CH2M and Alexandria Renew Enterprises recognized with Envision Platinum Rating for Nutrient Management Facility
The Envision rating system provides a holistic framework for evaluating and rating the environmental, community, and economic benefits of large infrastructure projects that incorporate sustainability throughout the project life cycle.
ALEXANDRIA, Va., Dec. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Nutrient Management Facility, owned by Alexandria Renew Enterprises (AlexRenew), recently earned the first Envision Platinum certification from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) in the Washington DC/Virginia metro region. The Envision rating system provides a holistic framework for evaluating and rating the environmental, community, and economic benefits of large infrastructure projects that incorporate sustainability throughout the project life cycle.
The AlexRenew Nutrient Management Facility, an 18-million-gallon storage facility topped with a public athletic field, stores wastewater during nutrient peaks to balance the amount of nitrogen that goes into biological treatment processes. The Nutrient Management Facility is the largest project under AlexRenew's $160-million State-of-the-Art Nitrogen Upgrade Program, the utility's response to regulations limiting the amount of nutrients water resource recovery facilities can release into the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
CH2M led master planning and design, provided engineering services during construction, and helped incorporate sustainability throughout AlexRenew's entire nitrogen upgrade program. It is CH2M's first Envision-certified project. Since the start of the Envision program in 2012, only 11 projects in North America have been awarded a Platinum certification.
"CH2M has been pleased to support AlexRenew on this important project," said Dan Lynch, CH2M Principal. "The project execution required extraordinary vision on the part of AlexRenew, as well as a commitment to the principles of sustainability and involvement with the community. These are principles that CH2M shares with AlexRenew, and that is what has made this project so rewarding for everyone involved."
The facility received high scores in Envision's comprehensive set of criteria in five categories: quality of life, leadership, resource allocation, natural world, and climate and risk. The facility's dual-purpose nature, improving the health of local waterways while engaging the community with beneficial green space, was crucial in achieving Platinum certification. Other sustainability efforts included using local and recycled materials, recycling construction waste, recovering a brownfield site (former landfill), expanding stream buffers, using sustainable stormwater practices, and employing energy and water monitoring systems.
"This award shows that wastewater utilities don't have to be invisible to the communities they serve, but instead, can, and should, be active partners in creating livable and resilient cities," said Karen Pallansch, CEO of AlexRenew. "We're fortunate to serve customers and work alongside community partners who value sustainability and support efforts like this that have such a positive impact on our local waterways."
ISI was not yet established during project design. However, AlexRenew approached the entire program with sustainability as a pivotal part of the design process. The team demonstrated creative thinking by developing their own custom sustainability framework.
"This was only the second CH2M project designed with an integrated sustainability component from start to finish. The team embraced the challenge and demonstrated a willingness to break out of business-as-usual approaches, transforming the project into a win-win for all stakeholders," said Rich Voigt, CH2M's program manager.
As a charter member of ISI, CH2M is committed to embedding sustainability in its infrastructure practices. CH2M has trained more than 100 employees and many clients in the ISI Envision™ Sustainability Professionals credentialing program. Envision applies to all infrastructure planning and design types: energy, water, waste, transportation, landscape, and information. The rating system helps leaders, planners, and engineers account for both tangible and intangible outcomes of sustainable infrastructure. It provides the missing link to economically, environmentally, and socially assessing natural capital.
CH2M leads the professional services industry delivering sustainable solutions benefiting societal, environmental and economic outcomes with the development of infrastructure and industry. In this way, CH2Mers make a positive difference providing consulting, design, engineering and management services for clients in water; environment and nuclear; transportation; energy and industrial markets, from iconic infrastructure to global programs like the Olympic Games. Ranked among the World's Most Ethical Companies and top firms in environmental consulting and program management, CH2M in 2016 became the first professional services firm honored with the World Environment Center Gold Medal Award for efforts advancing sustainable development. Connect with CH2M at www.ch2m.com; LinkedIn; Twitter; and Facebook.