ISI Presents Envision to the United Nations in Geneva

Melissa Peneycad Invited to Address UN Economic Commission for Europe

 

On Monday, March 25, 2019 Melissa Peneycad, ISI’s Acting Managing Director, addressed the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in Geneva, Switzerland.  She was one of a small group of world-leading experts who were invited to discuss innovation, public-private partnerships (PPP), and project assessment tools to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

While Envision has been gaining a strong foothold in the United States and Canada, many nations have not yet heard of ISI and its Envision sustainable infrastructure framework, or the organization’s success in verifying sustainable infrastructure projects.

Peneycad’s presentation on ISI, Envision, and its application to evaluate PPPs and other project types against the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) was warmly welcomed by a collective of representatives from UN organizations including the UN Industrial Development Organization and the UN Conference on Trade and Development, delegates representing several UN member states, and many non-governmental organizations.  She underscored the relevant aims of Envision and the verification process and emphasized the aspects of Envision that specifically address the UN SDGs, including equity and social justice, economic effectiveness, stakeholder engagement, reducing carbon emissions, and training and job creation.

Envision’s impact also caught the attention of attendees.  Since 2013, Envision has been used to evaluate the sustainable performance of more than 70 infrastructure projects, collectively worth more than $19.5 billion, with another $31 billion of infrastructure development registered for Envision review. Recognizing the collective effort behind Envision, Peneycad hailed ISI’s founding organizations and partners, and the almost 8,000 Envision Sustainability Professionals trained in the use of Envision as an infrastructure planning and design tool. She also gave specific recognition to the numerous public-sector departments, agencies, and municipalities across the United States and Canada that are formally adopting the Envision framework for their infrastructure developments.

“This was a real honor,” said Peneycad whose presentation resulted in requests from the leadership of UNECE’s Committee on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Public-Private Partnerships for further dialogue on the application of Envision around the world. “ISI is grateful to the Secretariat for the invitation to participate in this meaningful pursuit.  This meeting was just the beginning and I sense an exciting future for sustainable infrastructure and Envision.”

 

UNECE Chief of Partnerships and Cooperation, Geoffrey Hamilton, extends his acknowledgments to ISI’s Melissa Peneycad after her presentation at the United Nations in Geneva on Monday, March 25. [Photo submitted by MDR Public Affairs]

Melissa Peneycad at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland. [Photo submitted by MDR Public Affairs]

 

ISI Committees: Call for Applications

 

ISI is pleased to announce the start of several committees. Descriptions of each committee are provided below. Those interested in joining a committee are encouraged to complete an application and return it to ISI by April 18, 2019. Applications for each committee can be downloaded from this page.

Thank you for your interest in serving on an ISI committee. We look forward to receiving your application.

 

Public Information & Outreach Committee

Description

An increasing number of stakeholders from across the public and private sectors are using Envision to plan, design, and deliver more sustainable infrastructure, set standards and establish policies for sustainable infrastructure, and guide procurement. The purpose of the Public Information & Outreach Committee is to inform ISI staff of market and implementation-related matters affecting the use of Envision®. The committee shall provide expert feedback and insight on how the Envision system and related tools, resources, and programs affect the user experience and market uptake of Envision, towards the goal of securing Envision’s leadership in sustainable infrastructure and providing effective and satisfying user engagement.

Expertise

The Public Information & Outreach Committee shall represent as many infrastructure sectors (e.g., water, transportation, energy, waste) and geographical areas (e.g., states, provinces, territories) as possible. Committee members must be members of ISI. Committee members should also be frequent users of Envision, as well as have expertise in Envision implementation, marketing strategies, and government procurement/tendering processes.

Application for Public Information & Outreach Committee

 

 

Training and Credentialing Committee

Description

In 2018, ISI launched a credential maintenance program with the intention of strengthening the ENV SP credential. The training and credentialing committee will support credential programming in two ways: first, by advocating for and enhancing ENV SP Training (the online course and the in-person workshop); second, by supporting continuing education through development and review of new courses. The committee will identify topical education needs and may propose new curriculum, strategies, or platforms.

