City of Santa Monica Sustainable Water Infrastructure Project awarded Envision Platinum

Santa Monica’ SWIP is an all-underground Advanced Water Treatment Facility and first-of-its-kind to purify wastewater and stormwater for water reuse.

Santa Monica, Calif. and Washington, D.C. — The City of Santa Monica Sustainable Water Infrastructure Project (SWIP) has earned an Envision Platinum award for sustainability. Substantial accomplishments across multiple Envision credit areas, from leadership and community quality of life to resource allocation, climate resilience, and the natural world, combined to give this project the highest Envision award level, Platinum.

The City of Santa Monica SWIP reduces the city’s traditional reliance on costly imported freshwater resources from Northern California and the Colorado River by creating new, local water supplies. The project is an advanced treatment water recycling plant that treats the city’s municipal wastewater, stormwater (wet-weather), and urban runoff (dry-weather) with the new stormwater harvesting tank. Otherwise, the stormwater is discharged into Santa Monica Bay. Once treated, the advanced treated water is conveyed through the existing distribution system and reused for landscape irrigation. The new system also allows for excess produced water to be recharged into the groundwater supplies and extracted later for reuse as a local and sustainable drinking water supply.

Quotes

Selim Eren, PE, Principal Civil Engineer, said: “Santa Monica has introduced a world-class, first-of-its-kind water reuse project with SWIP. This Project exemplifies the City’s leadership and commitment to the protection of natural resources, climate resilency and innovation.”

Kristi Wamstad, ISI’s Verification Director, said: “ISI congratulates the City of Santa Monica for its commitment to environmental stewardship, sustainability and water self-sufficiency. While developing a diverse, sustainable, and drought-resilient local water supply, the project makes a significant positive impact on quality of life through water quality improvements, greater community mobility and access, and improved public spaces.”

Background to the Project

Historically, to withstand periods of drought, it has been necessary for the City of Santa Monica to import much of its water from drought-stressed Northern California and the much-in-demand Colorado River. Amid growing statewide concerns over the long-term availability of water, the city has taken aggressive steps over the past decade, focusing both on water conservation and developing new, local water supplies. Conservation efforts have managed to significantly reduce overall water consumption, while the development of new water supplies for landscape irrigation and other uses—from waters previously considered waste—has reduced the city’s reliance on imported waters. In 2019, a key stormwater capture and reuse project known as the Santa Monica Clean Beaches Project, recognized with an Envision Gold award, helped move the city closer to those objectives.

The city’s SWIP project is focused specifically on advanced treating municipal wastewater as well as capturing stormwater, urban water runoff, and treating them up to drinking water standards. Its components include the development of new infrastructure to advance treat the city’s wastewater, an all-underground advanced water treatment facility (AWTF), a new stormwater harvesting tank, and upgrades to the existing treatment facility. This first-of-its-kind project contributes significantly toward self-sufficiency goals identified in the city’s Sustainable Water Master Plan, by producing up to 10% of the city’s water supply.

The project is proof of Santa Monica’s commitment to environmental innovation as the shortage of water resources challenges California and western US states sharing this precious resource. By capturing rainwater and urban runoff away from the Santa Monica Bay and treating it beyond drinking water standards, the project aims to improve water quality in Santa Monica Bay and protect the ocean.

The project aligns with the state’s Water Supply Strategy goals of increasing recycling wastewater and the state’s control measures governing municipal separate storm sewer systems and Enhanced Watershed Management Programs (EWMPs). Here are some of the key sustainability achievements:

Verified Sustainability Achievements

Preserving Water Resources: The city’s sustainability goal is to obtain 100% of its water locally, and the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Project (SWIP) plays a key role in reaching this objective. By capturing, recycling, treating, and beneficially reusing 1 million gallons per day of stormwater and municipal wastewater that would otherwise be wasted, the SWIP preserves 10% of the city’s water demand locally, creating a net positive impact on water quality and resources in the watershed. The SWIP is estimated to produce 14.6 trillion gallons of water over a 40-year span.

Management of Stormwater: One of the project’s purposes is stormwater management. Stormwater runoff from the site is captured, along with a significant portion of stormwater generated from the 88-acre upstream catchment basin. A 1.5-million-gallon stormwater harvesting tank is capable of capturing the 85th percentile, 24-hour storm event from the 88-acre watershed area. Once captured, the stormwater is mixed with wastewater, treated at the Advanced Water Treatment Facility (AWTF), and distributed for beneficial reuse. 

Natural World: There will be significantly less pollution entering Santa Monica Bay, one of the city’s greatest natural assets and contributors to the city’s social and economic livelihoods. Supporting this outcome is a more modern treatment process. The project employs innovative technologies, including membrane bioreactors and advanced oxidation processes, that provide better water treatment and significantly reduce the amount of chemicals required. Through the diversion of untreated stormwater and treated wastewater from Santa Monica Bay, the SWIP has a net positive impact on ocean water quality.

Reduced Water-Supply Carbon Footprint: The advanced water treatment plant and all components of the SWIP Project operate solely on 100% renewable electricity annually, obtained through the city’s Direct Access agreement with the Clean Power Alliance. All power purchased under the city’s 100% renewable plan comes from 100% solar sources. This equates to 9,633 MWh (34,679,600 MJ) annually and 289,000 MWh of solar power purchased throughout the 30-year life of the project. The city’s commitment to renewable energy is expected to result in 100% renewable power for the entire city, inclusive of all residents and businesses within city limits, by 2025 (currently, 96% of all power in the city is renewable).

