Leveraging the Framework of the Envision Rating System for Design of a Wastewater Project


  • Evan Bowles, Saya Qualls, Joe Rohrbacher - Hazen and Sawyer

Wastewater collection, conveyance, and treatment facilities serve a fundamental role in promoting sustainable practices in that they abate water pollution and spread of disease. Unfortunately, the construction and O&M portion of this beneficial waste management practice has historically employed many unsustainable practices (e.g. energy usage, waste byproducts). In an effort to promote sustainable practices in the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of inhabited buildings (e.g. offices, homes), the USGBC developed the LEED rating system. Given the applicability of LEED specifically towards inhabited buildings, significant difficulty has been experienced in attempting to apply its ratings credits toward civil infrastructure projects (e.g. pump stations, pipelines). In order to bridge this gap, the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) developed the Envision sustainable infrastructure rating system in 2012. This presentation will provide examples of how this rating system can be applied to wastewater projects anywhere within their lifecycle.

Although the rating system can be utilized to retroactively assess and recognize a project with an award (Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum), it is ideally suited to provide the project team with a sustainability “standard of practice” to guide any project from cradle to grave. To maximize the sustainable outcomes of a proposed project, it is recommended that a preliminary audit be conducted by a credentialed Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP). This presentation will address project audits, and how they can be best leveraged for long-term project planning.

While the optimal time for utilization of the Envision system is in a project’s planning stages, it can also be employed in later stages to evaluate how the project team fared in implementation of sustainability practices. Upon completion of the 90% design package for a new wet weather storage facility in Nashville, TN, Hazen and Sawyer performed an Envision audit for Nashville Metro Water Services to measure the project’s sustainable design features against the rating system’s quantifiable metrics. While the project rated highly, it also allowed the team to identify deficiencies that could be addressed for a more sustainable design. This case study will be presented during the presentation.

For more information, please contact the author at ebowles@hazenandsawyer.com.

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Horizons Fall 2017 (pdf)

Horizons showcases significant water, wastewater, reuse, and stormwater projects and innovations that help our clients to achieve their goals, and can help you achieve yours. Articles are written by top engineers and process group leaders, demonstrating and explaining the beneficial application of a variety of technologies and tools.

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