Expertise

The Training and Credentialing Committee shall represent as many infrastructure sectors (e.g., water, transportation, energy, waste) and geographical areas (e.g., states, provinces, territories) as possible. Committee members must be active ENV SPs and members of ISI. Student members and young professionals are encouraged to apply. Committee members should also be frequent users of Envision, as well as have expertise in Envision implementation and continuing education course development.

Application for Training Credentialing Committee

 

 

Academic Committee

Description

ISI has identified a need for increased Envision resources for academic uses at universities and colleges. These resources will support an increase in new credential holders, particularly by participation of students. The Academic Committee will advocate for use of Envision at academic institutions and inform ISI of Envision use in the academic sector. The committee will identify the needs of the academic sector with respect to Envision, and develop resources including, but not limited to: curriculum, guides, etc. Additionally, committee members may be called upon to serve as points of contact for those interested in implementing Envision within their academic curriculum.

Expertise

The Academic Committee shall be comprised of professors, teachers or faculty who are currently using Envision in the classroom or have a strong desire to do so. Student members are encouraged to join the committee alongside an advising professional member. Committee members must be members of ISI. Committee members should also be frequent users of Envision, as well as have expertise in Envision implementation and curriculum development.

Application for Academic Committee

Changing and Renewing Leadership: Melissa Peneycad Assumes Role of Acting Managing Director at ISI

 

Melissa Peneycad

March 11, 2019 – Washington, DC – The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) has announced that Melissa Peneycad has been appointed Acting Managing Director. Effective immediately, her new role will include greater operational oversight while also building strategic external partnerships for ISI. These responsibilities are in addition to her existing role in which she leads the Envision project verification and awards program as Director, Sustainable Projects. The position of Managing Director was vacated last week when the organization’s Board of Directors appointed Anthony Kane Acting President & CEO.

“We’re delighted that Melissa will take on this role,” said Kane. “She has demonstrated herself as exemplary, and we owe much of the organization’s recent success to her experience, commitment, and deep technical knowledge of sustainable infrastructure.” Melissa joined ISI in July 2016 after nearly 15 years of experience in management consulting; and sustainable buildings and infrastructure planning, design, and management. She has been leading the Envision project verification and awards program, which has included overseeing the verification process for dozens of projects. The Envision project verification and awards program has grown significantly under Melissa’s leadership. ISI has verified $19.5 billion of infrastructure projects around the world (up from $6.6 billion in 2016), and another $31 billion is currently registered for review. Melissa also played an instrumental role in the development and delivery of the latest iteration of the Envision sustainable infrastructure framework – Envision v3 – launched by ISI in April 2018.

Melissa was previously an Associate, Sustainable Development at Stantec Consulting. There, she helped establish the firm’s integrated sustainable infrastructure practice, was one of the first to earn her Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP) credential and become an ISI Trainer and Envision Verifier. Melissa also managed a national building certification program at Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) and was a senior sustainability consultant at TerraChoice, a leading environmental marketing firm.

Melissa holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honors) degree from Queen’s University, as well as a Master of Environmental Studies and a graduate diploma in Business and Sustainability from York University. She is a contributing author in The Business of Sustainable Development in Africa: Human Rights, Partnerships, Alternative Business Models, and has written numerous articles published in Civil + Structural Engineer Magazine, Canadian Civil Engineer, Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine, Municipal World, and Sustainable Architecture & Building Magazine.

 

Anthony Kane
Acting President & CEO

Changing and Renewing Leadership

A Message from ISI’s Acting President & CEO

 

I am honored that the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) Board of Directors has asked me to assume the role of Acting President and 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.

