How we "Envision" Sustainability for Arlington Re-Gen

water facility

How we "Envision" Sustainability for Arlington Re-Gen

By: Jennifer Ninete and Stephanie Spalding

Jan. 3, 2024

Sustainability is one of the most essential parts of the Arlington Re-Gen program. As we anticipate the start of design in 2024, we are looking forward to showcasing the sustainability of the upgraded solids processing facilities. To track the Arlington Re-Gen sustainability goals, we are using Envision, a decision-making tool that provides industry-wide sustainability metrics for civil infrastructure projects such as the upgrades at the Water Pollution Control Plant. Envision also allows us to fulfill the intent of Arlington County’s Green Building Incentive Policy and maintain consistency with Arlington County sustainability goals.

The Envision framework is organized around five categories to holistically examine sustainability and resiliency:

  • Quality of Life: The impact a project has on communities, from individual health and wellbeing to equity.
  • Leadership: Communication, collaboration, teamwork, leadership, and commitment to sustainability. This category also addresses meaningful stakeholder engagement.
  • Resource Allocation: The quantity, source, and characteristics of the resources needed to build and maintain infrastructure.
  • Natural World: How a project is located within and affects the natural world and ecosystem. Projects that minimize negative impacts and/or protect and restore habitats receive higher scores.
  • Climate and Resilience: This ensures a project is resilient and contributes to resilient communities. The category also focuses on how a project minimizes emissions that worsen climate change and short- and long-term risks.

Envision recognizes energy use reduction, use of renewable energy, emissions reduction, and how projects address the embodied carbon of materials used over the life of the project. These are all key considerations for Arlington Re-Gen, and based on the initial evaluations completed during the planning phase, the project is well suited to pursue credits that could result in an Envision Gold verification.

Envision also considers the wider community impacts of the design and construction, and includes such aspects as noise control, health and safety, and local character. This aspect of the framework increases community-wide sustainability, which aligns with the Re-Gen goal of being a good neighbor and the County’s vision to be a sustainable community.

The project team will use the Envision framework to guide decision making throughout the design and construction process and to document the path toward optimizing Arlington Re-Gen’s sustainability and potentially increase the verification level.

Sustainability and Resiliency depends on overlapping Environmental, Economic and Social elements

For more information about Envision, visit the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure website or read the Envision brochure.