Luuceo Consulting Hosts Video Podcast on Envision

Luuceo Consulting, Inc. has started a video podcast, and their second episode was focused entirely on Envision Sustainability. Both Bronwyn Worrick and Quin Mackenzie are experienced Envision professionals who help others learn about Envision and incorporate it into their infrastructure projects.

Quin is a Co-Founder of luuceo. She has facilitated planning and design processes for infrastructure projects across North America to enhance asset performance, specializing in the application of leading design frameworks such as the Envision® framework for sustainable infrastructure and the Integrated Design Process (IDP).

Bronwyn is also a Co-Founder of luuceo. She has experience leveraging holistic and systems-based approaches to strategy, risk, and design. To learn more about Luuceo, please visit their website.

Watch their video podcast.

ISEC Pedestrian Bridge Earns Envision Bronze Award

Photo provided by Payette / Tanguy Marquis

Washington D.C. – April 16, 2020 – The Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC) Pedestrian Bridge (PedX) at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, is the recent recipient of the Envision® Bronze award for sustainable infrastructure, designated by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). To reach Bronze status, a project must demonstrate that it delivers environmental, social, and economic benefits above standard or conventional practice.

Project Context and Scope

The ISEC PedX project is the construction of an elevated pedestrian crossing that connects the new ISEC at Northeastern University’s Huntington Avenue Campus in Boston with the Fenway and Roxbury communities. Spanning 132 feet, the bridge improves public connections between the University’s facilities on the south side of five Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and Amtrak rail lines that separate it from the main campus. The $17 million project mimics the architecture of the new ISEC building, allowing students, visitors, and community members to pass easily and safety between the campuses intersected by the rail corridor, all while offering views of the Boston skyline and the bold architecture of the ISEC building. This project fulfills part of the Northeastern University Campus Master Plan.

“The pedestrian bridge is an aesthetic treasure in the heart of Northeastern’s campus, providing a much-needed connection from the main campus to the newly developed Columbus Avenue corridor,” said John Park, Hill International project manager. On behalf of Northeastern University, the Hill team managed the design and construction of the pedestrian bridge from the conceptual “Arc” structure in 2014 to occupancy of the bridge in 2019.

Northeastern University worked in close collaboration with Skanska, Payette, Arup, Hill International, and Vanasse Hangen Brustlin (VHB) to deliver this visually stunning, award-winning, sustainable project.

The Envision system examines the impact of sustainable infrastructure projects as a whole through five distinct categories: Quality of Life, Leadership, Resource Allocation, Natural World, and Climate and Resilience. These key areas contribute to the positive social, economic, and environmental impacts on a community.

 

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Albion Riverside Park Project Earns Envision Gold Award

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 12, 2020 – The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) announced today that the Albion Riverside Park, located in Los Angeles, California, is the recent recipient of the Envision® Gold award for sustainable infrastructure. To earn Envision Gold, a project must demonstrate that it delivers a heightened range of environmental, social, and economic benefits to the host and affected communities.  

The Albion Riverside Park is a 10.6-acre site located adjacent to the Los Angeles River in the neighborhood of Lincoln Heights. For this project, 6 acres of land adjacent to the original park were acquired, having been previously used for industrial purposes such as ice cream manufacturing, dairy storage and distribution, metal pipe manufacturing, brewery operations, and automotive repair. After decades of industrial use, the soil on the expansion site was significantly contaminated. The contaminated soil was removed and remediated to make the site safe for public use.  

The overall goal of the Albion Riverside Park project was to increase and enhance open space and recreational opportunities along the Los Angeles River, and implement stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) that improve the water quality of stormwater runoff. The above-ground improvements result in an expanded park facility that better serves the local community, and adds to the LA River experience in Lincoln Heights.  

The Albion Riverside Park project is one of several “Proposition O” projects in the city of Los Angeles. Proposition O, which was passed in 2004 with overwhelming public support, authorized the City to fund projects up to $500 million, which are designed to prevent and remove pollutants from regional waterways and the ocean, consequently protecting public safety and meeting Federal Clean Water Act regulations. This project’s park elements are also funded through Proposition 84 (the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006) and Proposition K, the LA for Kids Program, a program designed to combat the inadequacies and decay of youth infrastructure throughout the City, as well as other funding from the City’s Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP).  

“Every community deserves places that people can go for healthy recreation and to connect with the natural world,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The Albion Riverside Park is another milestone in our revitalization of the L.A. River — and I’m proud to have authored Proposition O so we can purchase properties like this and deliver projects that protect our river and improve our water supply.”  