Our collaboration with stakeholders is what has defined ISI. The organization’s creation was itself an act of collaboration between our founding organizations that continue to support and guide us today: the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Public Works Association (APWA), and the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). Creating Envision was another collaboration with Harvard University’s Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure. Envision became a first-of-its-kind tool in the United States and Canada that has helped advance sustainable infrastructure for seven years and counting. Most recently, the development of Envision v3 was the fulfillment of a promise that Envision would grow and adapt with our industry’s needs. More than 85 professionals volunteered their time and talents to make this next Envision even better than before. Today, with Melissa Peneycad and Lindsey Geiger leading unprecedented growth in our verification and education programs respectively, we have a talented leadership team in place ready and eager to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead.

While we are proud of all we have accomplished together we also recognize the considerable work ahead of us. To borrow a quote, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”. ISI was created to serve the infrastructure community in this way; to bring together those committed to sustainable infrastructure and to provide for them the tools, resources, services, and advocacy they need. In a world of limited time and resources ISI’s goal is to identify areas where shared and collaborative research and development can make the most impact. This is our renewed pledge going forward.

ISI staff and I are unanimous in our commitment that this exciting new phase in Envision’s growth be marked by the same collaboration as our creation. It is no easy feat. Today we number among the Envision community 572 companies, universities, and government agencies. This includes 8,000 Envision Sustainability Professionals—many recently renewing their commitment in our new credential maintenance program. Our verification program has reviewed 71 projects totaling $19.5 billion in infrastructure development with another 106 projects totaling $30.8 billion registered for review. I assure you this is just the beginning. With your support we can ensure this momentum continues to grow.

In the coming weeks and months I ask you to stay connected. We will be reforming committees, asking for your input, and sending out more communications regarding our activities and the activities of the Envision community. We will be developing better ways to share and disseminate information, and we will work hard to get the resources and tools you need into your hands faster and more reliably. ISI’s future is bright as we serve the essential needs of communities around the world, and are fueled by the passion, commitment, and considerable talents of our community of practice.

I sincerely hope that you will be a part of it.

 

Anthony Kane

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Changing and Renewing Leadership:

ISI Board of Directors Welcomes Anthony Kane as Acting President and CEO

March 4, 2019 – Washington, DC – Today, the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure’s (ISI) Board of Directors is excited to announce the appointment of Anthony Kane as the new Acting President and CEO. The appointment follows the resignation of former President and CEO John Stanton. As he moves on to new opportunities we thank and appreciate John for his leadership during the past two years.

ISI is at an exciting point in its development having transitioned from a start-up to a wholly independent organization enacting real change in infrastructure and related sectors. In recent years ISI has experienced order of magnitude increases in Envision project awards and Envision Sustainability Professional credentials. The development and launch of Envision version 3 and a surge in demand, are all accelerating progress towards ISI’s mission; to enable the development of infrastructure that optimizes environmental, social, and economic vitality.

As we continue to look to the promising future we are grateful that we have cultivated key core staff and can now reshape and place our executive and operational leadership in their hands. They are gifted professionals who are rooted in our vision, exceptionally experienced in the practical applications of Envision, and widely respected by industry, public sector, institutional, and Envision stakeholders. They are compelling spokespeople for ISI’s mission and values.

Anthony Kane has served as ISI’s Managing Director, a role that required comprehensive supervision of ISI operations. As a principal researcher within the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at Harvard University, he was a key architect in the development and launch of Envision and since coming to ISI, continued as the responsible leader in all facets of Envision development and delivery.

Melissa Peneycad was an early Envision Professional, Trainer, and Verifier, who played a central role in some of the first successful Envision awarded projects. Coming to ISI in 2017, as Director Sustainable Projects she has held full responsibility for Envision verifications and awards, and has been a primary link to both the community of verifiers and owners.

Lindsey Geiger joined ISI in 2018 as Director of Education. She manages our Envision Sustainability Professional training program and launched the new credential maintenance and continuing education programs. As a licensed engineer she brings a wealth of professional experience in promoting sustainability education within the infrastructure industry.