Quality of Life Measures: The most direct impact on quality of life will come from locally recycled produced water and improved beach water quality. Wastewater previously not recycled now adds to the city’s water portfolio through reuse, and stormwater previously discharged into Santa Monica Bay contained high levels of coliform bacteria, which frequently prompted water quality warnings and beach closures. This situation was disadvantageous for the local quality of life and for tourism, which brings annually $700 million into the local economy. The ability to capture, treat, and beneficially reuse wastewater and stormwater with this project delivers a positive impact on bay water quality, beach closures, and the community’s water supply.

Stakeholder Engagement: The Santa Monica community, technical leaders, and local and state regulators were meaningfully engaged in and positively supported the project and process. Engagements with stakeholders highlighted, among other aspects, the importance of preserving or enhancing views and local character. In response, the project team employed strategies such as adopting existing city sustainability and water master plans and guidelines, locating much of the facility underground, and preserving and enhancing local landscapes, with a particular emphasis on large trees.

Mobility and Access: The Santa Monica Sustainable Water Infrastructure Project increases mobility and access in Santa Monica’s Civic Center and downtown by adding new sidewalks and bike lanes. An extension of Civic Center Drive to Main Street through this project also allows better vehicle access to the Civic Center and the Bay.

Top: Stormwater Harvesting Tank at City of Santa Monica Sustainable Water Infrastructure Project. Above: Membrane Bio-Reactor. Below: Reverse Osmosis Treatment.

Sound Transit’s Federal Way Link Extension is Awarded Envision Platinum

Project expands light rail from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Des Moines, Kent, and Federal Way

Seattle, Washington and Washington, D.C.  – The Federal Way Link Extension (FWLE) project has earned an Envision Platinum Award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI).  This recognition, the highest possible Envision award level, was received for the project’s achievements related to sustainable transportation, mobility and access, stakeholder engagement, infrastructure integration, and multiple other areas of sustainability. FWLE is only the seventh transit project in the U.S. to earn Envision Platinum.

The project extends light rail transit service 7.8 miles further south into King County and is part of a larger transit expansion in the Seattle metropolitan area, recognized as one of the most ambitious in the nation at present. FWLE demonstrated through its submission how the project responds to the specific needs of both host and adjacent communities to support sustainability, equity, and resilience.

Quotes

“This award is a testament to Sound Transit’s long and deep commitment to sustainability and to the high levels of collaboration achieved with our project partners during challenging times,” said Sound Transit Chief Executive Officer Goran Sparrman. “We are proud of this achievement and look forward to many more sustainability milestones as we build public transit that connects our region to the places we live and work.”

“As a global leader in infrastructure, Parsons is transforming the rail and transit sector by providing innovative, tailored solutions that modernize transportation systems and deliver long-lasting, sustainable benefits to our clients,” said Mark Fialkowski, president, Infrastructure North America for Parsons. “Our contribution to the Federal Way Extension project represents Parsons’ combined engineering expertise and enterprise-wide commitment to sustainability. We are honored to be part of the team that achieved this award by creating a lasting, valuable public asset for the region and community.”

“Kiewit is proud to be the design-build contractor for Sound Transit’s Federal Way Link Extension, a project that showcases innovation in sustainable infrastructure. Strong partnerships, particularly with the community, are essential to our success,” said Kiewit Corporation Executive Vice President Doug Glaser.  “We would not be able to accomplish what we did without the remarkable people we had on the team, including the 400 local union tradespeople and the 200 subcontractors and suppliers who came together with our construction and engineering staff to achieve a common goal.” 

“We are honored to present the Envision Platinum award to the Federal Way Link Extension project, recognizing its outstanding commitment to sustainability, equity, and resilience,” said Kristi Wamstad, ISI’s Verification Director. “This achievement underscores the project team’s dedication to creating a transit system that prioritizes environmental stewardship and social equity while meeting the needs of the community.”

The project in brief

FWLE expands regional light rail south from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SeaTac) to Des Moines, Kent and Federal Way in King County, Washington. The route follows Interstate Freeway 5, from Angle Lake Station in the city of SeaTac, terminating at a new station — Federal Way Downtown (FWDS). Studies along the project corridor established the need for reliable, efficient peak and off-peak transit service to connect with the region’s growth centers. The corridor also has a high concentration of transit-dependent populations who need efficient and reliable regional transit connectivity, which FWLE directly addresses.

The line will include at-grade, retained fill, retained cut, and elevated structure guideway types. Construction of interim stations will be necessary, for continuity of service, at Kent/Des Moines, just south of the existing Angle Lake Station, and at South 272nd Street located to the north of FWDS. In addition, a maintenance facility will be constructed adjacent to FWDS to be used for vehicle inspection and interior cleaning. Parking, bus stops, and bike lockers and racks will be provided at the stations and other locations, further contributing to the project’s role in expanding mobility and improving connections to the regional multimodal transportation system. FWLE is forecast to be completed in 2026 and to raise ridership to approximately 29,000 – 34,000 daily riders.

RapidRide H Line Transit Project Achieves Envision Platinum

King County, Washington and Washington, D.C. — A bus rapid transit project in King County, Washington has achieved an Envision Platinum award. King County Metro upgraded existing bus Route 120 to deliver the RapidRide H Line, adding to Metro’s growing bus rapid transit service. Consolidated bus stops, designated bus lanes, and all-door boarding are improving the rider experience with faster, more frequent, and more reliable service. The bus station shelters are designed to increase rider safety and improve wayfinding, while also reducing operations and maintenance costs and impacts on the environment. For this multi-jurisdiction project, King County Metro partnered with the City of Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), the City of Burien, and White Center (an unincorporated area of King County).

