ENVISION

ENVISION CERTICATION: FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND COMMUNITIES

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

  1. Provides an ecological and social framework: This is because it serves as a benchmark that provides clear requirements and parameters, as well as a well-defined process for optimizing a project’s potential positive impacts.
  2. Fosters industry-wide transformation: A critical mass of certified projects leads to the establishment of new standards, which in turn usher in an industry-wide paradigm shift that makes practices evolve.
  3. Establishes a credible database for comparison: By quantifying the ecological and social measures in Envision’s banks of certified projects, it is possible to establish comparables against which a project can then be ranked and recognized through certification. The fact that project performance receives independent third-party validation lends credibility to the process from the public’s perspective.
  4. Addresses the issue of climate and resilience: lnfrastructures are typically built to last a minimum of 75 to 100 years. However, environmental conditions will be disrupted by climate change. Rainfall and snowfall, the intensity of storms, drought, flooding and hurricanes are all elements that take a considerable toll on infrastructures. ENVISION requires teams to take into account the vulnerable aspects of a project and to strengthen the latter’s resilience in this context of uncertainty.

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.

PROVENCHER_ROY’S EXPERTISE

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:

  • The New Samuel De Champlain Bridge Corridor obtained the Platinum level of the ENVISION certification in 2018. The project is the first in Québec, the fourth in Canada and the second bridge in North America to obtain a Platinum certification.
  • Provencher_Roy is currently working with the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) to obtain ENVISION Gold certification for the new entrance building and pedestrian corridor at the Vendôme metro station.

ENVISION certification at a glance

The ENVISION rating system uses 60 sustainability criteria, called “credits,” arranged in five categories:

  1. Quality of Life
  2. Leadership
  3. Resource Allocation
  4. Natural World
  5. Climate and Resilience

 

There are 4 certification levels:

  • Verified
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum

The certification levels are defined as a function of the percentage of possible points earned.