ISI’s growth reflects an escalating worldwide need for infrastructure renewal, and the opportunity to lead in establishing the sustainable infrastructure paradigm. This progress has also underscored our next challenges and opportunities – to assertively consolidate gains, build resource and professional capacity, and promote Envision’s benefits and successes to the North American and international markets. Therefore, over the past 9 months, the newly constituted Board of Directors worked with our CEO and staff to develop a comprehensive organizational strategy and business plan. With the success of those plans foremost in our minds, our staff will work along with our partners to implement our Plan to fulfill our mission, build our resources, and to enhance our topnotch professional staff, tools, training and technologies. Drawing on more than 8000 Envision Professionals, and our growing international network of owners, planners, engineers, communities, institutions, contractors and other infrastructure stakeholders we are poised to drive forward ever more rapidly.

John Williams
Chairman of the Board

ENV SP Spotlight: Julie Koehler

Julie Koehler is a Professional Engineer in the state of Colorado with a Master’s in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Master’s in Development Management from The American University.

Julie hit her 5-year mark with the City of Westminster in January 2019, was recently promoted to Utilities Engineering Manager and previously worked as a Senior Engineer in the Utilities Engineering Division.

Prior to joining the City, she spent 13 years as a Senior Associate for a private engineering firm in Denver designing several municipal engineering projects.

Julie also spent time working with the US Agency for International Development in Washington DC as well as the Peace Corps and the Agency for International Development in Africa, where she worked on urban environmental issues such as solid waste, gray water, and erosion control.

ISI staff had the chance to connect with Julie, and she provided the following insights from her career:

Professional Experience

What drew you to your field of work?
In a previous life I managed Peace Corps’ Urban Environmental Management project in the Ivory Coast, West Africa.  30 Peace Corps Volunteers served in 15 secondary towns to assist and improve solid waste management, latrine construction, and increase knowledge of health issues related to ineffective management of solid waste, human waste, and related urban environment issues.  I appreciated the engineering perspective which was science driven, mathematical, and results oriented.

What has been your biggest career challenge?
I made a career change from International Development to Engineering in my 30s.  Accepting the challenge to take all the math and science required for an engineering degree with a background in social studies and foreign language was, and is, a big deal!

What has been your proudest career moment?
Successfully obtaining my PE.

Envision Experience

How did you learn about Envision?
Dewberry, my former employer, is a charter member of ISI and encouraged staff to pursue and obtain the credential to improve sustainability of horizontal infrastructure. I decided to pursue my credential because most of my project work involved chemical feed and storage systems and potable water pumping systems designs.  Having a tool and metric against which municipal infrastructure could be evaluated attracted me to Envision.

How is the City of Westminster using Envision?
The City of Westminster is using Envision in three ways:

  • The City has over 20 credentialed ENV SPs. We  provided training to introduce an alternative way of thinking about sustainability and Capital Improvements Projects (CIP).
  • With the City’s Chief Sustainability Officer, we interviewed 16 Project Managers from different departments within the City about their work. The intent was to explore how the Envision rating tool meshed with their 2019/20 CIPs, and to determine what role the Envision tool could play in future CIPs.  The discussions helped to increase the understanding of Envision’s applicability to a wide range of projects. Ultimately, the outcome of the discussions will inform the recommendation to the City Manager about the formal use of the Envision tool in the City.
  • Public Works and Utilities committed to seeking 3rd party Envision verification on a large CIP at our Big Dry Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility. The project is now under construction.  Following construction, the project team will submit the documentation to support what the City hopes will be a bronze rating.

Can you share some highlights from an Envision project?
The series of 16 meetings with City Project Managers to discuss the Envision tool was eye-opening for me, in a good way. Many City projects and PMs use Envision principles and are supported in thinking about sustainability even if they had not previously heard of Envision. Conversations about if, how, and when to use the tool across a wide range of projects suggests that the tool is a relevant metric in our municipal project context.  Our next steps include presenting overall results to City PMs, developing a recommendation for City Management, and possibly creating City policy based on using the Envision tool for City CIPs.

