Provencher_Roy’s sustainable development team keeps up with the latest advancements in the field of ecological certification.
ENVISION is an environmental and social certification aimed at civil infrastructure, i.e., built structures that are generally not inhabited but that have a major impact on their context, such as roads, bridges, railways, airport landing strips, water treatment systems, and so on.
ENVISION provides design criteria and a measurement system to help make infrastructure projects more sustainable. It is designed to be used by owners, public bodies and professionals, among others.
Launched in 2012, this certification was developed jointly by the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Washington-based Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure. Some 50 projects worldwide are currently ENVISION certified.
THE BENEFITS OF ENVISION CERTIFICATION
BENEFITS FOR THE COMMUNITY
With ENVISION, communities play an active role in the infrastructure design and construction process. If there are any specific issues of a potentially damaging or detrimental nature, such as noise, safety, traffic, water contamination or structure proximity, the project team must take them into account and work closely with community stakeholders to find appropriate solutions.
As well, ENVISION encourages teams to take advantage of the efforts and money put into a project to orient design choices so as to integrate elements that will contribute to the betterment of the surrounding communities. For instance, building a bike path or facilitating access to a park or other landscape component.
In recent years, the firm has endeavoured to make project owners more sensitive to the integration of sustainable practices into infrastructure development. In addition to gains in efficiency and useful life, such practices have a major impact on the urban landscape: on the one hand, there is the esthetic effect and the enhanced inclusion of communities; on the other, the observable physical and ecological impacts of the infrastructures on health.
The alignment of high-quality architecture and landscape design, coupled with sustainable, ecologically responsible solutions, puts the well-being of citizens once more at the core of project design and development. Provencher_Roy has extensive experience with global certification tools such as ENVISION and this informs all project aspects: from the design of public spaces to materials selection, from energy efficiency to climate change mitigation. The firm possesses rich, diverse expertise and takes an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to all its projects.
Certifications such as ENVISION are the first step toward greener, more sustainable infrastructures. ENVISION-accredited professionals know how to use these tools effectively to get results.
Provencher_Roy’s sustainable development team is comprised of ENVISION-accredited professionals.
INTERMEDIATE AND LONG-TERM PAYOFF
A certification should not be thought of as an expense, but rather an investment. By engaging in the process, one ultimately produces an infrastructure that is better designed and better built, adapted to needs, and more resilient in the long term. While it may cost more in terms of professional fees incurred, as it can lead to making more expensive choices, in the intermediate or long term these choices will lead to greater positive spinoffs. By integrating sustainable development into the overall vision for a project, one realizes that one dollar spent today may generate hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars in savings over time.
Provencher_Roy’s projects using ENVISION:
ENVISION certification at a glance
The ENVISION rating system uses 60 sustainability criteria, called “credits,” arranged in five categories:
There are 4 certification levels:
The certification levels are defined as a function of the percentage of possible points earned.