Envision™ Sustainable Infrastructure Rating System

Envision™ is the product of a joint collaboration between the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure.

Introduction

Envision™ provides a holistic framework for evaluating and rating the community, environmental, and economic benefits of all types and sizes of infrastructure projects. It evaluates, grades, and gives recognition to infrastructure projects that use transformational, collaborative approaches to assess the sustainability indicators over the course of the project's life cycle.

Who Can Use Envision™

Envision™ can be used by infrastructure owners, design teams, community groups, environmental organizations, constructors, regulators, and policy makers to:

  • Meet sustainability goals.
  • Be publicly recognized for high levels of achievement in sustainability.
  • Help communities and project teams to collaborate and discuss, "Are we doing the right project?" and, "Are we doing the project right?".
  • Make decisions about the investment of scarce resources.
  • Include community priorities in civil infrastructure projects.

The Envision™ tools help the project design team:

  • Assess costs and benefits over the project lifecycle.
  • Evaluate environmental benefits.
  • Use outcome-based objectives.
  • Reach higher levels of sustainability achievement.

Envision™ has assessment tools that can be used for infrastructure projects of all types, sizes, complexities, and locations.

The Assessment Tools

  • Envision™ checklist.
    • The Envision™ Checklist is an educational tool that helps users become familiar with the sustainability aspects of infrastructure project design. It can be used as a stand-alone assessment to quickly compare project alternatives or to prepare for a more detailed assessment.
    • The Envision™ Checklist is structured as a series of Yes/No questions based on the Envision™ rating system. It organized into five categories and fourteen subcategories. Every infrastructure project has an important impact on all five Envision™ categories.
  • Envision™ sustainable infrastructure rating system.
    • May enable projects to become eligible for an Envision™ award.
    • Used by the project team to self-assessment the project, or for an third-party, objective review by ISI Verifiers.
    • Includes a guidance manual and scoring system.
    • Recommend someone trained in the use of the Envision™ rating system to be an integral part of the project team to document sustainability achievements and guide project team through the Envision™ Verification process.

An economic optimization tool, construction and O+M phase credits, and other stages of the Envision™ rating system are currently under development.

The People

  • Envision™ Sustainability Professional (ENV SP)
    • Someone who is trained in the use of the Envision™ rating system and is credentialed by ISI.
    • An integral part of a project team who guides the team in achieving higher levels of sustainability, documents project sustainability accomplishments, and submits the project for recognition.
  • Verifier
    • An independent, third-party that works with the ENV SP to validate their assessment of a project.

Envision™ Credits and Scoring Module

The Envision™ has 60 sustainability criteria, called credits, divided into five sections: Quality of Life, Leadership, Resource Allocation, Natural World, and Climate and Risk.

Each Envision™ credit is described in a 2-page write-up that includes the intent, metric, levels of achievement, description, an explanation of how to advance to a higher achievement level, evaluation criteria and documentation, sources, and related credits.

A Few Ways to Get Involved

  • Education and Professional Credentialing
    • Take the Envision™ Sustainability Professional (ENV SP) course to learn how to use the rating system and apply for project recognition and awards.
    • Apply to become an ENV SP and help guide project teams through Envision™ assessment rating tool.
  • ISI Membership
    • Join as a Charter or Sustaining Member for in-depth involvement in ISI.
    • Other memberships available for trade and professional associations, public sector agencies, and academics.
    • Members pricing on ISI training materials, meetings, certification application fees, publications, and other products and services.