Fun Facts

What are some of your favorite hobbies and interests?
I like riding my bike to work in the summer, quilting, reading, and spending time with my family.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I completed the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim in the mid 90s and placed 39th in my age group.

We’re Hiring!

The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure is seeking an intermediate- to senior-level Project Reviewer to play a crucial role in the ongoing growth and development of the Envision verification and awards program. For additional details, including information on how to apply, please visit our careers page.

King County’s Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station earns Envision Platinum Award

The $250 million Georgetown Wet Weather Treatment Station (WWTS) in King County, Washington, has received the Envision® Platinum designation for sustainable infrastructure. The Georgetown WWTS is the third Envision-recognized project in Washington State and the first to receive the Platinum award.

The Georgetown WWTS project involves the construction of a combined sewer overflow (CSO) wet weather treatment station which will be situated between the Brandon Street and South Michigan Street Regulator Stations, related pipes and a new outfall structure which will release treated water into the Duwamish River. On-site work for this project began in April 2017 and construction of the WWTS is expected to be completed in 2022. Once constructed, the station will be able to treat up to 70 million gallons of combined stormwater runoff and wastewater per day, water that would otherwise have discharged directly into the river without treatment during storm events.

To learn more about this project, Click Here

The General William J. Fox Airfield Runway Reconstruction Earned Envision Bronze Award

The General William J. Fox Airfield Runway Reconstruction project in Lancaster, California, has earned the Envision Bronze award for sustainable infrastructure.

The William J. Fox Airfield Runway Reconstruction project includes the complete reconstruction of Runway 6-24 and associated taxiway connectors. This project also includes the realignment of three taxiways to meet current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) design standards. This is the first Envision award to be granted to a project located at a General Aviation airport and the second Envision-awarded project for the County of Los Angeles. The project is anticipated to begin construction in mid-2019.

To learn more about this project, Click Here.

Envision v3 – Another Step Up

“New Version of Rating System Announced!” Scary words for some. There is often fear about the new requirements, a mad dash to complete as many projects as possible under the current version, and questions about the added value. C&S had the opportunity to dive into Envision Version 3 (v3) in its very early stages, as we incorporated the guidance into a sustainability toolkit for the County of Sacramento Department of Airports. Having applied the previous version on a number of projects and after reviewing the draft v3 Guidance Manual, we anxiously awaited the release of the v3 Guidance Manual to develop the toolkit. What did we notice, beyond the obvious structural and procedural changes?

  • Greater Clarity on “What it Takes” – The rating system encourages project teams to go beyond conventional design, advancing to higher levels of sustainability (termed “Levels of Achievement”), with additional points associated with each level. Envision is undeniably flexible, which is a major advantage compared to other rating systems, but this flexibility has led to challenges in determining “what it takes” to qualify for each level. The new version maintains crucial flexibility while providing additional guidance to help teams rate and enhance their projects.
  • More Accountability – Like most rating systems, new versions typically require a greater level of accountability to ensure follow-through to commitments. Envision v3 is no different. Project teams were previously able to achieve awards at the 95% design stage. There is still an option to do so under v3, but a post-construction follow-up review is now required to maintain the award. The additional accountability is a crucial step as we strive for improved overall performance, not just improved design.
  • Expanded Emphasis of Resilience – Working with airports, we have always appreciated Envision’s emphasis on resilience and adaptation. The new version goes even further to integrate these priorities across the different credits, and makes enhancements to the specific Climate & Resilience category.
  • Embracing the Full Life Cycle of a Project – Under v2, certain credits focused exclusively on a particular stage of a project, e.g., waste diversion during operation. V3 makes both procedural changes (related to the process for verification) and credit revisions/additions that better encompass the important decision-making that can impact all stages of a project. For example, there are now separate construction and operation credits for the reduction of waste, water, and energy.

In essence, all of the great things about Envision remain – but its value to the long-term resiliency of our projects and communities has increased.

 

Carly Shannon, LEED AP BD+C, ENV SP

Managing Planner, Sustainability Leader

C&S Companies