 The new RapidRide H Line addresses key public transit issues to support the development of a more mobile, equitable, and resilient community. The project transformed one of King County’s ten busiest routes, that had struggled with severe overcrowding during peak transit times, into one providing buses at least every 15 minutes all day, every day — and at least every 10 minutes during peak travel times. Newly designated business access and transit (BAT) lanes and queue jump signals for the buses throughout most of the route allow for faster travel times, while other roadway improvements — including new turn lanes, traffic signals, and pedestrian crosswalks with flashing beacons — are improving overall safety. Since this transit route passes through several economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, the upgraded service also better connects residents to community amenities and job opportunities.

King County’s Green Building and Sustainable Development Ordinance requires community projects to achieve high levels of environmental sustainability while also addressing equity and social justice issues. Given these key priorities, Metro chose to pursue Envision verification for this project because the comprehensive framework provided the best direction to inspire and achieve the breadth and depth of sustainability sought throughout all project phases — from planning to design through construction.

The new RapidRide H Line service began in March 2023.

 

Verified Sustainability Achievements

Demonstrating Community Leadership Planning and design of the new RapidRide H Line involved thorough outreach and engagement with the community, which ultimately helped to inform routing, stop locations, station amenities, and safety and access improvements.  The project team first partnered with local organizations to identify community stakeholders, and then conducted several phases of multilingual public outreach — including surveys, interviews, polls, and more — to identify the most concerning issues along the H Line route. This stakeholder involvement significantly contributed to the project’s overall success. For example, station stops and shelters were revised to provide the most equitable access for vulnerable communities to economic opportunities, healthcare, and other community services.

Improving Community MobilityThis project serves to advance equity and social justice in King County by investing in faster, more frequent, and more reliable public transit service in an area representing Metro’s priority populations: communities of color and those with lower incomes, limited English proficiency, and high transit dependency. One of the main objectives of Metro’s bus rapid transit service, including the new RapidRide H line, is to increase transportation capacity so that a rider can arrive at a bus stop at any time and quickly get on a bus, eliminating the need to rely on or interpret a schedule. The RapidRide H Line creates new connections that expand King County’s public transit network, providing better access to the Burien Transit Center, other bus routes, and bicycle and multi-use trails. The project also reduces disparities with respect to sidewalk infrastructure and pedestrian safety along the project’s corridor.

Preserving Water Resources King County Metro Maintenance and Facilities has an established program to minimize bus zone cleaning times while still providing adequate cleanliness for customers. Bus station shelters were therefore designed to minimize maintenance and water usage, while maintaining the desired function and aesthetics. By designing the bus shelters with smooth glass roofs, power washing efficacy was increased while water use for cleaning was decreased. The project team also aimed to reduce water irrigation needs by specifically choosing drought tolerant plants, so no permanent irrigation was installed. Finally, the overall reduction of impervious surface in the project area led to decreased stormwater runoff and lower impact on water quality.

Stimulating Economic Prosperity The RapidRide H Line was a unique opportunity to directly benefit neighborhoods in its service area, as studies have shown a link between bus rapid transit projects and economic development in the communities they serve. It achieved this not only by providing faster, more reliable and connected public transit, but also through the generation of living wage jobs and the development of skills and capabilities throughout the construction and operation of the line­­. As an example, the project team (with support from King County Central Procurement and Contracting Staff) leveraged County apprenticeship and training programs, particularly for construction trade workers and disadvantaged communities, throughout the development of the project.

Designing Resilient Infrastructure The project team hosted a workshop to assess vulnerability to climate change and explore strategies for resiliency. Climate risks identified included wildfire, heat waves, and wetter winters, but projected impacts to the RapidRide H Line are deemed minimal. However, since riders may be exposed to these conditions, the bus shelters were designed to provide greater protection from the sun and hazardous weather conditions, while the increased frequency of service reduces wait time, allowing riders to limit their exposure. The project also partnered with other transit agencies in the region to create trip planning tools that better integrate routes and empower communities along the RapidRide H Line by improving access to services and thereby increasing quality of life. The project will continue to monitor rider capacity, bus delays, and other metrics to further improve rider access, mobility, and wayfinding.

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“Metro worked closely with the community to design and build the RapidRide H Line,” said Michelle Allison, General Manager of King County Metro. “Together, we created the best way to travel between Burien, White Center, West Seattle and downtown Seattle. Transit has always been the greenest way to travel, but winning this award takes our shared sustainability commitment to a new, higher level. We’re grateful to all of the jurisdictions and partners who made this recognition possible.”

“Our community loves having the H Line right around the corner from the new food bank!” shared Carmen Smith, Executive Director of White Center Food Bank. “It makes it really easy for them to get to the food bank, as well as take their groceries home without having to walk too far or uphill to get to the bus. Volunteers have been able to utilize the H Line when their car hasn’t been super reliable or when they don’t want to worry about parking. We also have a staff person who lives right on the H Line, which makes it easy to commute to work and not have to always rely on a ride. It’s neat that we have so many different folks connected to the food bank using the H Line.”

“ISI is proud to announce the Envision Platinum Award for the new RapidRide H Line,” said Kristi Wamstad, Verification Director at ISI. “This project absolutely demonstrates how the Envision framework can be used to align multiple stakeholder priorities and ultimately strengthen economic, social, and environmental results.”