The Albion Riverside Park project is part of the LA River Revitalization Master PlanRiver Improvement Overlay and the Cornfield Arroyo Seco Specific Site Plan. It accomplishes several goals and meets the needs of the community by: 

  • Improving water quality by significantly decreasing pollutant loads 
  • Creating and improving local park resources and visual linkages to the Los Angeles River 
  • Improving climate change adaptability 
  • Protecting and replenishing natural resources 
  • Reducing the risk of flooding during periods of high precipitation 

“Turning a vacant, previously contaminated parcel of land into a public resource—all while protecting local water resources and reducing pollution—is a significant boon for the Lincoln Heights community and the city of Los Angeles more broadly, said Melissa Peneycad, ISI’s Managing Director. ISI is pleased to present the Envision Gold award for sustainable infrastructure to the city of Los Angeles and its project partners for the Albion Riverside Park project.”  

“The Albion Riverside Park is part of the LA River Revitalization Master Plan, and part of our larger vision to expand recreational and green space in the First Council District,” stated Councilmember Cedillo. “The communities in CD1 have been cut off from the LA River for too long. Albion Park, and eventually G2, will provide our neighborhoods direct access to the river while improving water quality.”  

“The Bureau of Engineering is committed to delivering sustainable and multi-benefit projects,” said City Engineer and ISI Boardmember Gary Lee Moore, PE, ENV SP. “Albion Riverside Park is an excellent example of the work we are doing to bring recreation and open space to neighborhoods that desperately need park space, increasing stormwater capture, and improving water quality.” 

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.    

As project and construction manager, the city of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering partnered with the Department of Recreation and Parks and the Bureau of Sanitation. They also worked closely with their design consultant TetraTech and their contractor Sully-Miller. 

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Welcoming New Additions to the Envision Review Board: Margaret Cederoth, Silvia Ciraci, Erika Jozwiak, Scott Smith, Sofia Zuberbuhler-Yafar

ISI would like to take the opportunity to recognize the newest members of the Envision Review Board: Margaret Cederoth (California High-Speed Rail), Silvia Ciraci (ICMQ), Erika Jozwiak (New York City Mayor’s Office of Resiliency), Scott Smith (Metrolinx), and Sofia Zuberbuhler-Yafar (New York City Department of Design and Construction). You can learn more about them and their journey as sustainability leaders in the bios below.

ISI would also like to express our deepest gratitude to the Envision Review Board members who completed their terms at the end of 2019 after serving with distinction for five years; Timothy Barry (Ramboll), John Eddy (Arup), Kari Hewitt (Kim Lundgren Associates), Andrew Shaw (Black and Veatch), and Andrew Sauer (Burns & McDonnell).

Originally created in, 2015 the Envision Review Board is comprised of industry-leading infrastructure professionals representing public agencies, private companies, and general interest groups. The mission of the Envision Review Board is to ensure the continued integrity and efficacy of Envision and its associated tools, resources, and documents; to provide for consistency in interpretation and development; and to assure the ongoing relevance of the tool and its associated best practices to the highest standards of scholarship and practice. In this way, Envision is a tool created and overseen by the infrastructure industry itself.

To learn more about the entire Envision Review Board Click Here.

Margaret Cederoth

Director of Planning and Sustainability, California High-Speed Rail Authority

Margaret Cederoth is an urban planner with two decades of experience working in sustainable infrastructure and land use and transportation planning throughout the US and globally. Ms Cederoth was appointed by Governor Newsom in 2019 to be the Director of Planning and Sustainability for the California High-Speed Rail Authority.  She previously led sustainability work for the Authority, and as a consultant she oversaw corporate sustainability initiatives for WSP USA, including their commitment to carbon neutral operations and the development of training and tools for implementing sustainability approaches on a range of infrastructure projects. She has a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Silvia Ciraci

Manager of Infrastructure Sustainability Certification, ICMQ

Silvia Ciraci graduated as a Building Engineer in 2008. She started her career as a consultant specialized in Safety and Quality Management Systems. Since 2013 she has been with ICMQ S.p.A as their Quality and Product Certification Project Manager, gaining field experience on construction sites. In 2014 she qualified as a LEED Green Associate and Envision Sustainability Professional. She is currently Manager of Infrastructure Sustainability Certification services at ICMQ, acting also as an Envision Trainer, Verifier and Reviewer for the application of Envision on Italian projects.

Erika Jozwiak

Program Manager, Infrastructure NYC Mayor’s Office of Resiliency

Erika Jozwiak is a Program Manager for Infrastructure at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Resiliency. Prior to this role, she was Sustainability Section Chief of the Engineering, Design & Construction Bureau at NYC Department of Environmental Protection. At DEP she was responsible for incorporating the tenants of sustainability into the $18.1B 10-year capital plan and ensuring compliance with all relevant sustainability regulations. She seeks to advance the holistic long-term sustainability of NYC’s critical infrastructure. Erika has a degree in Environmental Science from Franklin & Marshall College.

