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New sustainability group founded

News | February 4, 2011 | By:

Engineering, public works groups developing the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI).

A new, independent, nonprofit organization designed to develop and administer a sustainability rating system for North American infrastructure-the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI)-was officially launched with its first board meeting Feb. 8-9.

A press release from the organizing groups- the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), the American Public Works Association (APWA), and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)-described a “triple bottom line” concept of sustainability, which includes environmental, economic, and social considerations.

The release said that ISI’s goal is to “identify the benefits of sustainable practice for owners, regulators, and practitioners.”

A rating system is scheduled for launch in the summer of 2011 as a voluntary, web-based product. However, unlike other tools, the ISI system will include an option for third-party verification, and will be applicable to a wide range of infrastructure projects, from roads and bridges to energy and water systems, the press release stated.

“This is a groundbreaking effort that will give federal, state, and local government agencies a new way to plan and carry out infrastructure projects that achieve broader and longer-term benefits for the American people,” said ACEC chair and ISI boardmember, Jerry Stump. “Right now government agencies lack a comprehensive measuring tool that will assess major infrastructure projects in terms of sustainability and other societal needs. The new ISI rating system will fill this need.”

The rating system will be performance-based and adaptable based on project size and complexity, allowing state and federal agencies to use it for large projects, while allowing local governments to use it for smaller projects. The system will also include an option for self-assessment as well as third-party certification.

The new organization’s nine-member board of directors includes representatives from the three founding organizations.

From ACEC: Gerald Stump, COO at Wilbur Smith Associates; Terry F. Neimeyer, CEO at KCI Technologies; and Timothy Psomas, Chairman, Psomas Engineering.

From APWA: Vicki Vikery Quiram, Public Works Director, Westwood, Mass.; Howard B. LaFever, Principal, GHD Inc.; and Larry Stevens, Senior Project Manager, Howard R. Green Co.

From ASCE: Christine F. Andersen, Public Works Director, Santa Barbara, Calif.; Peter D. Binney, National Director of Sustainable Infrastructure, Merrick and Co.; and D. Wayne Klotz, President, Klotz Associates and Past President, ASCE.

ISI membership will be open to individuals, organizations and agencies, and the organization will also be developing certification and continuing education programs for rating system users.

For more information:

Jeffrey Beard
American Council of Engineering Companies

Julia Anastasio
American Public Works Association

Joan Buhrman
American Society of Civil Engineers

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