Philadelphia International Airport’s Taxiway J Rehabilitation Project Earns Envision Verified Award

This award marks the first project in the state of Pennsylvania to achieve Envision verification for its sustainability efforts.

Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, Pa. — The City of Philadelphia Department of Aviation (DOA) has obtained an Envision Verified award for integrating principles of sustainability into the design and construction of its Taxiway J Rehabilitation project at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). The DOA engaged RS&H, Inc. to design this key project that will transform airport operations by rehabilitating Taxiway J’s western stretch. Construction is currently underway and is expected to be complete in the fall of 2024.

PHL is the only major airport serving one of the nation’s top ten largest metropolitan areas, with over 300 daily departures to 120 destinations worldwide. It serves as a hub for 27 airlines, including all major domestic carriers, and accommodates more than 28 million passengers each year.

PHL consists of four runways with crossfield taxiways connecting the north and south sides of the airfield, as well as the Cargo City apron and deicing apron on the west side of the airfield. Quality maintenance is paramount for these airfield pavements to ensure continued operational safety and efficiency, and an evaluation revealed that Taxiway J was due for rehabilitation.

The DOA set out to have Taxiway J reconstructed from Taxiways Z to Y, adjacent to the west cargo apron, along with its connector Taxiways K7 and K8, and all associated safety areas. The project was also identified as an early opportunity to showcase PHL’s commitment to enhancing the sustainable performance of their airport by using Envision as a guiding framework. This is the first project to become Envision verified as a part of the DOA’s recent adoption of the Envision framework for airfield and landside projects, and it also marks the first Envision Award in the state of Pennsylvania.

Verified Sustainability Achievements

Safety and Security – The project team developed a comprehensive and proactive Construction Safety Phasing Plan that extends to the contractor, James J. Anderson Construction (JJA), and all subcontractors involved in the project. It identifies all construction activities that will occur as part of the project within the Air Operations Area and defines how each construction area will comply with FAA regulations and requirements on airfield safety. Methods for safety inspections and communications, as well as requirements for security and training for project personnel, are set out in the plan.

Sustainability Leadership & Management – The DOA has established a set of  design standards to incorporate sustainability and climate resilience into all of its capital projects.  These standards include a commitment to measuring and addressing the social, environmental, and economic aspects of development projects at PHL and PNE (Northeast Philadelphia Airport) along with the utilization of the Envision framework for design and construction of airport infrastructure. The project team hosted a sustainability kickoff meeting – including interdisciplinary representation from engineers, planners, capital developers, construction managers, project managers, sustainability experts, and senior leadership – to discuss aligning their sustainability goals with Envision. The team then developed a project-specific Sustainability Management Plan to guide, track, and communicate their sustainability efforts using Envision throughout the project.

Operational Energy Reduction – The project team analyzed operational energy consumption for the project and determined the driver to be airfield lighting and signage. All airfield lighting and signage will be updated from traditional incandescent bulbs to more energy-efficient light emitting diode (LED) bulbs. This is expected to reduce operational energy consumption by 55%.

Reducing Impervious Cover – The project area is 14.75 acres, all located on previously developed airport property, and it consists of airfield pavement and grass infields. The project team found the total impervious cover to be 13.68 acres, or 93% of the project area. This project will reduce impervious cover by removing unneeded pavement and converting 0.18 acres of impervious cover back to pervious grass cover.

Infrastructure Integration – Taxiway J serves as an important connection to the airport’s deicing apron. During periods of winter weather, aircraft use Taxiway J for queuing to access the deicing apron. If the taxiway were not safe to use due to poor pavement conditions, this would cause flight delays. Originally, this project’s scope only included the rehabilitation of pavement for Taxiway J from Taxiways Z to Y. However, it became apparent to the project team that the intersection of Taxiway J and Taxiway Y should also be included in the project scope. The expanded scope not only improves safety for the overall airfield, but also allows for more efficient taxiway operations for the airport. Another key enhancement will be the installation of specific airfield lighting that provides routing, guidance, and surveillance for improved control of aircraft and vehicles during various weather conditions.

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“We are proud that our airport has received its very first Envision verification for Taxiway J,” said Lee Sutanto, Philadelphia International Airport’s Assistant Engineering Manager. “This achievement was made possible through a collaborative and concerted effort by the design team, the airport’s project and construction management team, and the cooperation of the general contractor. We work hard at PHL to prioritize sustainability in all our infrastructure investments.”

“RS&H has worked with PHL/PNE DOA to create a programmatic approach for Envision, developing policies, procedures, guidance and documentation for project teams,” said Megan Kilinski, ENV SP, Sustainability and Resilience Consultant at RS&H. “Leveraging this programmatic approach was key to our team’s success with the TW-J rehabilitation project, and the lessons we learned are paving the way towards more sustainable infrastructure projects at the airport in the future.”

“We are excited to celebrate PHL’s first Envision Award as they embark on their journey toward greater sustainability,” says Kristi Wamstad, ISI Verification Director. “PHL’s Department of Aviation’s commitment to sustainability through the use of Envision sets a great example for the airport industry.”

 

Two Railway Station Projects in Italy Earn Envision Silver Awards

ICMQ, ISI’s partner in Italy, has announced that two railway stations along the Adriatic Coast have earned Envision Silver awards in recognition of their sustainable redevelopment efforts. These two projects represent one half of the four total pilot projects chosen by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI), the owner of Italy’s railway network, to be certified using the Envision framework and rating system for sustainable infrastructure. The RFI team chose to use the Envision framework to better orient all project stakeholders toward a perspective that incorporates historical, environmental, social, and economic sustainability throughout the planning, design, and implementation of these renovation projects.

