Envision for Sustainable Infrastructure

Envision is a framework developed by ISI that encourages systemic changes in the planning, design, and delivery of sustainable, resilient, and equitable civil infrastructure through education, training, and third-party project verification.

Climate change impacts and population pressures have accelerated the need for sustainable infrastructure. Communities have a responsibility to reduce harmful emissions and protect the natural world, to manage resources wisely and create good-paying green jobs, and to effectively address a range of social justice concerns — to name only a few priorities.

That’s where Envision comes in, supporting a different kind of infrastructure development that effectively ties these strands together. Envision provides a consistent, consensus-based framework for assessing sustainability, resiliency, and equity in civil infrastructure.

At its core, Envision is about supporting higher performance through better choices in infrastructure development.

Read: On the Front Lines of Infrastructure Renewal

The foundation on which our communities live, infrastructure provides safe drinking water, powers our homes and workplaces, and facilitates communication with one another. It handles our waste, determines how we get around, and creates spaces for us to enjoy.

These building blocks, in turn, support personal and collective safety, health, productivity, and well-being, not to mention the economic vitality of our cities.

Historic underfunding, however, led to significant infrastructure gaps, which have tended to be overlooked until break-downs occur, with profound impacts on communities.

Public agencies and the A/E/C community are tasked with the timely renewal of these assets, supported by policies like the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which directed $1.2 trillion of federal funds towards transportation, energy, and climate infrastructure projects.

DID YOU KNOW? Many of those same companies and agencies are also ISI organization members. Click here to see who is an Envision-supported company or Envision-supported agency.

A Blueprint for Fundamental Change

The Envision framework is sensitive to resource constraints, and recognizes the diversity of mandates, schedules, budget cycles, and funding sources that exist. Envision not only asks are we doing the project right, but also are we doing the right project?

Flexibility is a defining feature: this is a versatile system of criteria and performance objectives to aid decision makers and help project teams identify sustainable, resilient, and equitable paths forward. These approaches can be used during the planning, design, and construction stages of a project, and they can continue throughout the project’s operations, maintenance, and end-of-life phases.

Developed by ISI, which was formed with the support of ASCE, APWA, ACEC and the then-Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Envision was specifically designed for use across a range of civil infrastructure sectors and project types.