The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, together with the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, has unveiled a new infrastructure rating system called Envision. The system is designed to help policy-makers evaluate the sustainability of infrastructure, set realistic national priorities, and conduct a national discourse on infrastructure investment.
Envision rates all types and sizes of civil infrastructure projects in terms of environmental, economic, and community benefits. Infrastructure owners, engineers, contractors, and regulators can address all major infrastructure project stages: planning and design, construction, operations and maintenance, and decommissioning.
The rating system's credits and points are tied to measurable economic benefits to more fully account for impacts — such as job creation, triple bottom-line outcomes (social, environmental, economic), enhancements to community resilience, and regional competitiveness — that are not included in standard financial measures.
Educational programs will be offered to Envision users, and its developers plan to release two companion tools this year: a pre-planning checklist for assessing project sustainability, and a comprehensive guidance document and score calculator that analyzes and rates a project's achievement of sustainability objectives.