The renovation of the Cattolica Railway Station, located near the historic center of Cattolica, Italy, will allow it play a progressively more central role in the community. Instead of serving only as a transit area, it will now provide better amenities for pedestrians and other visitors, as well as an improved connection to the local city park. The front courtyard will offer more green space, irrigated by a new rainwater storage tank system, and space will be dedicated for electric vehicle charging stations and a new Velo Station to encourage alternative transportation. The renovation will utilize sustainable building materials, and photovoltaic panels will be installed on the new shelters to generate energy on site.

The Pesaro Railway Station, the main station in the Italian province of Pesaro-Urbino, is strategically located near the seaside, the city park, and the city’s historic center. This location allows the station to serve as one of the main gateways into Pesaro, which has been recognized as the Italian Capital of Culture for 2024. The renovation of this station will improve integration with the surrounding community through more connected roadways and greater access to alternative transportation options, like bicycles. It also represents part of a larger effort to integrate two parts of the city, which are currently divided by the bundle of railway tracks. The railway station building, shelters, underpass, and platforms will be upgraded to facilitate more functional passenger services, and the outdoor areas will be enhanced to promote better access and improved safety, livability, and attractiveness. The project team has also planned to optimize water and energy consumption, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions, throughout the development and lifespan of the project. This station will serve as the hub of an integrated and sustainable “Mobility as a Service” (Maas) system, becoming a key part of the urban framework and enhancing Pesaro’s quality of life and commercial appeal.

These innovative railway station renovations represent environmental, social, and economic sustainability improvements that will create better access to the stations and improved integration with the surrounding communities, while reducing vehicular traffic and enhancing quality of life for the local neighborhoods.

 

Read the project profile for the Cattolica Station.

Read the project profile for the Pesaro Station.

ISI Zofnass Research Program Workshop – May 2024

Join us for the ISI Zofnass Research Program Workshop in New York City, hosted by NV5, where you can learn and engage with recent findings on the implementation of sustainable infrastructure.

Offering a comprehensive examination of research outcomes and insights on Envision application, the event is structured to facilitate a thorough understanding of the challenges and benefits associated with sustainable practices and will feature presentations from New York City’s leading agencies.

This workshop is aimed at sustainability professionals and stakeholders in the infrastructure sector. It promises a thoughtful exchange of knowledge and a collaborative vision for the future of sustainable development.

Bonus: attendance also qualifies for your annual ENV SP credentialing hours. A course code will be distributed post-attendance.

Research Findings on Sustainable Infrastructure and Insights from Envision Implementation
📅 Dates: May 16 – 17, 2024
⏱️  Times: 9 AM – 5 PM ET
Location: 32 Old Slip (Second Floor), New York, NY
Registration: https://ISIWorkshopMay.eventbrite.com
Workshop Program: Download the full program

 

IND Runway 5L-23R & Taxiway B Rehabilitation Project Awarded Envision Verified

April 3, 2024 — ISI is very pleased to announce that the Runway 5L-23R & Taxiway B Rehabilitation Project at the Indianapolis International Airport (IND) has earned an Envision Verified award for sustainability. This honor recognizes significant sustainability achievements across multiple Envision credit categories on this project.

QUOTES:

”Our commitment to sustainability is rooted in action – we see every project as an opportunity to advance and improve environmental stewardship, operational efficiency, social value, and long-term economic viability. This project was no exception.”
— Jarod Klaas, IAA’s Senior Director of Planning and Development 

“We are proud to celebrate our third Envision-verified project across our airport system, following the most recent Envision Platinum award for IND’s Runway 5R-23L & Taxiway D Strengthening and Capacity Enhancement Project.  By prioritizing waste reduction, resource conservation, and resilience in all we do, we hope to be a role model for others in our industry.”
Todd Cavender, the IAA’s Director, Environment and Sustainability

View the full project announcement in our Project Awards Directory.

Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency Project Earns Envision Platinum Award

Washington, D.C. and New York City — The Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency – Battery project located in New York, New York, has earned an Envision Platinum award. This project is part of the larger Lower Manhattan Coastal Resilience initiative aimed at reducing flood risk from coastal storms and sea level rise. Led by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) on behalf of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation (NYC Parks) and the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice (MOCEJ), this project will rebuild the existing deteriorating wharf structure at a higher elevation to protect against sea level rise while integrating it with the iconic waterfront park at the southern tip of Manhattan.  

The Battery is home to extensive gardens, artwork, and cultural landmarks and is the departure point for vessels taking thousands of passengers every year to the Statue of Liberty. The project will ensure the waterfront’s resilience over the next 80 years while promoting sustainable and resilient infrastructure in Lower Manhattan, a vital district of New York City. The Envision framework was used throughout the project’s development to track and improve sustainability performance. Exploring opportunities across key themes such as reducing embodied carbon, managing stormwater quantity and quality, and minimizing waste sent to landfills resulted in several innovative strategies. These strategies include reusing site materials, utilizing locally sourced and low-carbon materials, and investigating transportation alternatives that reduce emissions and pollutants. 

Among the unique features of the wharf design is the multi-level slip design that provides universal access to vessels with varying freeboard heights for the wide range of sea level elevations at the wharf from the present day to 2100. This adaptive design provides flexibility for uncertain future conditions while preserving views of the Harbor, architectural details, and the character of the existing beloved park. 

