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Philadelphia’s DOA Leads the Way with Envision Framework Verified Infrastructure Project

Today the demand for transport, energy, and urban infrastructure has increased. Further, there’s the added pressure to make projects sustainable. Today we will highlight the efforts of Philadelphia’s Department of Aviation (DOA) in integrating sustainability principles into the Taxiway J Rehabilitation project at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).

They achieved the Envision Verified award for the project. It signifies the successful incorporation of sustainable practices throughout the project lifecycle, from planning and design to construction and operation.

The Envision Framework

The Envision framework, developed by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI), helps firms bring resilience and sustainability in infrastructure projects.

It sets a standard for sustainable, resilient, and equitable infrastructure, defining clear criteria for projects. It pushes for higher performance by encouraging projects to surpass minimum requirements and adopt ambitious goals. Projects that achieve these goals receive recognition for their significant contributions to sustainability, resilience, and equity.

Furthermore, the Envision framework provides a common language for collaboration within project teams and facilitates clear communication with stakeholders, promoting transparency and engagement throughout the entire project.

Envision offers several benefits to communities, projects, and individuals. It ensures long-term viability by enhancing resiliency and preparedness, fosters cost reduction through effective management and collaboration, minimizes negative impacts on the community and environment, and provides potential long-term savings through efficiency. Moreover, its credibility as a third-party rating system enhances the integrity of sustainable infrastructure development.

Sustainability Features of the Project

  • Enhanced Safety: The project team proactively developed a comprehensive Construction Safety Phasing Plan, ensuring compliance with FAA regulations and requirements for airfield safety. This plan identifies construction activities within the Air Operations Area and delineates safety inspection methods, communication protocols, and personnel training.
  • Sustainability Standards: The DOA established sustainability design standards for all capital projects, including a commitment to addressing social, environmental, and economic aspects. A sustainability kickoff meeting gathered interdisciplinary representation to align sustainability goals with Envision, resulting in a project-specific Sustainability Management Plan to guide and track efforts in this project.
  • Energy Reduction: Operational energy consumption analysis identified airfield lighting and signage as major contributors. Upgrading to energy-efficient LED bulbs instead of incandescent ones is expected to reduce energy consumption by 55%.

Moreover, the project team aims to reduce impervious cover on the 14.75-acre site by removing unneeded pavement and converting 0.18 acres to pervious grass cover. Expanding the project scope to include the intersection of Taxiway J and Taxiway Y further enhances safety and efficiency. Specific airfield lighting installations improve routing, guidance, and surveillance for better control of aircraft and vehicles during various weather conditions

We know why sustainability is important. By adopting green building principles and modern technology, we can pave the way for a greener, more resilient future.

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