Scott Smith

Senior Advisor, Sustainable Design, Metrolinx

Scott Smith has 12 years of public agency experience in sustainable design and environmental management. His experience spans local and provincial government agencies in Ontario, Canada, with a focus on the interdisciplinary environmental review of municipal infrastructure projects through environmental assessment and regulatory processes. In his current role, Scott is responsible for advancing sustainability in the design of bus and rail assets for regional transportation in the greater Toronto and Hamilton area. As his master’s degree thesis, Scott assessed the potential for the use of Envision by public agencies in the sustainability certification of road projects in Ontario. Scott has been an Envision Sustainability Professional since 2016.

Sofia Zuberbühler-Yafar

Senior Project Executive for Sustainable Infrastructure, New York City Department of Design and Construction

Sofía Zuberbühler-Yafar is Program Director for the Sustainable Infrastructure Unit with the New York City Department of Design and Construction.  She manages design contracts and ensures the on-time delivery of NYC’s Department Environmental Protection’s various multi-million-dollar city-wide green infrastructure contracts.  Currently she is integrating sustainable design measures and goals within the agency standards and contracts.  Sofia is the only NYC public agency certified ENV SP Trainer and is preparing fellow colleagues to become ENV SPs.

Mrs. Zuberbuhler-Yafar is a licensed Landscape Architect with a graduate degree in Urban Design and over 19 years of varied experience including urban planning with the NYC Department of City Planning and landscape architecture design in the private realm.  She resides in New York City with her family and enjoys traveling.

First Envision Conference and Envision Award in Europe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Events

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Envision Review Board

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Cedar River Flood Control System in New Bohemia/Sinclair District earns Envision Bronze

The City of Cedar Rapids’ Cedar River Flood Control System in the New Bohemia/Sinclair District in Iowa is the recent recipient of the Envision Bronze rating for sustainable infrastructure. The Cedar Rapids project is the third Envision award granted to an infrastructure project in the state of Iowa.

The project includes a permanent levee structure; a gatewell which allows the City to block off the storm sewer from the Cedar River, preventing flooding through the storm sewer system; a pump station that allows water to be pumped out of the detention area to the Cedar River; a detention basin and other stormwater best management practices such as bioretention areas; and recreational amenities such as a 12’ walking trail.

The Cedar River Flood Control System in the New Bohemia/Sinclair District is part of a larger flood protection effort, known as the Cedar River Flood Control System (FCS). The FCS is designed to convey the same water volume as the catastrophic flood in 2008 that crested over 31 feet, 19 feet above flood level and damaged over 5,300 homes, 900 businesses, and 300 public buildings and directly affected more than 18,000 citizens.

The City of Cedar Rapids worked in close collaboration with Stanley Consultants, HDR, and Anderson Bogert to deliver this award-winning sustainable project.

To learn more about this project, Click Here

 

Argo Drain Sub-Basin Facility in Los Angeles earns Envision Silver

The Argo Drain Sub-Basin Facility (Argo Drain) in Los Angeles, California, is the recent recipient of the Envision Silver award for sustainable infrastructure. Situated on Los Angeles World Airports property, the Argo Drain will accommodate a watershed area of approximately 2,200 acres. The primary purpose of the Argo Drain is to transport water via gravity to a diversion structure where the flow will be treated and pumped into underground infiltration passageways to recharge the groundwater basin. The Argo Drain will promote public health, preserve and restore marine and plant habitat, and improve water quality in the Santa Monica Bay area and nearby beaches. The Argo Drain will also support recreational facilities after construction, adding to the planned vibrancy of the area. This project is part of the City of Los Angeles Clean Water Initiative, also known as “Proposition O”.

To learn more about this project, Click Here

Making the Business Case for Planning Sustainable Infrastructure

by John F. Williams II, CEO and Chairman of Impact Infrastructure – makers of Autocase

 

Over two days in March, I had the privilege of attending an outstanding event sponsored by the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at Harvard University. I have been attending Zofnass events at Harvard since participating in its Sustainable Industry Advisory Board in 2008.

