più grande sfida professionale finora?

NA: Comprendere l’importanza strategica della sostenibilità per promuovere un nuovo modello di ingegneria è stata la sfida più importante. Sono particolarmente soddisfatta di poter aiutare altre società del Gruppo Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane e altre società di costruzioni a sviluppare, proporre e realizzare progetti che contribuiscono allo sviluppo sostenibile di città e territori.

ISI: Qual è stato il momento della tua carriera di cui sei più orgogliosa?

NA: Essere riconosciuta come punto di riferimento per Italferr ed il Gruppo FS per le tematiche di sostenibilità. Mi sento parte del cambiamento. Sono orgogliosa di poter contribuire al riconoscimento del Gruppo FS come eccellenza italiana anche in tema di mobilità sostenibile.

ISI: Come hai conosciuto Envision?

NA: Ho sentito parlare di Envision per la prima volta ad una fiera internazionale sull’economia circolare e lo sviluppo sostenibile. In quel momento ho sentito che era uno strumento perfetto per indirizzare azioni e scelte concrete di sostenibilità.

ISI: Perché hai deciso di acquisire una qualifica come Envision SP?

NA: La competenza e l’esperienza maturata da Italferr nella progettazione di opere sostenibili ha portato all’identificazione del protocollo Envision come strumento utile che testimonia l’impegno dell’azienda nella ricerca di soluzioni sempre più efficaci e muove ad un approccio olistico nelle fasi di progettazione e gestione delle infrastrutture. Abbiamo pertanto sviluppato, in collaborazione con ICMQ S.p.A., le prime linee guida per l’applicazione del protocollo Envision alle infrastrutture di trasporto ferroviario, documento poi validato dall’Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure. Questa linea guida è diventata un punto di riferimento a livello nazionale e internazionale per l’applicazione del protocollo allo specifico settore. La linea guida tiene infatti conto del contesto normativo italiano ed è riferita al settore ferroviario. Sono diventata Envision Sustainable Professional perché credo nell’applicazione di Envision per indirizzare e migliorare le scelte progettuali in un’ottica di sviluppo sostenibile. Credo che si possano identificare nuovi spazi in cui sia possibile implementare un nuovo modello di ingegneria resiliente.

ISI: In che modo la tua organizzazione utilizza Envision?

NA: La mia Società sta usando Envision per misurare la sostenibilità di uno specifico progetto infrastrutturale e per evidenziare oggettivamente i benefici correlati alla realizzazione di quell’opera.

ISI: Come stai usando la tua qualifica ENV SP?

NA: Envision aiuta a comunicare in modo obiettivo, chiaro e trasparente il valore e la capacità di trasformazione di un territorio indotti dall’opera, consente pertanto alle comunità interessate di comprendere il significato più ampio dello specifico progetto infrastrutturale. Sto usando la qualifica ENV SP per sottoporre i progetti all’organismo di verifica.

ISI: Cosa significa per te un’infrastruttura sostenibile?

NA: Ritengo che l’infrastruttura sostenibile equivalga al progetto GIUSTO, giusto perché considera le esigenze espresse dagli stakeholder e perché si adatta meglio al contesto territoriale di riferimento.

Increasing Sustainability in the Los Angeles Region

Washington, D.C. – February 26, 2020- Throughout 2020, the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) in Washington, D.C., is partnering with the United States Green Building Council of Los Angeles (USGBC-LA) to focus on making infrastructure projects in the LA region more sustainable and resilient.

USGBC-LA and ISI will be training infrastructure stakeholders and citizens on the Envision framework—a holistic rating system and tool that helps teams incorporate sustainability and resiliency into their projects.

Envision training creates a pathway to sustainable infrastructure and helps communities and project teams verify that they are doing the right projects the right way. Anyone can use Envision, but those interested in expert training can qualify to become Envision Sustainability Professionals (ENV SPs) through online courses by completing an in-person workshop provided by USGBC-LA’s talent portal, which is located on their website: https://usgbc-la.org/

ISI’s Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Kane, is proud to be partnering with USGBC-LA to help the LA region use Envision to meet future challenges: “The LA region has always been on the forefront of sustainability, and they understand the value of sustainability to the local economy, the environment, and quality of life in the region. That is why we are excited to add our support to the incredible work already being done to make the Los Angeles region a hub for sustainable infrastructure.”

USGBC-LA’s Executive Director, Ben Stapleton, also added: “Buildings and infrastructure should go hand and hand as we work together to create a more sustainable society in this decade of action. We’re excited about the opportunity to bring a common language and shared process around sustainable infrastructure, needed now more than ever, to the largest green building chapter in the nation.”

The Envision sustainable infrastructure framework assesses project sustainability across five categories: Quality of Life, Leadership, Resource Allocation, Natural World, and Climate and Resilience. These key areas contribute to positive social, economic, and environmental impacts on a community during the planning, design, and construction of infrastructure projects.

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About Envision®: Envision is the product of a collaboration between ISI, which was founded by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), the American Public Works Association (APWA), and the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Visit us: www.sustainableinfrastructure.org.

