Forging New Paths in Sustainability for South Carolina

Sustainable Development: "Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." - The Brundtland Report, 1987

At the South Carolina Environmental Conference (SCEC), Bryan Royal, Harper Environmental Systems Division Manager, gave a groundbreaking presentation on Envision Certification: a sustainability conscious framework for infrastructure projects sponsored by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). Projects can be analyzed using the 5 category, 60 credit system to evaluate impact on the local community, environment, and long-term sustainable efforts.

Different Areas of Envision


How is Envision Different from LEED?

Envision is similar to LEED except it is for infrastructure projects and, instead of being a checklist, is a holistic approach to the project.


Why Should I Pursue Envision?

The purpose of Bryan's presentation at SCEC was to educate the owners, engineers, and construction managers on the importance of Envision and how to use the framework to shape a project and, ultimately, achieve certification.

  • Quantifiable reason to select a project team
  • Sustainability is an economic development driver
  • Framework for stakeholder engagement
  • Stimulates long-term community growth
  • Potential for funding EPA/SRF (pending)
  • Unique approach to project / alternate design
  • Framework for Sustainable design
  • Supported by ASCE, APWA, ACEC, AWWA, and the DOT
  • Reputation as Sustainability Expert
Construction Managers
  • Municipalities are requiring ENV SP Certification on team
  • Unique approach to construction
  • Reputation for Sustainability leader

Harper's Experience with Envision

Why Did Harper Choose Envision?
  • Sustainability is part of our guiding principles
  • 75% of our project management staff are LEED certified
  • Colleague in the industry introduced us to Envision
  • Excited about a framework for sustainability in infrastructure
Seneca Water Treatment Plant

Harper submitted the Seneca Water Treatment Plant for Envision Certification. This is the first project submitted in the State of South Carolina. During this project Harper made significant improvements to the existing water treatment water. Furthermore, this entailed the coordination of 11 key stakeholders. Other big pieces of the project included equipment upgrades, aesthetic enhancements, and decommissioning of chlorine gas.

Lessons Learned
  • Plan for submission early in project
  • ISI is an active participant in process
  • Submit data clearly and concisely
  • A certified team member is required
  • Certification is a full team effort
  • Envision encourages out-of-the-box ideas

***Update 4/01/16: Anne-Marie Moehring, project administrator for ESD, is 1 of 14 professionals in South Carolina to have earned Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP) credentials.