Material reuse and waste management were drivers of the design, which incorporates significant quantities of granite, metals, and wood from the existing site and provides a hierarchy for removals that prioritizes reuse and recycling and minimizes landfill waste. Plantings in the harsh waterfront environment were specified for salt tolerance and anticipated increasing urban heat, while maintaining the colorful perennial variety throughout the seasons that characterizes the larger park design. 

The project will contribute to long-term community goals by addressing the impending sea level rise, restoring the wharf conditions for continued safe usability, and preserving The Battery’s iconic and historic character. Construction is being divided into two phases of partial wharf closures to minimize disruptions to park and ferry activity to and from Liberty and Ellis Islands, with project completion targeted for 2026.

Verified Sustainability Achievements

Address Climate Change VulnerabilityIn 2012, Hurricane Sandy devastated New York City, flooding 17% of the land and claiming 43 lives. The storm affected 400 buildings, impacted transportation assets, interrupted power supply, closed parks, released 5.2 billion gallons of untreated sewage into the city’s waterways, and ultimately caused $19 billion in damages. After the storm, the Lower Manhattan Climate Resilience Study assessed the vulnerability of the community to climate change by identifying climate hazards (sea level rise, groundwater table rise, storm surge, extreme precipitation, and heat waves) and mapping them against the city’s infrastructure systems. The study identified five key projects in the Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency program that would improve the community’s resiliency against these climate threats. The five projects, including the Battery Coastal Resilience, will comprise a connected network of infrastructure projects along Lower Manhattan’s waterfront to improve the community’s resiliency to a changing climate. The project team’s emphasis on improving resilience was recognized with high levels of achievement across this Envision achievement area.

Climate Adaptive Design – One of the most unique aspects of the project is the slip design which integrates the elevated waterfront platform, designed for future sea level rise conditions, with ferry access points, designed for current sea levels and vessel operations. The innovative multi-level slip design allows for flexibility over the near and long-term operations of the wharf by considering daily tidal swings, varying sized vessel berthing, accessibility, and sea level rise, balanced with maintaining the park’s character and waterfront experience. The slip design is easily able to be adapted for future sea level rise conditions with higher platforms integrated into the existing design, limiting disruptions to long-term wharf operations while meeting current and future wharf needs.

Embodied Carbon Reduction – Early in design, NYCEDC and NYC Parks established a sustainability charter that included the goal to quantify and reduce the overall embodied carbon emissions of the project. To further this goal, Stantec developed an embodied carbon baseline to help the project team understand the major material contributors to the project’s emissions sources. Stantec’s Climate Solutions team also developed embodied carbon-based procurement for concrete and a tool that would allow construction partners to calculate the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of their concrete mixes to stay within a defined GWP budget. The project’s construction partner, Hunter Roberts, identified opportunities to use alternative modes of transportation such as barging material and equipment to site that would reduce carbon emissions and take trucks off congested New York City streets. In the end, the project team estimates a 54% reduction in embodied carbon emissions compared to the baseline.

Sustainable Resource Management – The project team used the Envision framework as a roadmap to organize sustainability initiatives, track performance, and assign task responsibility. Among these key initiatives is the implementation of amaterial management plan centered on reducing environmental impacts related to the extraction, refinement, and transport of construction materials. Strategies included reusing existing materials, using less materials, using recycled materials, and selecting more sustainable alternatives. Guided by this approach, the team selected a recycled fill material that significantly reduced the project’s embodied carbon in comparison to typical engineered fill materials. These earthwork improvements resulted in an estimated $3 million savings for the project. Additionally, the project will divert at least 75% of its nonhazardous construction waste from landfills to instead be reused, recycled, or otherwise salvaged.

Enhanced Public Space & Restored Artwork – The Battery is one of New York City’s signature parks — home to several historic and cultural resources, offering iconic views of the Hudson and East Rivers, and providing ferry access to the Statue of Liberty. To protect and enhance the park’s defining characteristics, the project team consulted with a variety of community stakeholders, including New York’s State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), the Stockbridge-Munsee Indigenous Group, the Maritime Association of New York, the National Park Service, and even original artists. Together, they identified and evaluated the resources that may be impacted by this project and developed a plan to preserve and revitalize them. Continuous consultation with community stakeholders also led to the development of plans to improve pedestrian accessibility throughout the park, update public seating to better enjoy the views, and preserve existing trees and gardens.

Quotes

“The Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency (LMCR) project sets the standard for future projects of this kind, marrying coastal protection with an ambitious sustainability agenda,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President & CEO, Andrew Kimball. “NYCEDC is proud of LMCR and the teams involved for receiving the Envision Platinum Award all in an effort to create a cleaner, greener New York City.”
“With sea levels rising and storms growing stronger and more frequent, it is vital that we invest in protecting our city from the effects of climate change,” said Sue Donoghue, Commissioner of New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. “Our innovative plans for the Battery are helping to ensure that the Lower Manhattan waterfront is well-prepared for the 21st century’s extreme weather and rising tides, without sacrificing New Yorkers’ access to this historic and beloved greenspace. The challenges of climate change affect cities across the country and around the world, and I’m so proud that New York City is setting an example with this creative and exciting approach, which rebuilds our critical infrastructure while minimizing waste and utilizing local, recycled materials.”

“As New York City advances coastal resilience projects in a dense urban environment, it is essential that we minimize harmful emissions from our construction and waste sent to landfills,” said Mayor’s Office of Climate & Environmental Justice Executive Director, Elijah Hutchinson. “With NYCEDC’s Envision Platinum Award, the city has met and exceeded our Clean Construction Accelerator goal of reducing embodied emissions in infrastructure projects by 50%.”