A decade ago, I represented HDR, a large architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) firm, and was advocating for the inclusion of economic analysis in the evaluation of green Infrastructure and buildings. There were approximately 40 major AEC companies typically attending these events as well as leading asset owners, public agencies, the finance community, and academic researchers. We all shared an awareness of the long-term and locked-in implications of decisions made that shape the built environment. I did my best to stress that each decision has costs and benefits that can last for many decades. My Impact Infrastructure partners, John Parker and Steph Larocque as well as their HDR leader, Dr. David Lewis, had successfully risen to my challenge to find a way to measure “green.” I worked with the Zofnass Program and subsequently, the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) to incorporate economic analysis and comprehensive business cases in their work. This was meaningful and rewarding work – everyone involved was involved because we felt we were doing the right thing. While we were convinced that industry would benefit from building the right project and building the project right, we also were involved because the quality of life of communities and the environment would also be rewarded.

We had conviction and were on a mission. There were setbacks though. In the spring of 2008 or 2009, were convened at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and specifically focused on the implications of sustainable design in project finance. One of the speakers was an executive from rating agency, Standard and Poor’s. When asked how they view sustainability in government bond ratings, we were told that it made no difference. We were shocked and dismayed.

Fast forward a decade to this week and the event entitled, “Making the Business Case for Sustainable Infrastructure.” It’s as though we are living in an entirely new world. Speaker after speaker confirmed that it is essential that we determine the value associated with investments in infrastructure, buildings and the communities they form.  The value that we are now seeing generated from sustainable projects is the result of the informed design and construction decisions made by members the Zofnass and ISI circle.

And to the naysayer from S&P, there is now concrete evidence that sustainable design now results in lower cost financing. This was provided by Paul Brandley and John Markowitz of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Jeffrey Matthews from Barclays Investment Bank offered three case studies on best value project procurements that stressed the importance of maximizing the value of public benefits over lowest bid. Jack Hand from Power Engineers, presented on the new, Denny Street Substation in Seattle. In responding to the City’s Sustainability requirements, incredible changes have been made in substation design to incorporate public spaces so that it fits into an urban neighborhood as a valuable neighborhood asset and delivers public benefits. We heard from Cris Liban of LA Metro, running sustainability at a regional transportation agency severing more than 10 million residents in and around LA.

LA Metro is focused on sustainable design and operations to deliver valuable public benefits that create returns on investment that are being plowed back intoinnovation.

One of my favorite presentations hit close to home. Maria Lehman focused on the complexity of risk management and challenges of engaging stakeholders involved in the $4 Billion replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge (now the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge) across the Hudson River in New York. I know the project well as HDR played a major role in designing the new bridge.  The speaker described the development process including financing, planning, permitting, design, construction, environmental monitoring and technology that is built into the bridge, all with the goal of giving it a 100-year lifetime. They have done an amazing job. When asked about their assessment of value, we were told that the development team considered the life cycle implications of the project but did not determine the Triple Bottom Line Costs and Benefits associated with the project (financial/economic, social and environmental returns on investment). Given that much of the bridge planning work was done years ago, I understand why they did not attempt to determine the value of public benefits. Just imagine how much easier it would have been to replace the bridge had stakeholders would have seen the value the project would bring to them in terms of people, profit, and planet?

The new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, the Denny Street Substation, Barclays best value cases and the MBTA have raised the bar. Today, the maximization of public value in exchange for limited resources is being made possible thanks to innovative financing, technology, contractor-led development teams, and designers who have embraced new roles in responding to the demand for sustainable solutions.  Triple Bottom Line Cost Benefit Analysis (TBL-CBA) and our Autocase tools helping to solve the value question.  We are making sophisticated economic analysis available to projects of all sizes.

Thanks to cloud based computing, our collaborative partnerships with: Autodesk; the world’s top AEC companies; feedback from cities, counties and state agencies; public utilities; major airports; commercial real estate companies; and, public companies, our world class team of economists and software developers are enabling the practical creation of objective, transparent business cases.  Our cases address internal costs and benefits as well as the value of public benefits.  By answering the question, “What’s in it for me?” we are unlocking the potential for investments in sustainable infrastructure and buildings.

A decade since the Standard and Poor’s no impact prediction, their competitor, Moody’s has shown them the way. They are joined by impact investors and I predict that insurance companies are close behind[1].

It’s a different world in many ways. Anyway you look at it, the value of benefits is now the focal point. At the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure we have been promoting long term value in addition the traditional focus on short-term costs. Zofnass has planted a leadership flag for sustainable infrastructure and Impact Infrastructure, our Autocase products and partners are proud to have been along for the adventure.

Think forward another decade and I predict you will see sustainability as standard. Infrastructure sustainability will be wrapped into Building Information Modeling (BIM), artificial intelligence and generative design, project finance, best value procurement, performance reporting procedures and most importantly, societal norms.

[1] “The fingerprint of climate change is now clearer…and it’s sticking around” Simon Fowell and John Parker, APWA Reporter May 2018 – forthcoming