Media Contact: For inquiries related to ISI, Envision, or the Envision training and verification process, contact: ISI’s Director of Marketing and Communications, Dyan Lee, at lee@sustainableinfrastructure.org

ISI’s 2020 Webinar Schedule

2020 Webinar Schedule 

ISI is pleased to announce the addition of six more webinars to our 2020 programming. These live webinars are hosted as a way to engage with the Envision user community and to help Envision Sustainability Professionals (ENV SPs) maintain their credentials. (Each webinar qualifies as one elective education hour towards the annual ENV SP credential maintenance requirements.) 

All webinars will be hosted live. Registration is free and those wishing to participate must register in advance.  After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email containing important information about joining the meeting. 

Implementing Envision 

Presented by: Anthony Kane, ISI
Wednesday April 22, 2020 at 1:00 PM Eastern
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 An increasing number of public and private sector stakeholders are using Envision to plan, design, and deliver more sustainable infrastructure by setting standards, establishing policies, and pursuing verification. The purpose of this webinar is to provide a deeper understanding of practical applications of the Envision frameworkExamples will be presented to inspire new approaches that can be strategically integrated into everyday operations. 

 

Leveraging Integrated Design to Achieve Higher Sustainability Performance Under Envision 

Presented by: Quin MacKenzieluuceo consulting inc., Bronwyn Worrickluuceo consulting inc.
Wednesday May 13, 2020 at 1:00 PM Eastern
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Infrastructure projects are defined by unique challenges and opportunities, including diverse funding streams, contrasting stakeholder priorities, and a variety of triple-bottom line impacts. In this webinar we will use project examples to discuss processes and techniques for implementing Envision on projects with alternative delivery methods to support more sustainable and resilient outcomes. 

  

Tailoring Envision to Meet Multiple Goals for Airport Infrastructure 

Presented by: Carly Shannon, C&S Companies
Wednesday June 10, 2020 at 1:00 PM Eastern
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Airports are using Envision to meet their needs and achieve lofty goals outside of the terminals. This webinar features several airports that have leveraged Envision in different manners. Industry experts will describe the processes, benefits, and lessons learned. It will conclude with an outlook of future applications and potential both within the industry and other sectors 

  

Envision: Lessons Learned from Project Preparation and Verification 

Presented by: Lauren Ballou, VHB; Sierra LePore, VHB; and Van Du, VHB
Wednesday August 26, 2020 at 1:00 PM Eastern
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The webinar will discuss lessons learned and common challenges for projects going through certification, as well as observations and lessons learned on project verifications. The presenters will focus on challenging credits and helpful tips on how to provide sufficient documentation as well as what to look for when verifying. 

 

Using Envision as an Umbrella FrameworkApplications for Large Mixed-Use Transit Projects 

Presented by: Teresa C. Vangeli, WSP
Wednesday October 14, 2020 at 1:00 PM Eastern
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Sustainable design has come a long way in the past decade. Many transportation projects include a mix of project types from buildings to stormwater systems to parks and parking garages. WSP recommends Envision as a framework with a wide scope that encompasses all elements of the project site.  The rating systems for single elements of larger projects can operate under the Envision umbrella.  The presenter will share natural synergies that arise and will also note the pitfalls to avoid.   

 

Effectively Communicating the Value of Your Infrastructure Projects 

Presented by: Dyan Lee, ISI
Wednesday December 2, 2020 at 1:00 PM Eastern
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Consider the importance of infrastructure in our daily lives. DDespite the obvious need for infrastructure and the many benefits it provides, historically it is overlooked and underfunded until it breaks down or service is disrupted. How can infrastructure industry professionals shift this mindset in order to garner more support of sustainable projects? During this webinar, ISI’s Director of Communications will share tips for how the infrastructure industry can rewrite the narrative on what makes an infrastructure project valuable.  

Southport Levee Improvement Project Earns Envision Platinum for Sustainable Infrastructure

The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) announced today that the West Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency received the Envision® Platinum Award for the City of West Sacramento’s Southport Levee Improvement Project (SLIP). This is West Sacramento’s first Envision award and the nineteenth Envision-verified project in California.

West Sacramento is seasonally surrounded by water and protected from flooding by the city’s levee system. This $180 million project, financed and constructed by the West Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (WSAFCA), is the Agency’s largest capital improvement to date. Levee improvements along this 5.6-mile section include a combination of renovating the existing levee structure and the construction of a new setback levee.

Flood risk-reduction measures address deficiencies of through-seepage, under-seepage, slope stability and geometry, erosion, and encroachments and noncompliant vegetation. WSAFCA’s goal is to achieve a minimum 200-year level of levee performance for the entire West Sacramento levee system. The project brings the levee into compliance with Federal and State levee design criteria, as well as providing opportunities for ecosystem restoration and public recreation. The project is relatively unique for an urban area in that it returns several hundred acres of land to riparian and oak savanna habitat.

This multi-benefit flood risk reduction and ecosystem restoration project was constructed as part of the federal West Sacramento Project, a partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), WSAFCA, and the Central Valley Flood Protection Board acting through the Department of Water Resources (DWR) Division of Flood Management. The City and WSAFCA worked in close collaboration with HDR, GEI Consultants, WSP, MBK Engineers, ICF International, SCS Engineers, AECOM, cbec and Blackburn Consulting to deliver this award-winning sustainable project.

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