“The Battery protected Manhattan against threats from the sea when its shoreline forts deterred foreign navies,” explained Warrie Price, President and Founder of The Battery Conservancy. “Today, The Battery is called to serve again – to defend the city we love from the sea itself. The Battery Conservancy is proud to work with New York’s leadership to ensure that this storied public space will continue to attract and comfort water-gazers and garden-lovers.”

“With The Battery’s rich history and cultural significance, this project demanded a holistic approach to sustainable and resilient design,” remarked Greg Sprich, Principal at Stantec Consulting Services Inc. “The team rose to the challenge and delivered a project that not only provides much needed coastal protection to lower Manhattan, but also serves as a case study for reducing waste and embodied carbon for future infrastructure projects.”

“Resilient and sustainable environments are the result of collective effort and vision, which is at the core of the Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency – Battery Project,” said Ethan Smith, Project Manager and Envision Lead at Hunter Roberts Construction Group. “This award recognizes the extensive planning, design, and coordination efforts made by the team to showcase sustainable, resilient infrastructure and green construction practices.”
“As communities invest in infrastructure projects, it’s crucial to incorporate sustainable and resilient features that account for the projected impacts of climate change,” said Kristi Wamstad, ISI Verification Director. “This project is an outstanding demonstration of how a project team can successfully work with a variety of community stakeholders to assess infrastructure vulnerability and use the Envision framework to plan for resiliency.”

ISI Announces Partnership with Green Building Council in Colombia

(Spanish translation follows)

 

ISI Announces Partnership with CCCS to Grow Envision Use in Colombia

Washington, D.C. and Bogotá – The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) is pleased to announce a new partnership with Consejo Colombiano de Construcción Sostenible (CCCS, the Colombia Green Building Council) to bring the Envision framework and rating system to Colombia. This collaboration aims to encourage professionals working in Colombia’s A/E/C industry to use Envision to plan, design, and deliver sustainable and resilient infrastructure projects that support the long-term health and well-being of their communities.

“The Colombia Green Building Council represents Colombia’s top talent in sustainable design and construction, and we’re so excited to partner with them to focus that expertise on the country’s infrastructure projects,” says Anthony Kane, ISI President & CEO. “This is an ideal partnership with amazing potential to build on the region’s existing momentum for sustainable development.”

Since 2008, CCCS has been leading the transformation toward sustainable environments in Colombia. Supported by a network of over 170 active members throughout the country, their specialized team has consolidated important international alliances, trained thousands of specialists, executed hundreds of comprehensive sustainability projects, and led public policy efforts. This work has effectively established CCCS as a technical reference and leader in Colombia for sustainable development.

CCCS has significantly influenced the use of the LEED framework throughout Colombia over the last 15 years, solidifying it as one of the top international markets for LEED projects. Building on this already impressive capacity for guiding green construction, CCCS is now looking to expand its influence into infrastructure projects. Through partnering with ISI, CCCS is excited to introduce Envision as the first tool to guide sustainable infrastructure development in Colombia and aims to further integrate sustainability as a fundamental element of urban planning and design in the region. With Colombia’s growing emphasis on transportation projects (especially roadways), CCCS is encouraged by the great potential for positive impact in this sector through the application of Envision.

“The main objective of a strategic partnership between the Colombia Green Building Council and ISI is to foster sustainable and resilient infrastructure in Colombia,” remarked Angelica Ospina, Executive Director of CCCS. “Together, we are committed to establishing Envision as a leading tool for reaching our organization’s impact goals, and to helping our government and A/E/C partners develop robust, long-term business models for resiliency in our country.”

ISI was founded in 2010 by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Public Works Association (APWA), and the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) to support the development of a guide for sustainable infrastructure. In collaboration with the then Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, ISI integrated the best of industry experience with cutting-edge academic research to produce the Envision framework and rating system. Envision now serves as a common guidance tool for infrastructure owners, engineers, designers, architects, planners, contractors, operators, and other stakeholders in the early planning and design stages of infrastructure development. To date, more than 9,000 individuals around the globe have earned the Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP) credential, and more than 160 projects have been verified by the Envision framework.

CCCS will highlight this new collaboration with ISI at their annual event, XV Edición de Construverde 2024, hosted in Bogotá from June 20–21. At this conference, CCCS will introduce their members to the Envision framework, while providing opportunities for further education and networking focused on sustainable development. The event will close with a specialized Envision training workshop on June 22 to help launch the ENV SP community in Colombia, and several other Envision webinars will be offered later in the year to support additional Envision credentialing and verification. ISI and CCCS are thrilled to embark on this alliance to ensure more sustainable, resilient, and prosperous communities in Colombia and worldwide.

To learn more about CCCS, please visit https://www.cccs.org.co/

 


ISI anuncia asociación con CCCS para aumentar el uso de Envision en Colombia

Washington, D.C. y Bogotá – El Instituto de Infraestructura Sostenible (“ISI”, por sus siglas en inglés) se complace en anunciar una nueva asociación con el Consejo Colombiano de Construcción Sostenible (CCCS, también conocido como el Colombian Green Building Council) para introducir el marco y el sistema de calificación Envision en Colombia. Esta colaboración tiene como objetivo alentar a los profesionales que trabajan en la industria A/E/C de Colombia a utilizar el marco Envision para planificar, diseñar y construir proyectos de infraestructura sostenibles y resilientes que respalden la salud y el bienestar a largo plazo de sus comunidades.

