Sustainable infrastructure highwayLEED for roads? Sustainable infrastructure gains momentum. Estimates for improving transportation, water, and energy infrastructure in the U.S. are about $3.6 trillion, and the magnitude of the projects require more sustainable approaches.

The “Envision” Tool

A new tool, called Envision, is the result of a collaborative effort between the Harvard University Graduate School of Design for Sustainable Infrastructure and the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure. The Envision tool is designed to help civil engineers and planners to consider sustainability options they otherwise might not have considered. The tool is a framework for evaluating and rating community economic and environmental benefits for both small and large scale projects, using a checklist and rating system for five categories: quality of life, resource allocation, environment, climate and risk. In all, there are 60 sustainability criteria considered.

Think LEED for infrastructure. The USGBC focuses on the vertical infrastructure, and we focus on the horizontal infrastructure. How we prep our infrastructure for the future is an important consideration, especially for the business community.” — Bill Bertera, President and CEO, Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure.

A much more in-depth description of the various aspects of the efforts to achieve a more sustainable infrastructure is featured in GreenBiz.com.

About the Author: Lauren Boitel

Lauren Boitel is the Executive Director of ImpactNV, a statewide sustainability NGO convener and coalition builder that drives systemic change around economic, environmental, and social sustainability in the Silver State. Lauren has 12 years of experience as a Sustainability Professional in Southern Nevada and teaches Sustainability & Entrepreneurship for the Lee Business School at UNLV.

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