I am Nehal, an architect and a graduate student at SMU, MA of Sustainability and Developments. I recently passed an online exam at the Institute for sustainable Infrastructure (ISI), through which I became ENV SP.
So today, I will be writing about the Envision system, What is Envision, why it’s different from any other sustainability rating system? why I chose to pursue ENV SP.
Envision is a rating system like LEED system but for infrastructure and all areas surrounding and leading to a building. I learned about Envision during a spring class “Methods and Technology for Sustainability”. The class instructor/ Mikel Wilkins, explained different methods of green infrastructure, mitigation of current troubled areas, enhancement and remediation of brownfield and restoration of ecology and how the Envision integrates these methods and rate them.
The Envision system rates infrastructure projects through 5 categories: Quality of life, Leadership, Resource allocation, Natural world and Climate& Resiliency. as you notice, categories start with quality of life, which is in my opinion what differs Envision from other rating systems.
This system adapt a holistic approach to projects, where you are not establishing a green development only, but also designing and constructing the right development that fits the on hand environment you are working with and surrounding community. and that’s what really interest me in studying this system. it’s not only about providing a green infrastructure, but also providing the right development for the community in this environment and responding to their needs, restoring and enhancing their surrounding. reconnecting natural systems and allowing for community participation which leads to a sustainable community.
So, the way Envision works, is that it allows for connecting community with environment, enhancing quality of life for people, while not compromising future generation opportunities. I found Envision applying the triple bottom line in developments in a successful way.
How to become ENV SP? you first register on the website of the Institute for sustainable infrastructure. Students get a 50% discount. There are 6 modules of videos that become available once you register to take the exam. These videos are really helpful on explaining the whole system and how it works. After you finish watching these interactive videos, the exam will be available to take. Once you start the exam, it stays available for 72 hours. so you basically can take it on your own pace.
My first graduate class at SMU, our instructor was talking about sustainability and Green buildings. He asked a question” can you build a functional LEED building if the surrounding environment is not sustainable?” Now while i finished my first year and working towards my second year, I found my answer to this question through the holistic approach of designing a community, where People, Planet& Profit are integrated.