“El CCCS representa el mejor talento de Colombia en diseño y construcción sostenible, y estamos muy emocionados de asociarnos con ellos para enfocar esas habilidades en los proyectos de infraestructura del país”, dice Anthony Kane, presidente y director ejecutivo del ISI. “Esta es una asociación ideal con un potencial increíble para aprovechar el impulso existente en la región para el desarrollo sostenible”.

Desde 2008, el CCCS lidera la transformación hacia entornos sostenibles en Colombia. Respaldados por una red de más de 170 miembros activos en todo el país, su equipo especializado ha consolidado importantes alianzas internacionales, capacitado a miles de especialistas, ejecutado cientos de proyectos integrales de sostenibilidad y liderado esfuerzos de política pública. Este trabajo ha establecido efectivamente al CCCS como un referente técnico y líder en Colombia para el desarrollo sostenible.

El CCCS ha influenciado significativamente en el uso del sistema de certificación LEED en toda Colombia durante los últimos 15 años, consolidándolo como uno de los principales mercados internacionales para proyectos LEED. Aprovechando esta ya impresionante capacidad para guiar la construcción sostenible, el CCCS ahora busca expandir su influencia en proyectos de infraestructura. A través de su asociación con el ISI, el CCCS se complace en introducir a Envision como la primera herramienta para guiar el desarrollo de infraestructura sostenible en Colombia y apunta a integrar aún más la sostenibilidad como un elemento fundamental de la planificación y el diseño urbano en la región. Con el creciente énfasis de Colombia en proyectos de transporte (especialmente carreteras), el CCCS se siente alentado por el gran potencial de impacto positivo en este sector a través de la aplicación del marco Envision.

“El principal objetivo de una asociación estratégica entre el Colombia Green Building Council y el ISI es fomentar la infraestructura sostenible y resiliente en Colombia”, comentó Angélica Ospina, Directora Ejecutiva de el CCCS. “Juntos, estamos comprometidos a establecer Envision como una herramienta líder para alcanzar los objetivos de impacto de nuestra organización y para ayudar a nuestro gobierno y  socios A/E/C a desarrollar modelos de negocio robustos y de largo plazo para la resiliencia en nuestro país”.

El ISI fue fundado en 2010 por la Sociedad Estadounidense de Ingenieros Civiles (“ASCE”, por sus siglas en inglés), la Asociación Estadounidense de Obras Públicas (“APWA”, por sus siglas en inglés) y el Consejo Estadounidense de Empresas de Ingeniería (“ACEC”, por sus siglas en inglés) para apoyar el desarrollo de una guía para infraestructura sostenible. En colaboración con el entonces Programa Zofnass para Infraestructura Sostenible de la Escuela de Graduada de Diseño de la Universidad de Harvard, el ISI integró lo mejor de la experiencia de la industria con investigaciones académicas de vanguardia para producir el marco y el sistema de calificación Envision. Envision ahora sirve como una herramienta de orientación común para propietarios de infraestructura, ingenieros, diseñadores, arquitectos, planificadores, contratistas, operadores y otras partes interesadas en las primeras etapas de planificación y diseño de infraestructuras. Hasta la fecha, más de 9000 personas en todo el mundo han obtenido la credencial Experto en Sostenibilidad Envision (“ENV SP” por sus siglas en inglés, que se refieren a “Envision Sustainability Professional”) y más de 160 proyectos han sido verificados con el marco Envision.

El CCCS destacará esta nueva colaboración con ISI en su evento anual, XV Edición de Construverde 2024, que se celebrará en Bogotá del 20 al 21 de junio. En esta conferencia, el CCCS presentará a sus miembros el marco Envision, al mismo tiempo que brindará oportunidades para la educación avanzada y la creación de redes profesionales centradas en el desarrollo sostenible. El evento concluirá con un taller de formación especializada en Envision el 22 de junio para ayudar a impulsar la creación de la comunidad ENV SP en Colombia, y más adelante en el año, se ofrecerán diversos seminarios en línea para respaldar el proceso de formación y verificación en el uso de Envision. El ISI y el CCCS inician esta alianza con gran entusiasmo para garantizar comunidades más sostenibles, resilientes y prósperas en Colombia y en todo el mundo.

Para conocer más sobre el CCCS, por favor visite https://www.cccs.org.co/

Terminal Island Wye Track Realignment Project Awarded Envision Verified

Aerial view, Port of Long Beach. Credit POLB.


Providing rail network resiliency and redundancy at the Port of Long Beach, this transformative project is a win for rail system efficacy, enhanced infrastructure integration, and the environment.

March 21, 2024 — The Terminal Island Wye Track Realignment Project has been awarded an Envision Verified Award from ISI in recognition of significant sustainability achievements. The Port of Long Beach plans to dramatically increase the amount of cargo moved by on­dock rail with this project, a move towards sustainability four-times more fuel-efficient than truck transport. The project will reduce train idling and allow the staging of up to 12,000 foot-long trains. That will potentially offset 2.2 million truck trips between project completion in 2024 and the year 2035.

Quote:

“In this, our ‘Year of Rail,’ the Port of Long Beach is honored to receive the Envision Verified Award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure for our Terminal Island Wye Rail Project. This crucial project – currently under construction – is designed to enhance the efficiency of cargo flow through the San Pedro Bay ports complex,” said Mario Cordero, Port of Long Beach CEO. “This is one more example of the Port’s dedication to strengthening its competitiveness though sustainable development.”