Zofnass Research Program

The Zofnass Research Program conducts research that examines sustainable infrastructure topics and supports development and use of the Envision framework. Two ongoing research efforts focus on understanding the influence of Envision implementation on costs, and understanding the nexus of Envision with the environmental review process in the U.S. through NEPA or in Canada through IAA.

Research workshops are being organized through the program. A fall 2023 workshop was held November 1, 2023 in Washington, DC. A spring 2024 workshop was held May 15 & 16 in New York City. More info.

Find information about the program’s current projects and substantial research output through the years, including books, papers, case studies, and conference presentations at this link.

ISI and Zofnass: History of the Collaboration

The program has officially been part of ISI since 2022, when it was moved from the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. There, it was called the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure, a program founded in 2008 through a generous donation by siblings Paul and Joan Zofnass.

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In 2010, ISI was established by the American Public Works Association (APWA), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). ISI, in partnership with the Zofnass Program, worked together to integrate the best of industry experience with cutting-edge academic research to develop Envision in 2012. 

While the academic research partnership with Harvard responded directly to the need for a comprehensive sustainability framework and rating system suitable for use in civil infrastructure development, Paul Zofnass also foresaw that for that system to be productively taken up and used by industry, the Zofnass Program would need a new home within an independent non-profit that could more readily engage with the private sector. In 2022, the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure moved from Harvard to ISI, where it is now called the Zofnass Research Program, in honor of its founder and benefactor.

More about the Zofnass Program.